The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

See, Mom; I was born that way

By Susan Tallant/editor-in-chief

Attention younger siblings: It’s not your fault that big brother or sis is so proficient and brainy; it’s just a matter of birth order.

This week, science finally admits success is determined by pecking order, according to a Time magazine cover story, which, I am proud to add, explains why my oldest brother is so darn smart and accomplished and why I chase dreams without a back-up plan.

In June, Norwegian researchers released a study showing firstborns have an average three-point IQ lead over the next eldest, according to the Time story, by Jeffrey Kluger. Three points may not seem like many, but they can add up to a 15-point difference in SAT scores, a very big deal when trying to get into an Ivy League school where every point counts.

The big brother club doesn’t just challenge younger siblings in education; it seems to be exclusive across the board.

Kluger points out a few cases in the story: Elliot Roosevelt, Teddy’s alcoholic younger brother; Roger Clinton, Bill’s cocaine convicted younger brother; Neil Bush, George W. and Jeb’s savings and loan scandal magnet, younger sibling, who once said, “I’ve lost my patience for being compared to my brothers.”

Have you ever heard of Tisa Farrow, an actress known for 1979 horror flick, Zombie? Me either. But we all know of her big sis, Mia. What about Billy Ripken, major league infielder always second to brother Cal, and Eli Manning, NFL quarterback waiting to own a Super Bowl trophy like big brother Peyton’s.

Research now proves oldest siblings tend to have higher IQs, are better-educated and are more likely to hold a professional title such as my big brother, Keith—CFO, CPA and corporate attorney with multiple degrees.

Middle siblings are less connected to family and more to friends, such as my sister Sandra, who recently moved to “get away from everyone.” Middles also de-identify from the firstborn by making opposite career choices, such as my brother Chris, a carpenter with a bachelor’s degree.

Younger siblings, such as myself, are more free-spirited, tolerant of risk and more likely to be an artist, adventurer or entrepreneur.

See, mom? Your daughter—former hairstylist and salon owner turned paralegal for a spell then beauty adviser turned pet-adviser turned college journalism student still trying to figure it all out but having a blast in the process—is normal.

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