What’s it like to be a twin?


A portrait of me and my sister. drawn by Sarah O’Donnell

Olivia O'Donnell, Staff reporter

“What’s it like to be a twin?” That’s a question I used to get very often. From the day we were born, people have always asked questions like that. My mother tells us people used to chase her around stores to see us and fuss over us: people are fascinated by twins. For my sister and I, it’s all we’ve ever known. In RB, the questions have seemed to decrease, since our class is so big and because my twin and I look nothing alike.  When people ask what it’s like being a twin, I ask “what’s it like not being one?”

Being a twin has its ups and downs. On the bright side, you always have someone to talk to , someone to hang out with; someone that always has your back. I think being a twin helps people be more patient and giving; you learn better how  to wait your turn.

On the downside, you have to share mom’s attention, which most kids with siblings have to do. But for twins, its that way from the start.  It isn’t bad because its all you’ve ever known anyway.

Sarah, my twin and I have been on pretty good terms for most of our lives, but the important thing is that we both know that we have each other’s backs. We always had schemes and personal bonding time. My mom tells us when we were little we had our own codes and secrets that we only shred with each other.

I asked my sister about the best parts of being a twin. She replied saying, “The best parts? I mean, it’s good to know I’ll always have someone who will always have my back and a best friend from the get-go.  Even if we do get on each other nerves sometimes.” And personally, I agree with her. It’s amazing having someone who will always be there for you.

To most teenagers though, having a sibling sucks. Sarah and I can recite a list of reasons as to why it’s bad to be a twin, even though we both are pretty happy to have each other. Constant bickering at each other is one downside, especially when you’ve lived with your sibling since birth. “Yeah, we argue a lot. I think most siblings do though, it’s a part of the “sibling code,” I guess,” said Sarah. Sharing is a minor downside, but a bigger one if you aren’t used to it. “We do have to share more now, but we used to hate sharing. I’m glad we can sort of agree on stuff,” said Sarah. Another downside to being a twin is the numerous ridiculous questions that were asked. “Are you Identical? Are you two psychic? Which one of you was meant to be born, I thought that one was kinda mean, but funny,” says Sarah. Of course, my sister and I are fraternal, which means that we don’t look alike, both agree that the fraternal and identical questions get kind of annoying after awhile.

Sibling rivalries are something that most siblings know well. Sarah and I are no different, though we have very different interests: Sarah likes to draw and sketch, and I like to write and play video games.  I guess I don’t really care if Sarah’s better at something than me, but I guess it’s the other way around for her. “When you’re better at something than me, I normally get mad because you’re someone I look up to, but I’m still a better artist so haha,” said Sarah.

Sarah and I were born on a leap day, Cool right? We only have an actual

“birthday” every 4 years. The odds of being born on leap day are one in 1,461. For twins, the odds are 1 in about 80,000. So our birthday is kind of rare. We get a lot of neat reactions about our birthday; “Are you lying? Or, woah cool!” and of course, the weird questions and corny jokes. “Oh my god! You’re the smartest three year-old I know!” I still genuinely enjoy people’s reactions.

Is it great to be a twin? I think so, but since we’re the only two kids in our house we really don’t have anything to compare it with: for Sarah and me, it’s just great to have a built-in best fried for life.