An Open Letter To My Little Sister, Who’s 21 Years Younger Than Me

Dear Little Sister,

You’re only five years old now, so a lot of what I am about to say may seem weird to you and probably really silly. You won’t understand it now, but my hope is that someday you will. And when you do finally realize what I’m talking about here, this letter will then be as helpful as I hoped it would while I was writing it.

  1. It’s OK to not be perfect. This world will put a lot of pressure on you to be something they think is ideal, perfect, or the “right” way to be. It’ll tell you how to dress and what you’re supposed to look like and how you’re supposed to act, but I’m telling you now — whatever you are and however you look is perfect because it’s you.
  2. You can be whatever you want, but go to college first. It’s fine that you may not want to be a doctor or a teacher. You might want to be a hair stylist or travel the world with nothing but a backpack. But please, go to college first. There’s more to college than exams and degrees. An education is something that can never be taken away from you. Fall in love with learning before you try to learn about the world.
  3. Learn how to forgive. There will be a lot of people in this world who will hurt your feelings and make you sad. You might be betrayed or get your heart broken. Please try to find it in your heart to forgive those who wrong you. Nothing is worse than living a life full of bitterness and resentment. Your heart is too soft for that, so treat it nicely.
  4. Choose happiness every day. Forgiving people doesn’t mean you let them walk all over you – it just means that you know you’re choosing to be happy. I want you to choose that happiness every day. Choose to never let sadness hide your sparkle.
  5. Know that you deserve the world. People who hurt you have no place in your life. People who doubt you don’t know what they’re talking about. People who say you’re not good enough are only projecting their own insecurities. Surround yourself with those who support and uplift you, and offer the same to them.
  6. Believe in love. It’s real, sweetheart. It’s real and it’s there for everyone if you believe in it.
  7. Allow yourself to be too sensitive. This world will try and tell you that sensitivity is a bad thing. It’ll tell you to not let people see you cry and to not let your guard down for fear of getting hurt. This is rubbish. It takes bravery to be sensitive and courage to let your guard down. Only the bravest of people can do these things, and you are brave.
  8. Keep your innocence for as long as you can. Allow yourself a childhood. Allow yourself to live blissfully unaware that this world can be scary. Allow yourself to take heart in the smallest things. Allow yourself to be excited easily. Allow yourself to be trusting.
  9. Be your own best friend. Nobody will ever know and love you like you love yourself. Always trust in yourself. Be your own motivator, challenger, and lover.
  10. Last but not least, be you. Never, ever, let anyone change who you are. You are you for a reason, and you’re wonderful.


Your big sister

Kasandra Lynn is a freelance writer and blogger living in a small town. She is an aspiring novelist with a BA in English, has completed 2 novels, writes for multiple non-profit organizations and gets her blog,, published in a weekly column for her local newspaper.