Seeing double: the life of a twin

Bella and Jack Batts, age 6, visit Disney Land.

Credit: Courtesy of Bella Batts

Bella and Jack Batts, age 6, visit Disney Land. "Being a twin is sometimes fun and other times it’s not because you have to see them every day at school," B. Batts said. "But also you're closer with them more than a sister and a brother who are different ages."

Lindsey Brown and Katherine Kim

How would you feel if you were a twin? Between sharing a birthday, being compared to and having someone next to you constantly, being a twin is no easy feat, but attaining a lifelong friendship is a gift that can’t be beat.

For sophomores Bella and Jack Batts, being a twin perhaps makes them closer to each other than other siblings.

“Being a twin is sometimes fun, and other times it’s not because you have to see them every day at school, but also you’re closer with them,” Bella Batts said. “I’m used to having someone in my grade that I can always talk to, whereas other siblings might not have that.”

Similar to his twin, Jack Batts values that his sister is always there for him, especially in school. The only class the Batts’s share is math, but they normally stay separated in the class as they sit on opposite sides of the room.

“It’s kind of weird having another person your age in your house, but it sometimes makes school easier,” Jack said.

Unlike the Batts’s, juniors and identical twins Elizabeth and Valentina Micolisin have many classes together. They also have similar friend groups and do many of the same extracurriculars.

“Because we do all of these things [together], you always compare yourself to your twin often,” Elizabeth said. “Because you’re being compared to your twin so often, you get to the point where you strive to do things that are different, even if it’s something that you don’t want to do.”

Credit: Courtesy of Elizabeth Micolisin

Since the Micolisins are identical twins, many peers often mix them up. The twins often feel hurt when this happens.

“They used to figure out [which twin I was] because I used to wear glasses, but then I stopped wearing them because they were making my eyesight worse,” Valentina said. “So everybody is mad at me now, [but] some of my friends say that [they] can’t even see how [we] are the same, and that our faces are completely different.”

While the Micolisins like being twins, they emphasize how being identical is even more difficult than being a fraternal twin. Elizabeth notes how hard it is to be an individual when you have someone that looks just like you.

“I think [being an identical twin] takes a toll on your self-esteem and your individuality because when you have someone walking around that looks just like you, it doesn’t make you feel like you’re your own person,” Elizabeth said. “I understand that we look really similar, but it gets upsetting that people poke fun at it sometimes because it’s something that’s very hurtful.”

The Batts’s say that they’re not often compared, mostly because they’re opposite sexes. Bella was born two minutes before Jack, which is often a point of conflict in their relationship.

“Sometimes I like to say I’m the older one, so I’m more responsible,” Bella said. “We fight sometimes, but we get along most of the time.”

Although there are issues that come along with being a twin, the Micolisins think that the relationship between twins is even more special.

“Even though you have a bond between you and your other siblings, I feel like it’s stronger between your twin because you are roommates,” Elizabeth said. “[Your twin] is someone that knows everything about you, and you can trust them with everything.”

Credit: Courtesy of Bella Batts

The Micolisins tend to support each other academically and socially, but that sometimes limits them from being independent.

“I’m grateful that I have someone that can help me all the time, [but I] know that it’s not always a good thing because when I go off to college, I’m not going to have her by my side helping me,” Elizabeth said. “It’s difficult to be alone because I’m so used to having someone next to me.”

Looking into the future, the Micolisins predict that transitioning to college will be a difficult endeavor because they will be separated.

“I think it’s going to be really hard when I go off to college or when I’m older to be more independent and be an advocate for myself,” Valentina said. “So, it will be harder when I’m older to stand up for myself, make my own decisions and be my own person.”

Overall, both sets of twins agree that when it comes to being a twin, the pros outweigh the cons.

“It’s fun to have someone always by your side that is very similar to you, takes similar classes and knows similar people because that’s someone you can automatically connect with and talk with,” Elizabeth said.