It’s a Twin Thing

The ups and downs of raising and being twins

Senior and fraternal twins Annie and Yannie Wu embrace in a hug as they spend the day together at Tysons Corner. When they were younger, they often wore matching clothes and engaged in the same activities.

Senior and fraternal twins Annie and Yannie Wu embrace in a hug as they spend the day together at Tysons Corner. When they were younger, they often wore matching clothes and engaged in the same activities.

Nyla Carter-Ogden and Priscilla Woo, Features editor and Academics editor

“Can you read each other’s minds?” 

“Can you feel each other’s pain?” 

“Can you finish each other’s sentences?” 

As twins, we grew up hearing these questions, and we’re not the only ones. With over 10 sets of twins in the senior class alone, the twin experience has impacted many students and staff members.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, twin birth rates increased over 70% between 1980 and 2004, the time span in which most twins in the school were born. From questions to astonished stares, both twins and their parents alike face unique experiences in their day-to-day lives. 

Most parents don’t expect their first child to be not one, but two bundles of joy. Physical education teacher Carmen Wise received this surprise when she became a mother to fraternal twin daughters Riley and Reagan.

“[My husband and I] were ready, but weren’t necessarily expecting two,” Wise said. “They’re so different, but they both love and support each other in many things.”

Twins have similar experiences with people’s questions, comments and general puzzled behavior.

“Many people are constantly mixing me up with my brother,” senior and identical twin Derek Kwon said. “They treat us [like] we’re the same person.”

The comparison that twins face can be inevitable as they are perceived similarly even when differences are seemingly evident. Although fraternal twins may look different, they are not exempt from the common twin treatment. 

“At times it can get really annoying when we’re compared for every single thing we do,” senior and fraternal twin Annie Wu said.

While the complaints of having someone so similar to yourself are familiar, twins know that they form the strongest bonds in their unique situations. 

“The best thing is that I have a best friend that I can always rely on,” senior and identical twin Eric Kwon said. “I feel like I would be lost and wouldn’t have someone to relate with if I never had a twin. I’d be dealing with life experiences without a brother.”

All teens have to deal with the challenges of growing up, but the parents of twins have to navigate murky waters specific to their circumstances. From figuring out the best way to handle two kids at once, to attempting to accommodate their various interests, parents of twins deal with it all.

“I was always big on keeping them together. In elementary school, I wanted them in the same class. Some parents think a little differently, but I think that while they’re young, I want them to [be] together as a family,” Wise said. “[Now,] they go to separate schools, so they do things very independently. I think it was a nice lifestyle for them to start off together and be confident with one another and then break off and be independent.”

Twins ultimately have to go their separate ways in the world, and some wonder whether or not, given the option, they would choose to be a twin again.

“I would have a twin [brother again if I could] because it’s great having someone in your family that is a lot like you with similar interests,” Eric Kwon said.

Some cite the guidance and wisdom that an older sibling might have as an alternative.

“I think it would be fun to have an older sibling, who has already gone through what I am currently going through,” Wu said. “[They could] give me advice rather than figuring it out at the same time as me.”

Being a twin provides experiences unlike any other, fostering a close connection that is distinct from a normal sibling bond because of the abundant amount of time spent together. A twin is an instant best friend, guide and competitor alike. Having someone there who can always push you, help you and provide a shoulder throughout life is a relationship like no other.

“Much like any other siblings, conflicts may arise from time to time, but there is no relationship in life like that of a twin,” senior and fraternal twin Skyler Hundley said. “My sister and I have gone through so much together, both good and bad, but in the end I know that I will always have somebody by my side.”