My Sister’s Advice

My sister and I are very different thinkers. She’s more impulsive, hair-brained, and dramatic while I am logical but indecisive, almost as if I think too much about every decision. One would think with those contrasting qualities would lead us to judge each other’s decision making processes. I cannot speak for Katie, but I actually admire the way she lives her life. Being unsure of your decisions is very uncomfortable. I envy her confidence and certainty in her decisions all the while making as few decisions as possible. She has a way of making life look easy. The perplexing thing is that while she breezes through the big stuff like picking a school, a major, and big life decisions, she really struggles with the small stuff. Something like missing a train could send her into a full blown meltdown. She’ll keep calm in the eye of a storm but lose it over a raindrop on a sunny day.

Katie is two years older than I, therefore the trail-blazer of the family. She went to high school before me, had a boyfriend before me, had braces before me, and would always be leaving me her words of wisdom on the matter as I followed close behind her on all these milestones. Many times I found myself ignoring the advice because it wasn’t always best for me. Even two years younger I knew “Just don’t tell mom” or “well I never wore my rubber bands” (braces people will get that one) weren’t her greatest pearls. But every once in a while she’d throw me a real sliver of genius – two in particular really stuck with me.

The first thing Katie did when she went to college was join a sorority. She liked it but eventually had to drop because it was too expensive and she’s more of a YOLO-er than a budgeter. But when two years later I did the exact same thing she told me something I’ll never forget. 200 girls forced together on a regular basis is a sure recipe for disaster. Drama is unavoidable and, no matter how low key you are, you’ll find yourself caught up in the madness. But Katie knew the secret to getting out with limited scarring. “These girls will forgive you for pretty much anything,” she said, “as long as you stay away from their boys.” I laughed when she first told me, thinking she was joking. But this turned out to be one of the best pieces of advice she’d ever given me. It’s 100% true. I watched friendship after friendship get thrown away by some silly boy drama. What happened to ‘boys are whatever, friends are forever’? I guess that was middle school B-S. Or perhaps just a comforting excuse for why we were all single. Needless to say, I was grateful for the heads-up about the mentality change.

The second great piece of advice she gave me was “Don’t jump over fences… just go around” This has more to do with a personal experience of hers ending in a late night ER visit and 20-some stitches in her arm. Either way, it’s some solid advice I’ve chosen to live by. It could even be a metaphor for something much deeper… but I don’t think that’s how she meant it.

So heed my words, incoming college-goers; careful where you put your tongue and always look for a gate.


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