The One and Only

Matthew - Morris, Illinois
Entered on April 12, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

As an only child, higher expectations to succeed have been instilled in me. There are times that I feel overwhelmed because in my mind I think I have to do well and be successful in everything that I do. Even though my parents say they will be proud of me no matter what, I still feel that if I fail, not only will I fail myself, but I will fail them too. Since I am their only child, I feel like I have to do well because there isn’t another child to make up for my perceived failures.

Being an only child has its downfalls. When I was younger, I was often bored because there wasn’t always someone around to play with or keep me occupied. It was hard to play board games like “Monopoly” or “Chutes and Ladders” by myself. Winning wasn’t much fun when I was the only one playing. Many times I wished I had a sibling to talk to and keep me company. Also, if I did something bad, there wasn’t a brother or sister to blame. My parents definitely wouldn’t believe me if I told them the dog did it. However, life as an only child isn’t all that bad.

There are many advantages to being the only child. One is the attention that I receive from my parents. I do not have to worry about rivalry or unfairness between me and siblings. I have been around adults most of my life. I tend to act more mature than my age because of the environment I grew up with. This has helped me become a more independent and responsible person. I am also content with having higher expectations set for me. I set high goals and hope to be successful in life and I know my parents are always there to support me in everything I do.

I do realize this might sound selfish, but I get almost everything I want. I have had a lot of opportunities to do different things and I have traveled to many places, including Alaska and Hawaii. I have been able to “broaden my horizons” and experience a lot of what life has to offer. I often wonder if this could be possible if I had a sibling.

Although I may not have originally thought being an only child was great, I now believe its influence on my life is very valuable. I am happy being an only child and could not image my life being any different.