Don’t you love this video? It really puts some perspective to big families and the greatness that can come from them. Being from a large family myself, I was excited to get this post submission from a fellow oldest child. Kamilah has taken the lessons she learned in her family and has transferred those to the college scene, finding more than one similarity. Here’s what she has to day on the matter…

For me it was far more than survival. Being the eldest of six children has shaped me into a successful college student and a happy young woman.
College presents many high school grads with one huge hurdle: time management. I can safely say that I would never have become good at managing my time if I had not learned from my parents, who coordinated the activities of six young children, each of whom did an average of two sports, piano lessons, and some other extra curricular club. I saw in my parents a commitment to give each child as much opportunity to socialize, exercise, and have fun as they could. On top of this, they always made time for each other.

Following their example, I am now able to see my time not only as my time, but as time for others—as a basket of goods that I need to distribute to all of my different priorities: school, family life, volunteering, friends, and exercise. I do not see my time as something I need to hoard for myself, but as a tool I can use at the service of my family, friends, and society.

So when I have essays due, I still find time to make it every week to the high school tutoring agency I volunteer at as well as run a cultural club for young teenagers. Because I want to have time for these things, I have learned to work more efficiently and plan my time better so as to be able to do both school and volunteering. If my parents had not shown me the value of giving time to others, I would never have been motivated to do this volunteer work, and I subsequently would never have learned to work on my school work intensely and efficiently.

I do have to work intensely. To do so many things does require a lot of hard work. But being the eldest of a large family also taught me how to do that. My parents worked hard to support us and help us to get ahead in the world. They always encouraged each of their children to do their best in school and sports, and because of this, I have a good work ethic and set high goals for myself in college. I am by no means a genius, and if I am to get good grades, it is through hard work. Seeing the work my parents put in to raising six children and to support them has inspired me to keep working when I am tired or it seems boring. I just remember the image of my mother making meals day after day, changing thousands of diapers, and teaching each child to read and to do math, when I’m sure that was far from interesting, or easy.

Sure life in a big family has its ups and downs, as does the life of any human person. But I can safely say that without my family, I would never have learned to work hard as I do, to manage time as well as I do, and to give my time to others as I do. Learning these things has made me a successful college student and a generous and happy young woman.

Tiger Print is always looking for interesting and thought provoking pieces on fashion, style and culture. Have something you’d like to share or something you’d like to see addressed? Shoot Katie an email.