Well, it’s here. Reveal. Either you’re proudly calling a sister “big” or you’re still waiting to see who will pop out of the box (or whatever cliché theme your chapter chose). Whichever it is, congrats! You’ve now entered into a serious college relationship. Lucky you. And while most people think that the big runs this relationship, they’re wrong. It’s just as important that the little is accepting (read: not a asshole) of her new role in the chapter, and in someone else’s life. And here you thought things would be easy. LOL nah.
But before you FTFO, here are seven little tips that can help you bond with your big. If you do these, chances are you’ll have a lifelong partnership with an amazing person. Or at least score a birthday present every year. Same thing, really.
You know all of those gifts that magically appear for you from your big? How about the crafts she stayed up all night to perfect, or the texts she sends right before a huge test or date? Yeah, she doesn’t have to do that. She does it because she wants to make you happy. So instead of complaining about how your friend got more t-shirts at Initiation, or expecting a gift every time you walk into the house, realize how spoiled you seem. Stop. Take a breath, and send your big a “thank you” text. Trust me, she’ll appreciate it more than you know.
Make Time For Her
College is filled with tons of people and activities, and your big gets that. She expects you to hangout with your friends, roommates, and boyfriend. But if you bail on her every time she asks to get coffee, or never make an effort to hangout, then chances are your relationship is going to get really stale, really fast. Arrange for some one-on-one time to get to know her. Try to do it without drinking. Okay, you can drink. But don’t always get shitfaced. The longer you wait, the higher the chances of it never working out and severing your family tree.
But Don’t Expect Too Much Time
That being said, don’t expect your big to spend every second with you. I know, I know. She said she’d always be there for you, and she is. In theory. But considering that she’s older, chances are she has even more of a life than you. Don’t think that you can tag along to everything she does or that you have to spend every second together. Give her some space to breathe and love you from a distance.
Don’t Compare Your Relationship
This can be hard. Maybe you didn’t get the big you wanted. Maybe you guys don’t take as many cute pictures as other big little pairs. Maybe she’s more of a mentor than a friend, or a sister instead of a drinking buddy. Whatever it is, don’t compare your relationship to other sister’s relationships. No two people are alike, and I’m sure there are some things she’d like to change about you. Use it, and use this as a chance to get to know someone new. Who knows? Maybe you’ll actually become a better, more well-rounded person. Which is sort of the point of getting a big in the first place. See? It’s all coming together.
Try To Make It Work
No matter what the situation is, try to make it work. Maybe she’s dating a guy you hate, or until reveal you didn’t even know she existed. That doesn’t give you an excuse to be a bitch. Smile. Be nice. Get to know her. There’s a reason she’s in that chapter, and there’s a reason the two of you were paired together. Take that as a sign to get close to someone you never expected to get close to. Don’t call other girls “big” and don’t drop just because she doesn’t like Taylor Swift the way you do. Because at the very least, remember the first point? She’ll give you presents. So calm down. In ten years it really, really wont matter.
I’m not saying you need to spoil her like she spoils you. That what she had a big for. All I’m saying is consider picking up the tab for coffee or drinks every once in a while. Surprise her with something cute. Text her when she’s having a hard time. She doesn’t just exist to give you stitched letters and buy you Starbs. She’s looking for a support system too. Remember that the next time you order shots and the bill comes. Trust me, she’ll brag about you forever.
Love Her No Matter What
Surprisingly, this girl wasn’t put on this Earth to only be your big sister. And she’s not perfect. She’s going to mess up. She’s going to let you down. She’s not going to be able to be there for you 100 percent of the time, and she’s going to disagree with you. But chances are, she’s trying really hard. Do your part and love her. Love her no matter what. And if you can’t do that, at least respect her. She didn’t have to take you as a little, and she doesn’t have to still be here trying. Cut her some slack, and she’ll be yours forever.
So as you move forward in the chapter, and someday take a little of your own, remember what it’s like. And remember that your big needs you just as much as you need her. At the end of it all, you’re sisters. And that comes before presents, petty fights, or who picked up the tab, no matter what..