“Can you read each other’s minds?” “If someone hurts him, do you feel it?”
“Do you ever switch places with each other to confuse people?”
These are common questions that twins all over the world hear almost routinely. One important question that they are also asked on arrival to college is why they decided to attend the same college after being together for at least 18 years.
For most high school seniors, the first move after graduation is to pack up and head to the college of their choice. Many students look forward to leaving the nest in order to get a fresh start. Moving away to college means leaving behind their parents, pets and siblings that have played a huge role in the development of who they are. As for twins, they have lived their entire lives side by side and may feel differently about whether or not to begin the next chapter with their other half.
Brandon and Timothy Stryker are freshman at Tyler Junior College and were born only 13 minutes apart. The two attended high school in Summerville, SC, but opted to attend Tyler Junior College instead of the junior college in their area. The two are both looking to pursue a nursing degree and become RN’s and were lured to Tyler because of the nursing program. Since they have the same degree plan and were traveling so far from home, they felt it only made sense for them to go to the same school.
“I think the reason why most twins go to the same college, especially if it’s an out-of-state college, is because when you don’t know anybody, you’ll at least know one person. We thought about going to different colleges, but we balance each other out,” said Brandon Stryker.
Noelle and Naomi Giron are also freshman at TJC, who were born 30 minutes apart. Unlike the Strykers, Noelle and Naomi have different career paths; Noelle is studying prevision care and Naomi biology, but had other reasons for wanting to go to the same college.
For many families paying college tuition for two children at the same time can be a little overwhelming.
“Well, it was cheaper, our parents didn’t have to split up the money and we wanted to be together. We didn’t want to be away from our parents for the first time and be alone,” said Naomi.
Paying one lump sum of tuition to one school as opposed to two was one of the benefits that the family would have by sending the twins to school together. Naomi and Noelle decided that rooming with each other would also be an easy money saver.
“Our parents wouldn’t have to buy two sets of everything, two refrigerators, two TV’s,” said Naomi. “It’s also good because I know she won’t steal any of my stuff and since we share most of our stuff, it makes it easier.”
Although both sets of twins have made the decision to attend junior college together, they have to begin to think about what paths they are going to take after their time at TJC is complete. As for Brandon and Timothy, they have decided to remain a duo for a little while longer.
“We’re hopefully going to UT-Tyler for about a year and we’ll probably get a job and then go our separate ways,” said Brandon. “I mean, we’ll always keep in touch because we’re brothers, but that’ll probably be the hardest time.”
Having different majors and ultimately different aspirations will be what finally separates twins Naomi and Noelle after receiving their Associates degrees in Tyler.
“I want to transfer to A&M. That’s my first option, or I am going to join the military. She wants to transfer to Baylor. It’s going to be different because, yeah, we’ve been apart, but not for that long. We’ve been together since we were in our mom’s belly; I think it will be the first time that we see the real meaning of loneliness,” said Naomi.
Unlike the Strykers and Girons, Elise and Ariel Rives, who are just 15 minutes apart, had to cope with separating from each other immediately for their first semester in college. The two both wanted to attend Texas State University in San Marcos, but after Ariel was admitted, Elise’s parents suggested that she come to TJC for her first two years and later transfer to Texas State for her junior and senior years. Although this is
her first time being away from her sister, Elise finds that their relationship has ultimately become better since the two went their separate ways.
“It’s different, a lot different than I thought it would be. We shared a lot of things like a bathroom and a car, which made us closer but it also made us fight. So being away from her makes me miss her more than I thought and when we see each other, we’re so happy because we’ve been away from each other for so long and not used to it,” said Elise.
Whatever the matter, creating an individual identity is an important, vital part of becoming an adult. The bond that these siblings have is unlike one that any individual could be able to understand.