Some may say that being the youngest in a family is the best, but I disagree. When you are the youngest, you never become older. At least that is what I thought until last Christmas.
On my mom’s side of the family, I am the youngest. She has four older siblings, and 3 of them have families on top of mine. It can get very hectic around the holidays but because of the large age gap between my cousins and me, I always had particular attention. The special attention was something I cherished until I got older. When I was older, I did not want to be treated as the youngest; I wasn’t a child anymore. I did not like that people talked down to me even when I was 17! I wasn’t knowledgeable enough to join the dinner conversation, but I still understood them and was expected to be social. I started not to like family gatherings.
I am not the only one who experiences this youngest child discrimination, I sat down with Kristen Bauer, and she shared that she had similar experiences. “It was hard to relate to them… up until recently they would talk about jobs and college and I’d be like I can’t relate…I would mostly just talk to my sister [her sister was still four years older than her] and it was awkward.”
Kristen and I are both freshmen—she is 19, and I am 18—and are the youngest on one side of our families. Kristen has a bit of a smaller family, but the dynamics seem to be the same. On the side of the family that she is youngest, there is only her dad and his sister so much less hectic than my mom’s four siblings. Kristen’s cousins are also older like mine; her closest relative is her sister. Both our sisters are our closest relatives at family gatherings, and they happen to be the same age apart from us. She also experienced the...
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...ated that way, then you have to act that way” actually make sense now. We have the ability to be anyone we want—as long as we believe in it. Although that’s easier said than done. Most of the time it takes some kind of change to make us realize that.
My mother told me something really remarkable to me while interviewing her, “Does changing our appearance give us more confidence than what we already have? I don’t think so—I think you always have that confidence—but by making that change, it allows you to tap into it.” I always had the confidence that my haircut gave me, but it took me feeling really good about my physical appearance to gain that self-assurance.
The power of change is astonishing. Whether it is a new haircut that makes you more confident or a new baby in the family that makes you an adult, small changes create ripples that affect many aspects of life
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