Column: Sisters by chance, friends by choice


Kaitlyn Hughes

"I know that after the initial excitement of college sets in, I’ll sit down and wish my sister was there with me to watch another episode of Friends."

Adriana Pueskens

“Mom, I want my own room,” I said.

“Why?” she asked, knowing I would have something to complain about.

“I want my own space, but she  always wants to be in the room when I am.”

“Adriana, give her a chance. You’re going to miss her when you’re older. ”

I didn’t know how right my mom would be. College was the last thing on my mind, and I thought the idea of being friends with my sister was ridiculous.

We’re two years apart, and because we are close in age, everything was a competition. My sister and I fought about everything from sharing the TV remote to who got to sit at the end of a booth at a restaurant. As an older sister, I constantly picked on her and made it impossible for us to be friends. I used my age to justify picking on her.

My sister and I shared a room and had a bunk bed. When we decided to paint our room, of course, we could not agree on a color. I wanted lime green, and she wanted magenta pink.  After the constant back-and-forth, my parents split the wall half and half so that I saw the green top color from my bed and she saw the pink from her bunk. We were so unwilling to compromise that we ended up making the room look worse. Since we couldn’t agree on something as simple as a wall paint, our room stayed that ugly mix of colors for another ten years.

Somewhere in the sixth grade, I realized my sister was pretty cool. Honestly, she just became a lot less annoying. I wouldn’t admit it, but she was funnier than I gave her credit for. I began listening to her opinions, and I started paying attention to her activities.

My attitude towards her changed when I went to her first gymnastics meet. She had jumped ahead a couple of levels in the sport, and I was so proud. I wore an obnoxious neon yellow shirt with her team name across the front in sequins, and I even kept track of all of her scores.

The support became mutual, and she soon came to my swim meets and water polo games to support me. When I get nervous before a race, it calms my nerves to look at the stands and my family and sister are there to cheer me on.

Our relationship has continued to grow. We stay up late binge watching Friends and we’ll send each other memes on Twitter. Seconds later I’ll hear a laugh from across the room as she opens it.

After a bad test or practice, we’ll go to Sonic and order cherry limeades. The drink makes me feel better, but really it’s having my sister there to cheer me up because no one makes me laugh like her.

Of course, our relationship is far from perfect. When we can’t seem to share shoes or makeup, we’ll turn our backs on each other, but it doesn’t take long for us to find something else to laugh at together.

As we got older, our age difference, which once made us resent each other, made sure we could have separate lives but still be friends.

However, this age gap means that I leave for college two years before she does, and I’m going to miss her last two years of high school. I’ll come back for the big moments, like her dance performances, but I won’t be here for the little moments like an A on a hard test or landing a new trick.

What my mom said many years ago is more true than I realized. I never believed my sister and I could be close. I know that we’ll text about the smallest things, and she’ll still send me memes. But leaving her behind will be one of the hardest parts of college.

It sounds kind of cheesy to admit that she’s so important to me, but I know that after the initial excitement of college sets in, I’ll sit down and wish my sister was there with me to watch another episode of Friends. Though I’m excited for the new friends and experiences college brings, I’ll miss having my little sister around for me to tease.