Bad News For Big Sisters

Science is screwing us over


It seems like Science has decided to take away the ONE thing that elder siblings have on their side.



A recent study from the University of Illinois found that although elder siblings may have a slightly higher IQ, the difference is so small that it’s pretty much irrelevant. In fact, Professor Brent Roberts, who led the research, described the magnitude as ‘miniscule’. Thanks, Brent.

Therefore, this study undermines all previous studies which found the elder sibling to be more intelligent.

Unfortunately, this latest revelation doesn’t shock me. My younger sister Claudia, who is three years my junior, got better GCSE, A-levels and SATs than me. She’s now at university doing exactly the same degree, and guess what, she’s knocking out firsts left, right and centre.


Here are some other reasons why being the elder child sucks.

I was the test child

Because I was the first child my parents had to raise, they weren’t quite sure which ages were appropriate for certain things. For instance, after much persuasion, I was allowed to go into town to hang out with my friends on a Saturday at age 13. Once they’d sampled this and knew that I wasn’t going to be taken, Liam Neeson style, my younger siblings were able to do it earlier. Where’s the justice?

She gets my clothes

Although nowadays, given that we’re adults, we’re pretty much the same dress size so can borrow each others’ clothes, Claudia had dibs on this from a much younger age. During our teenage years, she effectively had every girl’s dream - two wardrobes.

She’s way cooler than I am

While I underwent public humiliation figuring out fashion dos & dont's for myself, she’s had someone to advise her: ‘Claud, a slicked back pony tail with two strands of hair pulled down over your face is not okay, I tried it all through year 6/7and it still haunts me’.

The overwhelming sense of responsibility

With great power comes great responsibility. I’m supposed to be setting an example. This is probably why I never got a detention at school. Again, these actions had consequences. The by-product of my dutiful benevolence was the added label of the ‘sensible one’, or worse, ‘the boring one’.

She can listen to my advice/wisdom

As if my clothes and shoes weren’t enough, she also gets my life experience. Whilst I had to fend for myself during those tumultuous teenage years, she has someone to say: ‘That happened to me and it’s okay, you’ll be fine’. Be it leaving for uni, travelling, falling out with friends, getting in to trouble, going on a date, finding a boyfriend, breaking up with a boyfriend, you get the idea. She gets all my worldly wisdom.

I guess I have to hold on to the fact that no matter what happens, I will always be able to pull rank. I am older and wiser and with that comes a maturity that she will never be able to compete with. And oldest always gets to call shotgun.


Words by: Olivia Blair

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