Oh, brother. Life is full of adventure, and having a sibling is sometimes a whole adventure in itself. You’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way — how to tie your shoes, how to buy a plane ticket, and how to be a good friend — but nothing quite compares to the things you learn from your older brother when you’re in your 20s.
A lot changes when you’re adulting. We don’t play the same games (Chutes and Ladders, anyone?), read the same books, or have many of the same problems anymore. What was once hours dreaming about Disney World and summer camp, is now hours wondering where to get takeout for dinner and how to get car insurance. Life became more realistic, and fast.
But nostalgia aside, being 20-something has its perks. You might not be dreaming of breakfast with Minnie Mouse and tie-dying T-shirts anymore (Maybe you are. I’m not here to judge.), but you’re imagining bigger things for yourself. Perhaps you want to travel more, write a book, or launch a business. The world is your oyster, and you’re even luckier because you have an older brother to help you figure it all out.
Growing up, brothers were all about teasing, arguing, and always showing you something cool (or gross.) As a 20-something, brothers are good for just being there — bringing valuable life lessons and a beer to any life adventure. Here are seven things you’ll learn from having your older brother around right now.
1How To Be Confident AF
You don’t have to be the loudest and strongest person in the room. You just need to be yourself.
Older brothers always seem to just know what’s going on — and maybe that’s why they’re generally so cool, calm, and collected. They understand the rules of poker, why some jokes just never get old, and that believing in yourself doesn’t have to be as cheesy as it seems.
2Studying Abroad Is Always A Good Idea
Going into college I knew I wanted to study abroad. My brother had gone to Florence, Italy for a six-week study abroad program with his university and instantly recommended it. The trip looked incredible. Traveling all over Europe, and eating endless amounts of wine and pasta? Yes, please.
After I was accepted into the program, he started recommending all the good restaurants, bars, and teachers in Florence. Two years later, and studying abroad is still my favorite story to tell.
3How To Actually Cook
Being able to cook a meal for yourself is an underrated life skill. Right after studying abroad, my brother became a low-key gourmet — whipping up homemade pizza with a garlic-infused crust, and fresh pasta with tomato sauce.
4Two Words: Brewery Recommendations
From your basic Bud Light to the most obscure IPA, brothers are amazing for beer and brewery recommendations. They’ll know your taste, and help you steer clear of the lagers that just don’t make the cut.
5Some Fights Aren’t Worth Having
As you get older, you gain a lot of perspective. Your world becomes bigger, and you realize that agreeing to disagree is sometimes just the best option.
Truth is, in the moment, being able to put in the last piece of the puzzle might mean . But in the bigger picture, there are a lot more puzzles to go.
6Choosing Yourself Over Family Is Sometimes OK
Family will always be there, even when you aren’t. Sometimes, the people we love can cause us a lot of drama and stress. It’s OK in those times to take a step back for a minute and choose yourself.
Being 20-something also means you have a lot of possibilities ahead of you, some of which might be scary for other people in your life to face and accept. Maybe you have to move abroad for a job, or are spending extra time with your coworkers and friends, instead of attending the annual family reunion.
Whatever it may be, it’s OK. Your older brother will understand this most of all because he was there, not too long ago, too.
7You Always Have Family No Matter Where You Go
So, maybe you do move abroad for a job, or move out and get your own apartment just a town away. No matter where your life takes you, your family will always still be family.
As siblings, life will pull you both in all different directions and corners of the Earth. But, you’re just a text away from your roots.