In many of my classes, the first day of the semester starts with an introduction about yourself accompanied by a fun fact, and I always include the same one: I have a twin, and he goes to Lehigh too.
Even though people find this exciting, sometimes they follow up with something along the lines of, “Why did you two decide to go to the same school? Don’t you want to become more independent and experience college yourself?”
I never have a good answer because the idea of going to different colleges never really crossed our minds.
When we were applying to schools, our lists were identical with only one or two exceptions. I was first asked this question I was in high school, and I had no idea what to say. I tried to explain why we would enjoy going to the same school, but my feelings are often times inexplicable.
Being asked about it repeatedly before we even attended Lehigh made me wonder, what would it actually be like to go to the same college? Would we see each other often? Would we join different activities?
When we arrived our first year, it was better than I expected. As a shy first-year, my more outgoing twin always introduced me to new people he met and would eat lunch with me before we created our friend groups.
Even though we were in the same computer science class our first semester, we decided to sit by other people to make different friends. This wasn’t always the case, such as when we sat next to each other during our evoLUtion meetings, but we thought it was important to start off college meeting new people. It was comforting, though, to know I had an instant study buddy and someone I knew well in the class.
I think for first-years especially, leaving home for college is hard. You might get homesick, miss hanging out with high school friends and want to be back at home with your mom’s cooking. According to NBC News from a UCLA Higher Education survey, 69 percent of first years are homesick.
For me personally, having my brother around made my first year at Lehigh much easier because I always had someone to turn to. It was helpful when I got lost on my first day of school and during 4 o’clocks when we were up late studying.
One time, he surprised me with popcorn chicken from Hawk’s Nest while I did my work. I would send him notes of encouragement so he wouldn’t be nervous for his exams. Doing little things for each other kept our already strong bond growing stronger during college.
Although it might seem that my twin and I spend a lot of time together, we have learned not to be afraid to pursue our different career goals. I love to hear about my brother’s accounting classes or consulting club. Although I thought of joining with him, I did not enjoy it as much as he did.
That’s OK though, because like any friends or family, I don’t have to like or do the same things. Instead, I looked for journalism and computer science classes and wrote for The Brown and White. He enjoys learning about who I get to interview and what project I am working on next.
We all face new challenges when we get to college, such as how to study well for exams or how to properly do laundry. For me and my twin, having someone to face these challenges with be in walking distance is truly a blessing.
I do not think going to the same school meant we had to do everything together and avoid becoming independent individuals. In fact, it helps to have my best friend close to me. It would have been fine if my twin and I went to separate schools, but I didn’t want to have to call him on the phone and tell him about my college memories.
I wanted to share them with him every step of the way.
Madison Hoff, ’19, is an assistant news editor for The Brown and White. She can be reached at [email protected]