Those with siblings have all experienced the pleas of “don’t tell mom” and the rounds of hide-and-go-seek in clothing racks. Siblings are the people in your life you are stuck with. If you’re a younger sibling, you grow up with footsteps to follow.
Senior Mackenzie Cammack is the youngest in her family, and her sister Riley graduated from HBA with the class of 2014. “I appreciated the legacy my sister left,” Cammack said of her sister, who took advanced science and math classes, and was considered a top student in them. “The high standard my sister set for the Cammack family at HBA certainly allowed me to push myself more. I’d be lying if I said that I would have tried as hard without Riley,” she said.
Then there’s dealing with the reputation that has already been built for you, whether you like it or not. Senior DJ Sur laments having to live up to his older sister’s reputation at HBA. He explained, “The first time I would meet teachers, they’d see my last name and ask, ‘Dayna’s brother?’ My sister was a good role model, but I didn’t fit into that mold. My teachers assumed I was studious, quiet, and well-behaved. My parents used to ask ‘Why don’t you study more? Dayna studied hard. Why don’t do you more extra curricular activities? Dayna did.’ It was frustrating because I want to be my own person and I like who I am.”
Seniors Ryan and Lauren Lee are twins and say that being in school together has its advantages. “If we end up in the same class, which has happened on several occasions, we’ll sometimes make more of an effort to sit next to each other and take advantage of the other’s intelligence,” Ryan Lee said.
If it’s competitive having an older sibling, what is it like having a twin, someone your own age? Ryan Lee said, “Our age difference of zero is very unique in that it allows us to share in similar experiences. In dealing with high school, volunteer work, and part-time jobs, having another sibling who can understand and sympathize with any hardships is very helpful. Our connection has enabled us to become acquainted with similar groups of people, so it’s more convenient and fun to go out with friends.”
Like many siblings, Ryan and Lauren Lee have very different interests and personalities. Ryan Lee said, “She tends to take zillions of photos and snapchats, and she talks in an extremely hyper fashion. She also frequently blasts K-Pop in the morning when getting ready for school. I’m not sure how I feel about these idiosyncrasies.”
Now that their older siblings are in college, DJ Sur and Makenzie Cammack both say their sibling relationships have changed for the better. DJ Sur said, “My sister has matured more and can handle her stress better. High school made her short-tempered and sassy at times. When she comes home now, we get along pretty well.” Mackenzie Cammack said distance has actually helped her get to know her sister better. “In the past two years, my sister and I have become much closer. Before we were strictly sisters, now that we see each other less often, we get to know each other on a more personal level,” she said.
Growing up with an older sibling may not always be easy but as we grow up, you’ll find that relationships with the people you were forced to grow up with turn into ones that you want to treasure. Siblings are gifts in your life. You can’t choose your family and that type of obligation can grow into the strongest bonds between people.