Lessons learned: rely on your siblings for support


Natalie Hilden

As college students, we are facing the reality of being an adult every day. Things go wrong, plans fall apart or we fail at something we tried very hard at. It’s painful to experience these harsh realities all on our own.

Having a familiar face who has overcome or will be taking on these kinds of situations can help dull the ache when everything feels wrong and nothing’s going the way it’s supposed to. Siblings play unique roles in each other’s lives and can make a difference when life hits us hard.

My older brother has held my hand and helped me up through some of life’s cruelest moments. I am blessed with the guidance and reminders he still provides me every day when I am struggling to see the good in a situation.

Growing up, my older brother taught me so many lessons about facing life’s challenges.

A new study published in Springer Plus suggests that brothers and sisters are reliable sources of emotional support. Giovanna Perricone from the Department of Psychological, Educational and Training Sciences at the University of Palermo analyzed sibling relationships in correlation with traumatizing events. Perricone found 61 percent of children reported an elder sibling as a useful resource and role model.

My brother would always pick me up from school when I was sick and my parents weren’t available. He would talk me through stressful moments and give me a solid support system when others just weren’t getting it.

Throughout my life, I have seen my brother diligently work and go out of his way to be available to others when they need a helping hand. He continuously reminds me of the kind of person I want to be and the work ethic I want to have.

Love is difficult, and as William Shakespeare said: “The course of true love never did run smooth.”

My brother makes me think of this quote on both a relationship and familial level.

Throughout my life I have seen my brother fall in and out of love, reminding me that your heart is going to break but, as they say, nothing good ever comes easily.

If you love something, it is going to take work and passion. It will be difficult at times, but you have to dive headfirst into what you love in order to get to a positive outcome.

My brother is usually the peacekeeper in our family and always tries to encourage us to talk even when we are angry or holding grudges against one another. No matter how long we fight, I always know we have to work through it to find the love again.

I encourage everyone to rely on the support and relatability a sibling can provide. The unique bonds we have with our siblings can teach us a lot about our outlook on the world around us. The lessons we learn by leaning on our siblings for support are blessings in disguise.

Natalie Hilden is the Opinion Editor for The Collegian and can be reached at
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