Question:What will you contribute to our community?
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Maggie. I have rarely heard my name said by my family. Instead, when I was born, I became half of an inseparable pair known as ‘The Sisters’.
From the hideous matching jumpsuits to the Christmas presents addressed to both of us…I adored it all. A cool older sibling to hang out with where minutes turned to hours, and the hours went unnoticed, became a place I never wanted to leave. But somewhere along the lines I craved my own identity. Even though we are only 18 months apart, I grew out of the love of being lumped together with Emily. Never doing anything on my own. Although we had grown out of sharing a room and our clothing nine years ago, we still went everywhere together. Still known as ‘The Sisters’.
But then Emily graduated and flew across the country to college. Finally I had independence. Only it was not quite living up to my expectations. Gone was my role model, my gossip pal, my fellow partner in crime. Suddenly, I had to be my own person but I was not sure who that person was.
So I took some time. Took some time to reflect on what we have been through and what she has taught me. Without her, I would not have been prepared for the all night cramming sessions for an AP exam. Without her paving the way with minor fender benders (a school bus, a rental car, a pole), I would not have the unblemished record I am so proud to hold today. Without her, I would not have been prepared for the drive and determination it takes to be a varsity athlete, or the commitment to my teammates to support them in being their best.
Emily taught me that being a kind person was not just being nice to your friends. You have to show kindness and respect to all people. Wearing a ‘Be a Buddy not a Bully” pin on my backpack, not afraid of being judged.
I learned the value of family through her. Going on countless 30-plus hour road trips, playing games, watching movies and laughing the whole way in the back seat. Lingering at the dinner table, listening, sharing, and learning a bit more about each other along the way.
Thinking about it, I came to appreciate the times we shared together. My happiest childhood memories involve her. I cherish the times we spent scheming to get our parents to take us for ice-cream. I treasure the times we spent making our traditional ‘back to school’ cookies and eating half the dough. I relish in the times we shared in our bunk beds, telling secrets and planning our lives. She helped to make my childhood a constant adventure. I would be a different person without her. She helped me feel confident in my own abilities to take this next step in my education, career and dreams.
Through being a part of ‘The Sisters’ I have discovered myself. I have learned Maggie stands for determination. It stands for intelligence and kindness. Most importantly it stands for the other half of ‘The Sisters’, and I would not want my family to call me by anything else.