Abbey Mitchell, ‘21, and Natalie Mitchell, ‘21, knew they wanted to come to college together.
The girls share a unique bond —they are twins.
“We work better together, even if we aren’t in the same classes, even if we are playing different instruments,” Abbey Mitchell said. “We end up having a better time when we do things together.”
Back in high school, they were in many of the same classes so they were already used to studying together.
They both knew they were interested in STEM, which made it easy for them to find the right school they could attend together.
When they both got into Lehigh, they knew that was the right choice for them.
Although they are both math and science-oriented students and wound up in the IDEAS program together, they study different things. Abbey Mitchell studies biomechanical engineering and health medicine and society, while Natalie Mitchell studies product design and mechanical engineering.
Abbey Mitchell said she remembers one night where they stayed up all night studying for a linear methods math exam. Since they think very differently, Abbey Mitchell said she understood the material in a way that Natalie Mitchell didn’t, so she was able to teach her in a way that made sense to her.
“We know each other so well that we know each other’s learning styles,” Abbey Mitchell said. “We are each other’s best study partner and teachers.”
Natalie ended up doing better on that exam than Abbey did, the twins said.
Despite living together for most of college and spending most of their time together, they still feel like they have maintained space from one another.
“If we needed space there was a whole campus we could go to,” Natalie Mitchell said. “We still had our individual friends as well. There weren’t really any times where we felt like we really just needed space because there was space since we had different classes. Then when we saw each other, we could talk about those things.”
Alea Oakman, ‘20, met the Mitchells on their first Thursday of college. They all did Cru together and were in the IDEAS program, so they bonded quickly.
“I think it is really cool to see siblings that get along really well,” Oakman said. “You can tell that something that one does might bother the other—they are still siblings—but they are very patient with each other and I think that is really cool to see because you don’t see that very often. Especially at college when siblings don’t usually go to the same college.”
Oakman said it was easy being friends with them and it was great having a relationship with both while still remaining close with each of them individually.
“It was really awesome to have friends that are so close to each other but who also wanted to be friends with me personally too,” Oakman said. “They are two different people. The things that they struggle with or want to talk to me about are going to be different. Even if some things might be similar, they are still two different people.”
Now that the Mitchells are graduating, they are going to be apart from each other for the first time in their lives. Abbey Mitchell received the Presidential Scholarship and will be staying at Lehigh for a fifth year. Natalie Mitchell will be going home and looking for a job.
The twins said they are most interested in seeing how their communication skills are going to change now that they won’t be together.
Natalie Mitchell said they don’t text a lot since they are always with each other.
But the two of them are grateful that they have gotten to spend their time at Lehigh together.
“It has been such a blessing to be able to share college, which is supposed to be one of the best times of your life, with someone who has always been my best friend and will always be my best friend,” Abbey Mitchell said.