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The Hanssen Sisters

Lauren (left), Paige (holding me), and me (little Cella)

With it being the end of my senior year, I've been feeling extra sentimental lately. It is also especially surreal because I am the youngest of three girls - the last baby bird leaving the nest haha. I've been looking forward to this moment since my sister Paige first graduated seven years ago. First, Paige left. Then, Lauren, and now it's my turn. It has been really hard being the only child at home for the last three years. For all of you only-children out there, I don't know how you do it. My sisters have played such a fundamental role in my life so far, and even though we don't get along all the time, I wouldn't want to be with anyone else. So, I am going to describe a little bit about the Hanssen sister dynamic and how we stopped from killing one another.

Paige (tallest in purple coat)

Paige is the oldest, born February 12, 1998. She is known in my family as the high-maintenance child (she still calls herself a princess). She was a little sassy when she was younger, if sassy is the word you would use to describe someone who waited at the window asking for their newborn sister to be taken back. Growing up with Paige was kind of strange for me because she was almost in a whole different generation: different styles, different interests, different traditions, etc. If I'm being completely honest, I never felt very close to her. I obviously love her, but because of our age gap it was a little difficult to connect. Paige and I are very very different, but we have really good conversations sometimes. She also laughs at all my jokes, and I laugh at her when she speaks with different accents. She is 25 now, and I don't see her too often. She has accomplished so much in her career as a strength and conditioning sports manager/coach (I don't know her actual title, but she does a ton of stuff). I don't tell her enough, but I am proud of her and happy that she is happy.

Lauren (pink skirt with upside down sunglasses)

Lauren is the middle child, born March 20, 2002. Lauren is pretty much the coolest person in the world. First of all, she is so beautiful. Second, she is incredibly intelligent. Third, she is the kindest person I have ever met. Fourth, she has superior taste in all areas of style. Fifth, she is absolutely hilarious. And the list goes on and on. Anyways, all of her attributes have made her a fan-favorite Hanssen sister, and rightfully so! When we were little, Lauren and I played all the same sports, shared the same clothes, went to the same school, were picked up in the same car everyday, and even shared the same room. Being only two and a half years older than me, I have always been very close to Lauren. My freshman year of high school, she was a senior at North Scott. It was really strange because it was all of Lauren's lasts and all of my firsts, so it made me really depressed that I was a lousy freshman with four full years left. Having an older sister in high school though is actually pretty awesome, because she let me in on all the scoop and forced me to get involved in things I was really scared of. Then, COVID happened and we were stuck inside for four months. We went through all of that crap together, and it made our friendship even stronger. Lauren is now 21 and goes to University of Northern Iowa. I consider her my closest friend, and I love her with all my being.

Me (sleepy baby)

Then, there's me:) If you haven't figured it out by now, I am Cella Hanssen, the youngest, born November 26, 2004. I'm not the brightest in the head or the most accomplished, but I do pride myself on being the funniest, silliest, and most outgoing (me being the most outgoing kind of says a lot about my sisters' personalities). All of us have our own bits of trauma, but since I had mine kind of early on and it affected me so heavily, I matured very fast for my age. I also think I have the best sense of humor because of it. One of my favorite lines is when someone says, "I feel cold," and I say "maybe you're malnourished." That one always gets a laugh. Besides that, I'm probably the most forgettable sister, and I am 100% unbothered. I love my life the way it is, and I have learned to let go of the people and things that don't serve me in life. It's not worth all of the tears and frustration. I am 18 now, an adult; however, I still have a lot to discover about the world. It's honestly really scary to think about getting older, but I think it's finally time for me to be my own person and not live in the shadow of my sisters.

So, that's it! It's pretty hard to retell 18 years of experience in one Lance article, but like I said at the beginning, I just wanted to give you a little gist of each of us. Sometimes when I am sad, I imagine myself in pajamas watching T.V. with my mom and sisters eating Goldfish without a care in the world, and it makes me happy. I miss being little and carefree. I miss feeling like the youngest, since now all of us are functioning adults and have actual individual thoughts. I haven't even begun to fathom this new chapter of my life I am racing towards, but my biggest wish is that my sisters stay by my side through the rest of my life.

Me, Lauren, Paige (Christmas 2022)

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Unknown member
May 10, 2023

This is such a sweet love letter, Cella! Thanks for publishing it.

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