When my peers at university find out that I have a twin sister, I usually get asked questions such as:
“So you two are like, identical?”
“Do you guys ever switch classes to fool the profs?”
(Considering we have mostly take the same courses with the same instructors, no.)
“Is twin telepathy real?!”
(Why is this still being asked?)
I kid you not, I get asked these questions every week. The list goes on and on. My twin sister is in the same program as me, so my classmates often tell me that they are too scared to say hello on campus because they are afraid to say the wrong name. Needless to say, it can be a real struggle.
According to Statistics Canada, there are approximately 120 twin births for every 1000 births in this country. This low statistic naturally leads to people being fascinated with the way we go about life. So, I’ve summarized what having a twin is like into a few advantages and disadvantages.
1. You have an automatic best friend from day one.
My sister and I are essentially each other’s best friends. My sister is the one I confide in the most, the one who I can tell super embarrassing things to without feeling judged. If you’re reading this and you have a twin, you will know exactly what I am talking about. I have an older sister as well, and I love her, but I don’t click with her the way I click with my twin. It’s another level entirely.
My twin is also an important part of my support system, especially since we live together while we are away at university. We motivate each other to continue going, and because we are in the same program, we usually end up studying together. I will always be grateful for her presence.
2. Your twin has you covered for any situation in life.
I cannot count how any times I have been bailed out by my twin. I’m a clumsy person, and some of the recurring favours she does for me include: lending me her calculator when I forget mine and my midterm is in 5 minutes, buying food for me when I forget my wallet, and letting me know when I have food stuck in my teeth. I can always count on her to have my back.
3. Your twin can be simultaneously your #1 fan and your worst critic.
Having a twin means you can automatically go to them for advice. My twin isn’t afraid to roast me if I wear a bad outfit, but she is also the first to text me good luck on exams. I do the same for her, and it keeps us grounded and honest with each other.
1. Your parents will make you share things and dress alike.
This perhaps may not apply to twins who are older, but as a child, my parents used to make my sister and I dress alike, from head to toe. The same shirt, the same pants, and the same shoes. I got tired of people calling us “adorable” or “cute” for wearing the same clothes.
In addition, I used to have to share many things with my twin. For example, if my parents bought toys or games, they would force us to share them. Every time they bought snacks, I would get one half and my twin would get the other. I was a selfish child and insisted on having my own things, so I got into many arguments over who would get the last cookie.
2. A lack of individuality?
This is the aspect of having a twin that I struggle with the most. Ever since we were born, my sister and I were always considered a “package deal” to the world, rather than individuals with our own, with different interests and passions. No matter what I do, my actions and thoughts will be tied back to my sister. For example, if I do well on an exam, my peers will ask me if my sister did just as well. People assume that we have to do everything together, and be together all the time. It’s hard to express yourself and have a sense of self identity when having a twin is the only thing you’re known for. I’m not saying you should just ignore the existence of your twin, but it is important to maintain a good balance between who you are as an individual and who you are with your twin.
With all that being said, do I regret being a twin? Of course not. Despite the number of times I have had to correct people for calling me by my twin’s name, I wouldn’t trade my sister for anything else in the world. Having a twin means going through life with someone every step of the way there with you. And in this world, I could use all the help I can get.