There are lots of great things about growing up with an older brother.
Some reasons are clichéd (like older brothers have hot, older friends), and some are more sentimental.
Having an older brother is a unique and unforgettable experience.
As a younger sister, here are the reasons why I loved growing up with a big brother:
1. You have a built-in partner in crime.
Growing up, my brother and I rarely got along. We argued and fought a lot.
However, there was one exception to our sibling rivalry that put the fighting on pause.
This exception was when we were up to no good.
My brother and I got along best when we were terrorizing our babysitter, stealing our mom’s candy, terrifying our little sister and any other form of general mischief.
Having an older brother as your partner in crime is perfect for two reasons:
a) You have a scapegoat in case you need to blame someone else. (As a younger sister, it was easy for my parents to believe I was influenced by my older brother. But usually, we were in it 50-50.)
b) Shared responsibility also means a shared consequence. You have someone to joke with while you carry out your sentence of chores.
It also meant you were equally responsible in the planning (or rather, scheming) and the act of mischief.
If you ask me, that’s a fair partnership.
2. You have a tutor.
Older brothers have already completed the grade you’re currently struggling in.
As a second grader, multiplication is hard, but with a fourth grade brother to help you out, it’s not so hard.
Older brothers also offer tips and advice about the teachers and classrooms they’ve already had, but are new to you.
They can tell you what your teacher likes and what subjects you should bring up in conversation, as well as their pet peeves.
3. As a younger sister, teachers rarely compared us.
Often, teachers will expect brothers or sisters to be similar, but as a brother-sister duo, we weren’t often subject to such comparisons.
My first class of high school was business tech.
When my teacher saw my last name and found out who my brother was, she looked at me and said with a sigh, "Your brother is the reason your office chairs don’t have wheels anymore."
Apparently, he and his friends decided to have races down the hallway.
I wasn’t surprised.
But, teachers never suspected me to have the same mischievous nature.
I was thankful to hear their stories about my brother, without his behavior having any negative reflection on me.
4. You have someone to push you out of your comfort zone.
Two years is a big difference between a girl and a boy when you’re young.
My brother was always pushing me to keep up with him whether we were swimming or diving, playing a sport or playing a card game.
This required me to push myself physically and mentally.
In addition, he pushed me to have fun (usually by breaking the rules).
One time at our cottage, he decided we were going into the abandoned cottage next door. I was halfway through the window, and I got stuck. (Of course, he made me go in first.)
I started to panic and got scared.
But, he talked me down and made me push through.
Had he not been there, I would have chickened out. So, we were able to go in, scare the crap out of ourselves and have fun.
5. You can bond with his friends.
Yes, I guess it was cool to have older guys around, but this isn't the major benefit.
My brother has had the same friends since he was in kindergarten. I’ve known my brother’s friends since I was 2.
I call them my “pseudo brothers.”
In addition to my actual brother, I was able to grow up with a handful of these pseudo brothers who treated me like their own sister (without the sibling rivalry).
My brother was pretty quiet and passive. But if anyone was bullying me, he’d tell his friends, and they’d take care of it.
In high school, my own brother paid little attention to my dating life, but my pseudo brothers paid too much attention.
If I was talking to a guy in the hallway, and one of my pseudo brothers noticed, that boy was sure to be pushed into a locker.
My ex-boyfriends (and current boyfriends, for that matter) received threatening looks and degrading nicknames.
Sometimes, I was incredibly annoyed and embarrassed.
But more often than not, I was happy to have a band of brothers who cared about me. I know they’ll always have my back.
6. They protect you when you're partying.
When you’re underage, you automatically have someone who can buy you alcohol. (And if he won’t, you can just solicit one of his friends or his girlfriend.)
You also have a designated driver (as long as he’s not also drinking), and you always have someone to play drinking games with at family functions (like getting your grandma to do a Jägerbomb).
Big brothers get a bad reputation for being overbearing and overprotective.
While they can be these things, they're usually your drinking buddy, partner in crime and best friend.
In my opinion, the positives far outweigh the negatives.