Hannah Alm experiences the crazy life of having six older siblings

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Junior Hannah Alm is the youngest of seven children. Growing up she had to learn how to be mature for her age to fit in because most of her siblings were adults before she was even ten years old. 

Hannah says that growing up with so many older brothers made her tougher and taught many life lessons early on. If they weren’t throwing Hannah around or forcing her into little nooks and crannies of their house, she could often find them outside enjoying each other’s company. 

“Growing up it was a lot of fun,” Hannah said. “Having so many older brothers definitely turned me into a tomboy. We were always messing around outside and just having a good time.”

Hannah has copious memories of her family entertaining themselves by taking advantage of her being the youngest in the best way possible. She was always getting tossed around as her brothers found a new ridiculous experience to put her through. 

“We have a laundry chute in our house,” Hannah said, “and my fourth brother—who would have been thirteen at the time—and one of my other brothers tried to pass me down the laundry chute, and I got stuck halfway. My dad had to take apart the wall just to pull me out.”

Moments like these were regularly scattered throughout Hannah’s childhood, but being the youngest of seven children didn’t just mean being the object of excitement. There were also a few drawbacks that she had to deal with over the years. 

Growing up too fast is something adults often warn children about, but as Hannah watched each of her siblings leave the house to begin the next phase of their life while she remains at home, she’s experienced a pain that is bound to age a person. 

“The first few times my siblings left for college,” Hannah said, “it was really sad to watch as they moved on. But, as I got older, I got more used to it and could understand where they were going and why they were leaving a lot better as opposed to when I was younger.”

But even though it hasn’t always been for Hannah, feeling like her siblings are leaving her behind, she has recently started to put forth a greater effort to keep in contact with all of her siblings. 

Each week she tries to call them or do something as simple as text them when she is thinking about them. 

“With them all being out of the house this year,” Hannah said. “I have made more of an effort than ever to stay in contact. I didn’t always do this, but when I started to reach out more, they were all so pleasantly surprised that it made me want to keep doing it.”

She says that although there is not a specific routine that she and her siblings follow, she is still so thankful for any communication as well as the increased opportunity to visit them that she has gained as she becomes older.

Hannah says she is incredibly thankful for the support system she has been able to achieve through her large family.”

“Now that I am sixteen, my parents have let me start to visit my siblings by myself sometimes,” Hannah said. “I really enjoy the freedom from going by myself and, of course, seeing them is always so much fun.”

However, along with this newfound freedom she’s received with everyone else being out of the house, Hannah has also become the prime object of her parents’ attention. 

In her last couple of years of high school, her parents have started to make up for some of the attention she lacked as a kid. 

“I didn’t have the focus on me nearly as much when I was a kid,” Hannah said. “Now though, my parents have given me a lot more attention, and that’s not always a good thing, but I do like it the majority of the time.”

These new shifts in lifestyle continue to affect Hannah, but she is so thankful for the support system she has been able to have through her large family. 

Whether Hannah and her siblings are right next to each other or all in different states, they still always find a way to stay connected. That type of commitment is what helps Hannah to make it through some of the more difficult challenges growing up has put on her. 

“Having so many siblings has both good and bad [in it],” Hannah said, “but knowing you always have someone to turn to makes it all worth it.”