Exploring the Bonds of Twinship

Journalist Abigail W. ( right ) gathers together 3 sets of fraternal twins from within the Concordia community to discuss their unique experiences. (image: Abigail W.,  Concordia Applied Journalism )

Journalist Abigail W. (right) gathers together 3 sets of fraternal twins from within the Concordia community to discuss their unique experiences. (image: Abigail W., Concordia Applied Journalism)

by Abigail W., Concordia Applied Journalism

“Hey, so what’s it like being a twin any ways?” This question may seem remote to most, but to me it’s been asked countless times. When confronted with this query the simplest and most realistic answer I could give to anyone who asks it over the years is: “What’s it like not to be one?”

 Growing up as a twin you know there’s always someone by your side who has been there for your entire life. I would argue that this relationship goes far deeper than your standard sibling connection.

To expand upon the identity of the twin bond, the best thing to do would be to focus more on my personal experience, along with a couple stories from two other sets of fraternal twins.

 Starting with my own understanding, when I was a child, saying that I’m twin was never something that ever felt strange or particularly wonderful to me. The only difference being that I had to share my birthday - which wasn’t something any of my friends had to do. However, nowadays when I say I’m a twin it turns heads, especially as my sister and I look even more different than when we were young. Often times, people think we’re joking. Other fraternal twins at Concordia offer stories of similar experiences and have their own personal tales of growing up as a pair.

 The truth at the heart of the stereotype is actually a deep connection that comes of being a fraternal twin. Contrasting with expectations though, this relationship doesn’t originate from looking or acting the same – not at all, in fact, as fraternal means ‘of relating to, or involving a brother’ according to Merriam Webster. For example, you could ask anyone in my family if Caiti and I are similar, or like the same music, food, types of social events, and the answer would always be no. This comes back to our opposite natures. We sincerely see ourselves as being different people who may have grown up together, but we see and interpret things in our own ways. In a study by Syeda Haider and Salma Hussain, we are informed that, “It is important to recognize twin babies as two separate individuals right form their birth.”

Sincerely, as long as I can remember, my sister and I have been opposites and I’m glad for it. Our dissimilarity normally brings out the very best in each other as it helps us see things in a different light. This doesn’t mean a twin relationship is perfect by any means, for fights are a component of any worthy bond and a twin’s relationship is no exception. Although defines our story as twins, I have known a few other twins who express more nuanced perspectives.

 Isabella Z., a rising sophomore (and fraternal twin) speaks of the intensity of interaction been she and her brother Will. “[b]ecause we’re the same age there is a lot more competition,” she says.

Similarly, twin Sue K. shares, “people compare us a lot saying things like ‘Oh, your GPA’s are so different…’” In this sense being a twin can be hard because you are still your own person with different hobbies, character traits, strengths and goals. This can often be forgotten easily as family and friends set the same standard for both individuals.

 As far as my experience goes, I love being a twin: the secret little communications that I have with my sister, or the fact that we can like different things but still get along, or we can be in the same school and have different interests and still be close – all of these are truly something special. For these reasons and many more I’m grateful for my twin and I believe it’s a very unique bond.


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Abigail W., Concordia Applied Journalism

As a proud South African, I'm living my life in Shanghai, China while soaking up the culture and beauty around me. I love art, along with the art of story telling, and seeing things out of the box! 

 

Dedication: This final feature of my Concordia writing career is being posted on May 7, my birthday and that of my twin sister. Caiti, I hope you have the best time in college, and Happy Birthday!