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Seeing Double: Tusky’s Twins

By: Breanna Shiflett twins

Every Homecoming Week, students of Tuscarora High School come together to celebrate and compete in themed spirit days ranging from Neon Day to Superhero Day. A popular spirit day that has appeared all three years of the school’s history is Twin Day, a day where students dress up with a friend or sibling in matching clothes and silly accessories. But for a small percentage of Tusky students, Twin Day takes on a very different meaning. It is a day just like any other, where no dress up is required at all—because for them, Twin Day is every day.


There are probably more twins at Tuscarora than one may originally think, since 1 in 30 new babies is part of a set of twins, according to a US study in 2007. This is the highest that the percentage has ever been, and the number of high school students who are twins is growing steadily with it– which means that more likely than not, you probably know a set of them. They could be identical twins and look exactly the same, to the point where you see one in the hallway and wave hello, only to get a weird look in response before you realize that that was the wrong one. Or they could be fraternal twins, with their appearances ranging from looking almost exactly the same (to the point where you just simply insist that they must be identical) to looking like complete opposites of each other (to the point where you insist that they’re pulling your leg and they can’t be related at all). No matter the situation, the number of sets of twins at Tuscarora is on the rise.


Being a twin can definitely provide for a different high school experience, but it really depends on the set of siblings as to how exactly it enhances the time. For juniors Kathryn and Christina Beaton, it certainly makes the adventure more worthwhile. Even though they both agree that they are different in personality, it doesn’t change the fact that they are very close to each other. “Being a twin is fun,” Kathryn says. “They’re always there for you, no matter what.” Not only is the social aspect of the venture improved, but so is the academic. “We can help each other out with our homework,” says Christina, “and if you miss a day of school, your twin is there to get everything you need.” The only negative point when it comes to academics? “She always seems to end up with the better teachers!” exclaims Kathryn. At the end of the day, though, the Beaton sisters believe that being a twin makes the high school experience a better one. “Always having someone there to encourage you makes any experience easier and more fun,” Christina says.


Comparisons are one of the biggest things when it comes to being a twin, whether it’s about their appearances, personalities, interests, or otherwise. People are bound to mention the differences between the two of them, with comments such as “But he looks so different than you do!” or “She’s so outgoing and you’re so shy!” If you are a twin, you are constantly being compared to your counterpart, and a topic that often gets brought up for evaluation is that of grades. For sophomore Rebecca McHale, twin sister of Michael, this is one of the worst parts about being a twin. “Siblings can be nosy and even competitive when they’re in the same grade,” she says. “Parents are much more likely to compare grades with twins than with siblings who are in different grades.”


In the end, no matter if the twins are complete opposites or best friends, there is always something that prevails in the relationship between the two. Unlike with siblings who are a few years apart, twins share a unique bond that can’t exactly be compared to that of a normal sibling relationship. According to my twin sister, Courtney Shiflett, this is one of the most important parts about being a twin. “You literally spent every day of your life with them,” she says. “You never have to do anything alone because there is always someone there with you.”


Although Tuscarora’s twins go through the same four years that every student does, their experience may be slightly different than that of the average high schooler. Having a sibling in the same grade provides an educator, a lifelong friend, sometimes even a rival, and that definitely makes the experience a more inviting and meaningful one. Depending on the set, being a twin may not always be like looking in a mirror, but twins do have one thing in common—like a reflection, they will always be there.

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