1. Your parents are more lenient towards you during your teenage years.
Although I was likely more rambunctious in elementary and middle school, my sister set the bar much higher for tiring out my parents during her teenage years. Between dealing with her appearance-related anxieties, monitoring her phone and internet usage, and negotiating her curfew, my parents were perpetually exhausted. So when I reached my teenage years and all of these issues were in fact non-issues for me, my parents were inclined to be much more lenient towards any comparatively lesser requests or transgressions (except for that time I had to be picked up at the police station).
2. You are instantly cooler for knowing upperclass girls in middle school and high school.
My sister was pretty popular in middle school and high school and had similarly popular and attractive friends, while I was admittedly nerdy and awkward. Her friends found me adorable, though, and needless to say, it was always pretty cool (in the straight middle school sense of the word) to be known and well-liked by a group of upperclass girls. High school in particular was not the kindest of places at first, so it was comforting to see friendly faces while walking down the senior hallway wearing a Quiksilver t-shirt and jorts.
3. She helps you develop your personal style and fashion sense.
Speaking of jorts, my sister has had a huge, positive impact on my personal sense of style. It was shortly after the start of my freshman year of high school when jorts became strictly forbidden, and by the following spring, I was wearing my first pair of Nantucket Reds. Since then, I still receive both solicited and unsolicited fashion advice from her because she really ‘would be the best-dressed guy ever.’ Before I buy that pair of forest green J.Crew chinos, I am probably going to first ask for her opinion.
4. She helps you maintain an appropriate social media presence.
Every social network that I have ever joined — MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it — my sister had joined first. Because girls are generally more active on social media, and thus more knowledgable of appropriate usage, I have always had my sister to provide me with the guidelines for socially acceptable conduct on each of these platforms. As recently as choosing my current profile picture on Facebook, I often first consult with my sister before taking a large step in the world of social media.
5. You develop a sensitive side that girls will appreciate.
It was tough at times growing up with a sister with whom fighting over seemingly frivolous issues was a regular occurrence. Over time, though, I came to learn and respect the inherent differences in our respective dispositions that come from being of opposite genders. This, in turn, made me much more sensitive to the female population as a whole. I believe that I have a good number of female friends in large part because I learned to get along well with my sister as we grew up.
6. She keeps you in tune with the latest pop culture, news, music, and literature.
If it wasn’t for my sister, I would spend a lot of my down time and procrastination perusing Reddit and ESPN, while listening to the same EDM and dubstep that gets played every day in my varsity team’s weight room. Instead, I now choose to sneak away from my paper-writing to read The New Yorker or check Thought Catalog, so I can send her an article as interesting as the one she e-mailed me last week. Similarly, she will often inbox me with a new album I should listen to on Spotify, occasionally chiding me that I ‘need some new music.’ And at her suggestion, last weekend I spent an entire Friday evening reading a book cover to cover, and it was fucking great.
7. You are her little brother, so she will always look out for you.
My sister will always have my back. She may poke fun at me sometimes (read: often), but she only ever wants to see me succeed and will thus do everything in her power to that end. No matter the situation or problem — social, personal, career-related — she has always been there to give me sage advice and go out of her way to help.
8. She is your big sister, so you can always look up to her.
She taught me everything I needed to know growing up, and she continues to prepare me for many of life’s biggest moments, all with a level of authority, understanding, and care that only an older sister can provide. I honestly would not be where I am today without her, in many more ways than one.