Accepting the inevitable

For the readers that weren’t aware, I am seventeen. I’ve got a younger sister that is going on fifteen, and I just realized that yesterday.

I’ve been away from her for almost a month; I haven’t seen or heard her voice in weeks. I’ve been out of state at summer camp, and she has also been.

Since the end of junior year, I’ve been continuously pre-occupied with the struggle of college and summer activities and what not, and I haven’t had nearly as much time as I’d like to reflect on our relationship. Sure, I saw her at dinner every night and still spent time with her during the day, but a transformation never seemed evident.

So when I logged onto Facebook yesterday and saw that she had posted a summer album filled with photos depicting her summer camp experience, I was taken back.

Who is this girl? She looks so much more sophisticated and older than I’ve ever seen her; it almost seems inappropriate to refer to her as a ‘girl’. I feel as though the term ‘young lady’ would do her more justice. Her baby-ish features have almost disappeared, replaced with a slim bone structure. It may seem like I’m stretching the truth, but the fact that my sister is going to high school in a matter of months scares me.

As inevitable as it is, it’s hard to accept, even though she spent 3 weeks on her own at some summer camp.

I continue to click through her Facebook album. She’s tan, she’s hanging out with lots of males (in contrast, she’s normally had mainly female friends in the past), she looks genuinely happy…she’s growing up.

She hasn’t grown up, she’s just in the process of a winding, confusing period of her life. I can sense that she will struggle to find herself in the midst of so many societal pressures. I know that I did, and that I still am.

The transition from middle school to high school is almost an official gesture towards the oncoming wave of puberty, change, and self-discovery that will be countered with peer pressure and drama. She most likely won’t see these changes coming; at least, I didn’t. However, now that I look back at the last three years, I see a completely different person than who I was at the beginning of ninth grade.

It seems like just yesterday I was gushing to my friend about how excited I was to finally be in high school. It’s as if I had just been discussing with my cousin the woes of her college apps, and yet today she is about to start her second year of college.

To see a drastic change in my sister’s appearance and composure is unsettling.

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