Allison - Fayetteville, New York
Entered on December 11, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Every year on the first day of school, my teachers already know who I am. I never feel that I am getting a fresh start with someone new. I am always Alex’s sister. In fact, many people can’t even tell us apart, even though there is a distinct two and a half years between us. I got so used to people knowing me before I had any idea who they were, that for a while, “Alex’s sister” is who I had become.

I’ve spent the majority of my life living in my sister’s shadow. I did everything she did, and people instinctively put us together wherever we went. Since I am younger, I thought it was my job to live up to her. Her goals became my goals, I adopted her standards, I even started to think the same way she did. But I could never do anything as well as her. She could always outdo me at everything she did. I never even considered trying something new, or in this case, something my sister didn’t do.

I was losing my individuality, and the ability to be different. More importantly the ability to be myself. This is when I decided that I needed to cut the cord that continued to make us more and more alike. I needed to go back to being Allison. Slowly, I began to think for myself, come up with my own ideas, and my own way of doing things. I still have a long way to go, but I can now be who I am, not who my sister is.

When you begin to feel that you need to live up to someone else, that’s when you start to lose yourself. Coming up with your own beliefs, and having your own lifestyle, are crucial to the individual. If you act like someone other than yourself, sooner or later that’s what you become. You are unique, and different, and that is what really counts.

If someone you look up to does one thing, that doesn’t mean that you should do the same. It destroys the variation in life. Always be yourself, that is the most important thing you can do. You should never be worried about what someone else would do. It’s the things that determine who you are that truly matter.