Experience With Siblings

Sharing the experience and love that goes with having two older siblings.


(From left to right) Siblings Sydney, Matthew and Joshua Smith stand on a train waiting for their picture to be taken. This picture portrays three different types of people, and respectively their emotions.

Joshua Smith, Managing Editor of Entertainment and Editorials

From the very beginning of my life, I have never been alone. I’ve always been with someone who has kept me company and made spending time alone not something to dread. However, there are a couple of people in my life that I have spent more time around and have influenced me more than anything, and it isn’t my parents, it is my siblings. I have two siblings, both of whom are older, but just mentioning them as siblings is a true understatement of everything that they mean to me and everything that they have done for me. They have shaped me from a young age in a few distinct (and not always beneficial) ways that have not only brought me to this point but will guide me at every point in my life forever. First is my perception of the world and how I view the things around me, the second is my perception of what it means to be successful, and what I should want for myself in and what value is.

My perception of the world from a young age is something that has largely been fixated on curiosity and learning everything that can be learned around me. In that sense, I am still the same weird little boy as I can’t help but have questions about everything that is in front of me, and the reason why this sort of ideology has been instilled in me is primarily because of my siblings. They have always been doing things that I have never understood, especially earlier in my life I have continuously asked and asked questions of. When I asked the question “why?” for the thousandth time, they didn’t tell me to just stop talking like most, they told me soon after, which is enough for me. Them being just that little bit more tolerant made all the difference in the world to my young impressionable brain when it came to asking all of the questions that are floating inside of my head. This founded curiosity and shaped the way that I view the world, for it allowed me to look at all of the things that are around me and ask about things that typically would go unquestioned.

The second way that my siblings affected me is in the way that they almost warped what it means to be successful for me. This is essentially the only part of the story that is sad for me personally, for it has brought me a lot of anxiety and grief. Not that they are high-accomplishing (I want the world for them, don’t take any of this the wrong way,) but that when they inevitably become accomplished because of instilled values and determination, I am constantly compared and belittled into just “the little sibling” that no one really expects anything of or really cares for. Whether it be in band, or in theatre or in general, constant comparisons are made between me and my siblings that always seem to put me on the short end of it all. Being on the short end it has affected my mental health tremendously for a good period of my life, the only drive that I had was to be recognized by my own individualism rather than just a sibling. I will admit, for a lot of that same period, I grew a lot of resentment for my siblings and the way that they made me feel. I now know that the feeling of resentment is incredibly reductive and only leads to me being in a worse place overall. This drive to be seen as my own person is a large reason why I joined speech and debate, for it offered me a space and community like no other within the high school. It offered me something that neither of my siblings had been involved in and that has allowed me not to live to please that desire to be something that I’m not, by not having anything to live up to anything in the first place. This is just the second way that these experiences have affected me not only in my own life, but also the way that I view success on not only my siblings but also everyone in my life.

In conclusion, my siblings are quite literally the molds that have shaped me into who I am today and what I will want to be for the foreseeable future. This sort of mold is something that I am proud to be a part of, even while it is something that at times has made me question everything. But this question always seems to have the same frustrating answer, and that is there is no definitive answer as to what I should be and what it means to have value. This value is something that I cannot depend on my siblings or anyone else for, for however much my siblings have affected me, they can never truly get in my head to convince me to love myself. I have to do that.