I Believe in My Brother
By Katie Vincent '15 May 2014
After taking AP exams, many teachers of AP classes try to find fun, intellectual challenges for their students in the remaining weeks of the school year. In both Mr. Hark’s and Mr. Biersach’s AP Language and Composition classes, students were asked to write and deliver a “This I Believe” speech, based on the radio program that began in the 1950s.
I’ve always felt special having an older brother. Whether it’s true or not, I’ve always felt my brother Ben and I share a certain closeness and level of understanding and familiarity that are uncommon in a brother and sister who are five years apart. Ever since I was younger, he’s had both a sweetness and goofiness around me. He cried when I had to go to the hospital when I was four years old, but he also terrified me when he pretended to call the police while we waited for our parents in the car when I was seven. We couldn’t be more different people; while I am stressed and perfectionistic, he’s calm and efficient. We differ in our work ethics and interests. We are undeniably related; we can hear someone say something completely innocuous in public, look at each other, and burst out laughing at something we both found strangely hilarious.
We’ve shared this bond for years, but I especially felt I became closer to him when he came home from college after two years to take a gap year. During his time home, I began to see a new dimension of my brother. Maybe it was that I hadn’t been able to see him as clearly when I was younger, but Ben had always seemed to me to be the unemotional, calm one, compared to me. I discovered that he, too, has insecurities, but he tends to hide his, while I am more vocal about them. I realized that I am more like him than I had known. I realized we both have doubts about who we are and what we are doing with our lives.
Recently, Ben graduated from college. As I listened to my father and mother say a few words as we toasted to him, my eyes welled up with tears. I am not someone who cries in front of others, but that past weekend I found myself overwhelmed with pride and admiration for my older brother several times. After seeing him struggle to find his path his first few years of college, I am overjoyed that he graduated and seems to be so happy now, with a job lined up for next year and a wonderful girlfriend. I look up to Ben for his thoughtful, kind, compassionate nature, and I think I would be a better person if I had the ability he has to see what’s important in life. I believe he is going to have a happy life and that he needed that year off of college to gain perspective. Ben could never fail in my eyes. I believe in the person Ben always has been and always will be to me, above all else: my hilarious, weird, and completely lovable older brother.