I’m going to start out bold and say it as it is: younger siblings are the best siblings. There, I said it. There’s no going back now.
I know loads of you are probably thinking ,’what does she know?’ but hear me out, and I can guarantee you’ll agree with me by the end of the article.
Well, unless you’re the older sibling and then you almost definitely won’t agree with me, but at least I tried and that’s all that counts.
Obviously, I’m the youngest in our house. I mean, it’d be pretty weird to write an article about how great younger siblings are if I was the eldest, so that’s probably pretty self-explanatory.
Anyway, I was born 18 months after my sister and basically ruined her life. Up until I came along, she had the life of Riley – strutting her stuff in our mum’s high heels, having the undivided attention of our parents/grandparents/entire family, and basically just being the centre of attention.
Enter: me, a chubby, crying baby who took all that attention away from her and required constant attention, food (hey, I said I was chubby), and even more attention. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say she pretty much hated me from the word go. Well, she hated the idea of me.
In fact, she even hid behind the sofa when my mum and dad brought me home and refused to come out because she didn’t want to meet me. So, yeah.
Growing up, it soon became clear that her life had suddenly become a lot harder, while mine became as breezy as hers was before I existed. Basically, I got away with pretty much everything while she, well, didn’t.
Take, for example, the time in high school when she got moved down a set in maths and my parents went off on her. She’d been in the top set (i.e. the clever set) ever since year 7 and only got moved down in her GCSE years, but you wouldn’t have guessed that from the way my mum and dad reacted.
She was quizzed on why she’d changed sets, asked on countless occasions if she’d *shudder* stopped trying, and told she needed to buck up her ideas. Several arguments ensued, etcetera etcetera.
Fast forward to exactly one year later, when I was moved down a set in year 8 (an entire two years before she was), and my parents just weren’t bothered. Like, at all.
That’s the beauty of being the youngest; everything your parents get mad at your brother or sister for first, they’re most likely not going to be that bothered when you follow in their footsteps.
Hence why younger siblings tend to get more freedom, because by the second, third, or even the fourth child, your mum and dad just get to the point where they’re like, ‘f*ck it!’ Oh, the baby’s crawling out of the house again? Nevermind!
It doesn’t stop when you’re teenagers either, because with each new experience, the eldest obviously goes through it first. First crush? Yep. Parties? 100 per cent. Alcohol? You betcha.
No matter what we do, as the youngest, we get away with so much more and generally just have a more easygoing time of it. Don’t ask me why that’s the case, because I have no idea. But also, who cares? Not me.
Which is why when I got so drunk I passed out at my sister’s birthday party, all of the blame went straight to her and not me. It all started off innocently enough, with my friends and I joining my sister and her mates for a sophisticated (lol) meal.
Being younger than everyone else though, we wanted to show off so we made sure to down a few shots with our meal. Which, as it turns out, was a bad, bad idea. The worst, some would say.
So much so that I can’t remember exactly what happened or how we got home, but when I woke up on the floor of my mum and dad’s bedroom the next morning feeling like death, my sister wasted no time in telling me she’d been shouted at to within an inch of her life.
‘Why didn’t you look after her?’ ‘She’s your little sister, you’re supposed to keep an eye on her, how did she get so drunk?!’ I, on the other hand, just received a lecture about how to never get in that state again. A quiet lecture though, because my head felt like it was going to fall off. Ah, memories.
In simple terms, being the youngest sibling has a lot of benefits. Including and not exclusive to the fact that we just don’t have the same level of responsibility that our older brothers and sisters do, because we’ve never had to look after anyone.
Everything our siblings did to help us out when we were growing up – all the advise they gave us, the clothes they let us borrow, the lifts we got given – we just didn’t need to do for anyone.
I mean, just look at Prince Harry’s life compared to Prince William’s. William, as the oldest, is more than likely to become king in his lifetime whereas Harry won’t. Which, as we all know, is the dream position.
Without the responsibility of knowing he’s got to be King at some point in his life, Harry can just let his hair down and act like a normal person (with all the perks of being a royal, obvs) – hence why he’s not always been on his best behaviour. Cough, Vegas, cough.
When have you ever seen a better example of the younger sibling winning at life? And hello, the entire premise of Hunger Games is that Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawrence, (spoiler alert) literally sacrifices her own life for her younger sister’s: ‘I volunteer as tribute!’
Sure, I guess you could say Katniss is the better sibling here – you know, because of the whole risking her life and being the main protagonist in a hugely successful trilogy and everything. You could say that, but we all know Prim’s the real winner here.
Okay, so she never got to go on a crazy adventure and get caught up in a love triangle and become an actual hero like her big sis, but she also didn’t nearly die a million and one times. She literally had zero responsibility, as is the case with all younger sisters (and brothers). I don’t mean to rub it in all you oldies’ faces or anything, but a fact is a fact.
Another such fact being that younger siblings are funnier than their older brothers and sisters. Now, I know this sounds like something I’ve just made up but it’s actually scientifically proven. Well, kind of.
A study by YouGov actually found that younger siblings are funnier than the older members of their family. Well, if we’re being totally upfront about it, it found we’re more likely to say we’re funnier – which we do BTW.
Think about it: Ryan Reynolds, Ellen Degeneres, Tina Fey, and Jim Carrey (and me) are all the youngest in their families and they’re all hilarious. The science doesn’t lie guys, at some point you’ve just got to accept that we’re funnier/better/more amazing than you.
I could go on with the celebrity examples (hi Kylie Jenner, the youngest in her family and also the most successful), but I don’t want to make all you OAPs too sad so I won’t.
If you are the younger sibling, I can only say kudos to you for winning at life. If you’re not, kindly refrain from sending me any hate mail.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).