Don’t Judge Me By My Sister

Let Me Blaze My Own Trail


(Family Photo with permission)

Cassie Marando (left) laughing at her younger sister Katie Marando (right)

Katherine Marando, Contributor

The first day of high school is a time when first impressions are made. First impressions are a big deal, and they all start with the mundane task of saying “here” when the teacher calls your name. In my case, he or she will usually stop and say something like, “Marando? Are you Cassie’s sister?” Inside, I want to say, “No, I’m Katie. Please don’t define me by my sister.” But, I reply “yes,” and the teacher says something like, “Really? I used to have her; she was a great student!” Although this seems harmless, it makes me feel looked over. It was my sister’s name and reputation that drew the teacher’s attention – not mine.

I feel like I am living in the shadow of her accomplishments, like they expect me to live up to her standards. And, even if they don’t, I still feel pressured to do as well, or better than her. Despite my own determination, her success continues to hang over me. She has been class president since her freshman year and was a highly achieved scholar leader in the eighth grade.

It is important to realize that I am my own person, and I can never be a clone of her.”

— Katherine Marando

I have always been compared to her. My parents want me to succeed and understand that we are different people, but I feel as if I am overlooked sometimes academically.  I understand that I am not her, and I am not jealous of her accomplishments, but I feel like her strengths in academics overshadow mine.

I believe that many other students who have accomplished siblings, in either athletics or academics, feel that they have to fill the shoes of an older sibling. It is hard trying to compete with a sibling. Ultimately, it is more important to realize that I am my own person and not a clone of her. I will try my best and give 100% towards my school work. However, that is all I can do. If you have this dilemma, hang in there. After a while, the teacher will know you for you, and not your sister.