When people find out that the two of us are identical twins, it usually sparks several predictable recurring questions: for starters, ‘How can I tell you guys apart?’ followed by, ‘Can you guys communicate telepathically?’ then, ‘Have you guys ever switched classes to take each other’s tests?’ and lastly, the newest, hottest trending question, ‘Are you guys going to the same college?’
From the start of the college process, there was no question that we wanted to attend the same university. From cruising around in a double-stroller, to responding to each other’s names to playing the same position on our soccer team, we’ve been inseparable since childhood. After applications were in, people tentatively asked us what we would do if we didn’t get into the same schools. Truth be told, we have always been known as a package deal. If you want one, you get the other too. But, with an especially competitive college admissions year, we didn’t know what to expect―or if our two-for-one deal would pull through.
In a time when we’re saying goodbye to so many people, we didn’t want to tear apart the twin bond just quite yet. After a twin’s worst nightmare, a waitlist scare, fortunately we will be attending the same university.
Although we have always planned on sticking together in our college years, we wanted to find out if this applied to all twins. To further investigate, we talked with some of the twins in our senior class about their decisions they made when choosing colleges alongside the person that arguably knows them best.
Eli and Noah Arrick
They’re not identical, but they have similarities close enough to throw at least a handful of people off. The twins will be attending separate universities by choice; Noah will be attending University of Washington and Eli will attend University of Colorado, Boulder. In fact, Eli only found out that Noah was committing to University of Washington through their mom.
“I was in the family room with my mom and I just didn’t think to walk into Eli’s room to tell him and then I just forgot to tell him that night,” Noah said.
Growing up, the Arrick's had the same friends, played on the same sports teams and shared a room together when they were younger. When they reached high school, the two branched out into different friend groups and developed separate interests.
“We definitely get along better now than we did when we were younger,” Noah said.
Going into the college process, Noah and Eli shared a college counselor, but never made their selections based off each other.
“It was pretty independent when we talked about [college selections], it never really had any impact on each other. We didn’t really expect to be going to the same school,” Eli said.
The Arrick's were okay with knowing that they weren’t always going to attend the same school, but there was always a preconceived notion that they would.
“People would always ask us if we were going to the same school like they expected us to say ‘yes,’ and the answer was never ‘yes,’” Noah said.
Both of their parents kept the decision open and didn’t put pressure on them when choosing their desired universities. According to the brothers, it was their decision to choose whether or not they wanted to attend the same university.
“I don’t think they really cared [where we wanted to go]. It almost ended up [with] us going to the same college, but they never said anything one way or the other,” Noah said.
Eli agreed that their parents had no preference over university selection; they simply wanted them to attend somewhere that suited them individually.
“My dad definitely likes that I’m going to college with a very close friend, so I feel like he would've loved if we went to the same place. But it never really seemed to be a possibility, so we didn't think about it that much,” Eli said.
Their different perspectives from the beginning affected their selected universities. Eli only applied to three universities, while Noah applied to eight. Out of those, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and University of Washington were the schools that overlapped.
“From the get-go, Eli applied to a lot less colleges than me and it seemed like he was so set on Boulder, and Boulder wasn’t even a place I applied to or considered,” Noah said.
Unintentionally, they almost both committed to the University of Washington.
“At one point, it became my favorite school and it was the school I was going to go to. [Noah] wasn’t ever really considering it. He was pretty set on Tulane,” Eli said.
After visiting University of Washington for the second time, Noah realized how much he liked the college. In the future, Eli believes that they will probably hang out more when they are together.
“I think that since we are relatively close to each other, we might even visit each other. I’d definitely be down to go see Boulder,” Noah said.
Desi and Nique D'Ancona
Seniors Nique and Desi D’Ancona, identical twins, have never been apart for more than 24 hours. In September, they had to decide whether they would remain inseparable or spend the next four years apart. In the end, they will both be attending and playing volleyball at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire.
“When we were younger, we had a really big group of friends. We had more of a chance to have our own thing. We weren’t hanging out every day, but when we came to Redwood we only knew each other, so we hung out with each other a lot more than we did in middle and elementary school,” Desi said.
Going into the college process, they applied to mostly the same colleges, but with open minds. Both hoped to continue playing volleyball. In the midst of applying for colleges, the coach of St. Anselm found Desi to recruit to Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. Consequently, he also recruited Nique only to later realize they were twins.
“If someone wanted to recruit [Nique] and they’re from a school that is really high level and they don’t want me, I would want the best for her. But it just so happened that they wanted both of us. We were just going to take it how it went,” Desi said.
Growing up so closely, the D'Anconas were often questioned about their future together.
“A lot of people said, ‘if you don’t go together, it will be a good growing moment for you and you will be able to figure out yourself.’ I get that, but also that would just be really scary to not have someone by your side that’s been there for your whole life,” Desi said.
The twins received many offers from coaches to continue playing volleyball at various universities, but in the end they jointly decided on St. Anselm College.
Their parents stayed neutral in their college decision process. According to Desi, when she and Nique got into disagreements, their mom would lightly remind them they could go to different schools, but in the end the parents knew that they were each other's best friends.
“Do I want to seperate myself for the first time in my life to do my own thing, go to my own school, make my own friends? I think it would be scary just because I’ve never done anything by myself without her. We always played on the same team, even if we made different teams, we always wanted to play together,” Nique said.
Continuing their education, the two plan on keeping the twin bond strong and remaining close.
“For sports we are going to practice with each other every single day. We’ll make a lot of new friends with the people on our team but we will still stay really close, especially because we are so far away from home,” Nique said.
Jack and Russell Roots
Twins can’t actually communicate telepathically, but sometimes it feels like we can. Seniors Russell and Jack are fraternal twins and will both attend Wesleyan University in Connecticut. For the Roots, this is especially prominent with their inside jokes and how they finish each other’s sentences. “One of us will say the words, ‘first off’ and then the other one will chime in ‘Christoph.’ at the same exact moment with the other person. And it’s the stupidest thing ever. We’ve said that in front of people which is very embarrassing because they get confused and I guess that exemplifies our relationship,” Russell said.
What's worse than being friends with a pair of twins that can talk to each other without physically speaking? The Roots parents have to try to figure out how one twin knows instantly exactly what the other is saying just based off a singular word or phrase.
“Our mom won’t understand us when we are talking. She can’t fathom what we are talking about,” Jack said.
For the Roots, being twins is like having a built-in best friend. They have a close relationship and spend the majority of their time with each other.
“We are close but we’ve basically not had the same life. We are different but we’ve diverged a little in recent years but we’ve spent most of our time together. If you include sleeping under the same roof together, we spent 18 out of 24 hours together which is scary because that’s three-quarters of my life with him,” Russell said.
To answer one of the typically-asked questions, the Roots twins don’t actually take each others’ tests, but do benefit from each other’s knowledge in a particular subject. According to Russell, their shared intellect will be helpful during their time at Wesleyan.
“He sets the curves consistently and the only reason I do well is because [Jack] tells me everything he knows before tests. And so I went in initially thinking ‘hey, I kinda need to go to college with him or my first year will be very painful’,” Russell said.
The Roots’ parents encouraged them to continue their educational careers together in college.
“[Our] parents were our leading factor in going to college together,” Russell said. “Our parents are just trying to look out for us in the best way they can.”
For Jack, he is glad that he gets to remain close to his brother, but at the same time wants to become independent.
“Now I’m a little nervous going with Russell. I want to grow as an independent person,” Jack said.
“I’m glad I’m hearing these things now,” Russell replied.