This I Believe

Ericka - New York
Entered on January 12, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

“Be more like your sister.” “She did it, so you should be able to too.” I’ve heard those words too many times before.

My older sister and I are only three years apart. My parents are always telling me to be more like her. She thought it was easy, so I should too, right? Wrong. We are two different people. We may like some of the same things, but we’re different. I am more social then she is, and I don’t put as much effort into my work. She is a hard worker and spends hours studying, and it pays off for her. She’s going to college next year. But her social life is very small.

Now that my sister is going to college my parents realize how hard work is key to having colleges reward you with scholarship money. Now they’ve started putting more pressure on me to do well in school. The future should be my top priority. Doing well in school and being exactly like my sister are what I “should” be doing.

The problem is…I’m not exactly like my sister. No offence to her, but I wouldn’t want to be. I am my own person. I have my own problems. I have my own life. I have my own personality.

The pressure of being like my sister is affecting me every day. If I get a bad grade, it results in a lecture. I don’t mind lectures, but in almost everyone I receive from my parents, I’m compared to my sister. “Heather did fine with that teacher, I don’t get why you’re having such a difficult time.” Those lectures bother me. They make me want to scream “I AM NOT HEATHER! I AM ERICKA! STOP COMPARING ME TO HER! IM NOT HER, AND I NEVER WILL BE!”

Looking at my friends who have older brothers and sisters, I see a pattern. If they’re elders were good students, they usually are too. I know that you look up to your brothers and sisters, but nobody really wants to be compared to them 24/7.

Being compared to my sister will not make me a better person. It will only make me feel bad about myself.

This I believe.