A letter to my big sister


Sixteen years, 202 months, 6,159 days, and approximately 800,949,836 heartbeats all spent with you before you begin the next chapter of your life. 

Still, I can not digest the fact that you will be starting college next fall. It feels like just yesterday we were six and eight, sitting under your loft contemplating our lives. Now look where we are. Jaelynn and I are sophomores, and you’re a senior. Where has the time gone?

Our life has been absolutely crazy, but despite the unknown, you always had a sense of strength and belief that we would get through whatever was next.  

So, thank you. Thank you for having the hope that I never had. Thank you for loving me as I am. Thank you for showing me what it truly looks like to use my voice, the voice you always knew I had. The voice that was buried, deeper than the depths of the ocean, untouched and unacknowledged, constantly being pushed further down. 

My dear sister, I can only hope that you have done all that you wish to as your high school years are coming to an end. I hope that you hold onto all the experiences you had, the memories you made, for they have helped shape you into who you are. 

My advice to you is this: pour your heart and soul into everything you do. Be authentic, and never hide who you truly are. 

I encourage you to watch just a couple more sunsets with the people that make you feel at home. I encourage you to stay up all night talking with your best friends while counting the many stars in the sky. Feel the brisk air of the morning breeze wisp across your face as you sit there in awe of the beautiful, captivating sunrise that paints the entire sky like a scene from a movie. 

I encourage you to watch just a couple more sunsets with the people that make you feel at home.”

I encourage you to open yourself up to new friendships and new experiences. 

Give people a chance, and try new things. You never know just how much joy you will find unless you are willing to branch out. 

Sit around a campfire and absorb the warmth of those vibrant orange flames. Tell stories about stupid things you’ve done throughout high school or talk about what makes you you. 

Do what makes you happy. Plain and simple. You. Not your family, friends, teachers, or peers. Only you. 

Keep your faith, and never forget how precious you are. 

As you embark on this new journey, never forget who you are and where you come from. Trust God, and love people with your whole heart. I can’t wait to see what is in store for you. I will miss our never-ending conversations about church camp and even our pointless time-consuming arguments. 

Enjoy this next phase of your life. Go be a light wherever you end up. I love you. Even though I don’t always show it, I really do. Thank you for being my big sister and my best friend all in one. 

Your little sister,

Julia Carlson