Every little kid has dreams of what they want to be one day. Someone they look up to, goals they want to achieve. Everyone has a role model and mine has been the same for as long as I can remember. My older sister. My best friend since birth, Jessica has always been the person I strive to be. Anything Jess did, I wanted to do the same and be just like my big sis. It’s only natural; every girl that has an older sister looks up to her, and every girl that doesn’t dreams of having one. But I’ve been fortunate to have the greatest older sister of all.
There are so many distinct memories that stand out in my mind of instances that the desire to be just like Jess was so overwhelming. For instance, growing up, my sister was lactose intolerant so she never ate milk, cheese, butter or any of your typical dairy products. And of course, I had to be just like my sister and god forbid an ounce of milk pass through my lips. To this day, I’m still trying to learn to like cheese.
One of the most vivid days in my memory. I was in fifth grade and it was finally time that I could choose which instrument I wanted to learn for the band. It was the day I’d been waiting for as a lover of music and of course, watching my sister learn her instrument, the clarinet, for years. For once, I decided to be adventurous and create my own path instead of following my sister’s. Listed as my number one instrument of choice was the flute. But I’ll never forget the pangs of anxiety I felt that morning while standing at the bus stop with my mom. Was I making the right decision? At the sight of the big yellow school bus rolling towards me, I declared to my mom that it didn’t seem right. At the last minute, my instrument switched from the flute to the clarinet because “Jess knows best.” I came to learn that maybe this would have been a good time to pave my own way considering I hated the clarinet and quit a few years later.
As I grew up though, I began to feel the need to make my own choices. I would forever look up to my sister and all that she accomplished, but I started to need independence and control over my own life. When it came time to choose a college and my options came down to Temple University, my sister’s alma mater, or University of Delaware, I knew I wanted to go to Delaware and experience something different from Jess. As I spent first semester trying to discover a major of interest, Communications was the only area I seemed to know anything about, thanks to my sister. As much as I was interested in it, I was hoping I’d discover my own area of study, not the one my sister pursued. But when I enrolled in my first communications course, I knew I was hooked. But hey, there are lots of areas of communications I could go into, right? I didn’t have to do PR just like Jess. And then I got involved in PRSSA and knew that Public Relations is what I need to do. It seemed I couldn’t escape my lifelong desire to be just like Jess.
So in Jessica’s footsteps I would follow. At first this worried me. Did I just give in and create a future because of the safety of having my sister? Was I taking the easy way out? But then I realized: communications and public relations are areas I’m truly passionate about. I’d never felt the excitement of going to a class until I started my communications courses. And more than that, I’m proud to be associated with someone as amazing as my sister. I feel grateful that I have someone so incredible in my life to which I am so similar. Jess and I will always share a close relationship, but this shared interest in PR creates another strong, sisterly bond. And I can’t lie; it’s pretty nice to have a PR mentor living under the same roof that can’t escape my questions for long periods of time.
So while I worried that I was simply taking the path of least resistance by following in my sister’s footsteps, I know that I’m going to make the effort to create my own PR path. The guidance and advice of my experienced sister will surely help me through, but I refuse to not take my future into my own hands.
You may learn more about my amazingly talented, PR guru sister here!