“I don’t think I’ve ever been player one while playing a video game with someone in my family,” says Colleen Casey ‘22, youngest of 11, “I never even had control of the tv remote. That’s why I grew up watching sports center 24/7.” If you are the youngest child, this is probably something you can relate to. If you are not, then this may be a wake-up call to what your youngest sibling is really going through. While the stereotypes of being spoiled and getting the most attention may be partly true, there is so much more that never leave the youngest’s mouth. With the help of this article, hopefully the older siblings reading this can find some compassion for their younger siblings, and the younger siblings can feel like their side of the story is heard.
All too often, younger siblings are called by their older siblings names by both parents and teachers. Some teachers who happened to have older siblings in their class often mistake younger siblings for their older siblings. While it may be intimidating to not know if a teacher has prior expectations of you or not, younger siblings may also have an advantage. Older siblings can provide advice and helpful tips based on prior experiences. Any of your older sibling’s “life hacks” that they discovered can be passed down to you (if they choose). Annie Irwin ‘19, youngest of 4, says that her sisters helped her by telling her what was coming in high school and all the way through college applications. “It’s helpful to have someone with experience that can help you through those situations.”
One downfall of being the youngest is not being part of many of the memories that your siblings share. Laughing and telling jokes about their past experiences makes you feel left out and constantly wishing you had been born earlier. Ana Lozano ‘22, youngest of 5, said, “I wasn’t present in so many of their memories, or I was too young to remember them.” Ana then goes on to tell us about traditions happening less and less as her siblings got older. Annie shared with us the noticeable decrease in family dinners as her sisters started moving out. Carrie Miklus ‘24, youngest of 5, pointed out how much less freedom she has than her siblings. “I would go to bed and my siblings got ice cream! It was so unfair!”
By far one of the benefits of being the youngest are the prior connections with teachers, friends, and others, younger siblings have more relationships with other people from outside the family. Mrs. Rose, Anna Rose’s mom, youngest of two confirms this with her telling of the numerous people she knew through her older brother. Teachers always knew her name before she met them. Carrie Miklus ‘24 and Annie Irwin ‘19 both agree with this statement. They say how it was easier to connect with teachers and know people who were different ages than them.
When asked if they wished for younger siblings or a different place in the family. Annie Irwin ‘19 says that she was glad she had older siblings but still wished for a younger sibling. “I always felt like my international students were my younger sisters though.” Carrie Miklus ‘24 says that she always wanted a twin sister. However, she is happy where she is.
Whether it’s always having to sit in the back seat or getting to visit your siblings at college, there are many pros and cons of being the youngest child. “Even though it gets rough at times, I would take being the youngest over the remote control any day,” Anna Rose ‘22.