The High School Twin Life

Canton High School seniors, Maddie and Delaney Brown, talk about the many ups and downs of being a twin in high school. photograph by Amber Harraden

BY  AMBER HARRADEN

While growing up a twin does have its perks, things can get a little more challenging for such unique siblings during their four years experience of high school. The Canton High School senior class has two such sets of twins, both fraternal but alike in their interests, who have faced plenty of similar and different challenges during their four years of high school.

The Canton schools have had quite a few sets of twins in its system, and plenty of other siblings separated by a few years, but these other siblings don’t fully understand what it is like to be a twin during high school. Twins in the same high school often have to share everything, from their clothes and a car, to some classes and assignments. They might spend nearly every second of every day together, and will often have to compromise for the benefit of both interests. This can sometimes be incredibly challenging, and can have a major impact in family dynamics.

While most people idolize anyone who gets the “luxury” of growing up with a twin, they do not realize the many challenges that are faced by such unique individuals on a daily basis, let alone for four consecutive years of high school. Canton High senior, Delaney Brown, says her relationship with her twin sister over the past four years has been “chaotic, special, and bonding,” and adds that since they “are very similar” they end up sharing most parts of their lives with each other. Delaney says that she is with her sister all the time— from home, to school, to back home again.

Canton High senior, Maddie Brown, also agrees to have had a “complicated, unique, and connected” relationship with her twin sister during high school. The two have had to share many classes together, and therefore share plenty of assignments as well. Both girls have said that “depending on the day,” they may get along like best friends or feel like “tense” enemies towards one another by the time they arrive home.

It is often assumed that with such a close relationship with one another, twins would either bicker constantly, or be inseparable best friends. Maddie and Delaney have shown though, on many occasions, that they get the best of both sides. Maddie adds that after any positive event they have “experienced together,” she and her sister spend more time bonding and getting along than they do fighting.

High school is believed to be a time where students can find themselves and become individuals, which is difficult to do when twins are often associated with one another, sometimes even confused as being the same person. Maddie and Delaney have both expressed how their individuality to others has lessened in the recent years of high school. Maddie voiced how it’s difficult to be herself “when people have this idea that [she and her sister]  are combined into one” person, and Delaney agrees.

Although both girls wish to pursue different degrees in college, and anticipate missing each other when they go in different academic directions, they agree that the separation will be for the best. Maddie agrees, saying she would be “lonely all the time” if she didn’t have her twin, but adds that sometimes when it comes to their academic lives, the collision can “turn into a competition” that may not always end well. This issue of competition can be intensified by outside sources as well. Judi Z from The Bump, run by Elena Donovan Mauer, tells how she and her twin were “constantly being compared” to one another, and although they loved each other for who they were, the added competition lead to some obstacles in their relationship.

High school is difficult for many people, but for those who share their entire lives with another, the difficulties come in many more forms than just social or academic within the school. Both of the Brown girls have said that one of their biggest challenges has been “sharing the car” and “scheduling” when each gets to drive it. Delaney adds that learning to share their only car had been the recent cause of most fights between the two, but that they have since resolved the issue.

Other than sharing “friends and a birthday,” Maddie and Delaney claim they try to “spend some time apart” after school to avoid getting on each others nerves. Maddie adds that she loves her sister, and that “she is one of [her] best friends, but is also [her] worst enemy” at times as well, but the two have learned how to work with each other and compromise.

Jill, posting on Twinslist.org, expresses how she believes “multiples can be a wonderful role model” to other students, displaying how to have a close relationship with another person and yet remain individuals. This is an excellent trait to have in Canton High School, as being a role model is part of “the warrior way” in the school.

Looking into the near future, Maddie explains how since she and her sister will be going to the same college, they may not “have the freedom that other kids” have and that could cause some problems in their relationship. Delaney on the other hand, says that while she is looking forward to some separation from her sister, she will “miss her” presence in class and at home. Twins will have each other “through thick and thin” says Maddie, not only during high school challenges, but for the rest of their lives as well.

All in all, depending on the bond between siblings, the high school struggle may be greater or less for each set of twins that face the challenge.

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