09/07/2013 01:57 pm ET Updated Nov 07, 2013

Perks of Being a Middle Child


Personally, I love reading all about birth order and the middle child complex. I find it fascinating in the way that such small details from your childhood can affect you significantly as you're older. It's much like the butterfly effect in which one tiny event -- maybe your mom forgetting to watch your stellar recital because she's rushing off the drive your siblings off to their own places and you're waiting for her to pick you up for 30 minutes in the rain -- and that grows on you and changes you. Birth order reveals more about yourself than you think; more accurate than horoscopes will ever be.

As I'm approaching my junior year in high school and my sixteenth year of living, I've grown to thank the universe for blessing me with the so called, "middle child syndrome." Middles of the world, listen up: you have gifts and opportunities that you should take full advantage of.

When I was younger, my middleness came in handy for trivial things, like whenever I got a bad grades (okay, it still is handy). Generally, my parents focused so much more on my older and younger sisters, and grades were no exception. But this so called neglect, nay, independence, allows me to make up my mind on things like my political, religious, and philosophical views, and ultimately diverge from what my parents had raised me to believe.

By nature, middles are rebellious and unconventional. We question the ordinary -- things most people would overlook. You could imagine the frustration of my dad, who hoped all three of his daughters would take a mathematics or science related path, when I beckoned for his help on my geometry homework. I asked him stuff like why were functions necessary, and how would it help you later in life unless you're an economist or financer because I'm pretty sure studying the line of f(x)=x2 +3x+9 won't save the world or elect the next president or decrease the poverty rate, but try to convince me otherwise.

He didn't.

Nonetheless, as my parents tag along my older sister in college and my younger sister starting her freshmen year who are plunging into business and accounting and fields of biology I didn't even know existed, they have given me my space to experiment in whatever I choose, and room to grow, which I am forever thankful for.

That being said, middles are also a bit lost. But we're not a lost cause. For us, personal growth and discovering who we are is just as important as finding a stable career path and surrounding ourselves with the right friends.

Being the middle child is awesome. Sure, we get the worst of the worst hand-me-downs, and sometimes our siblings gang up on us and we're forced to entertain ourselves, but we are our own best friends, and the ones who will change the world.

Fun fact: Over 50 percent of presidents were middle-borns.

Famous middles:
  • Charles Darwin
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Princess Diana
  • Nelson Mandela
  • 14th Dalai Lama (current)
  • Warren Buffett