Dickinson's seven pairs of twins set the record straight
March 31, 2009
Among the twins attending Dickinson are (back row, from left): Eric Fothergill '12, John "Jack" Shine '12, Andrew Shine '12 and (front row, from left) Adam Fothergill '12, Lindsay Emery '09, Lauren Emery '09, Jessica Haklar '11 and James Haklar '11.
An astonishing seven sets of twins are attending Dickinson College this year. Which means that at any given moment, Dickinsonians are more likely to ask that old, familiar question: "So, what's it like to be a twin?"
"That question always makes me laugh," says Lauren Emery '09, who lives on campus with her twin, Lindsay '09. "I just respond, 'I don't know. What's it like not being a twin?' "
The twins who are attending Dickinson together this year are: Lauren and Lindsay ’09; Adam and Eric Fothergill '12; Brendan and Stephen O'Brien '10; Alison and Hilary Collins '10; Andrew and John “Jack” Shine ’12; Sarah and Elizabeth Romano '10 and James and Jessical Haklar '11. (Interestingly, James and Jessica are actually quadruplets. The other two quads—James' identical twin, Gregory, and Jessica's fraternal twin, David—atttend Susquehanna University together.)
Of course, each twin has different reasons for attending Dickinson with their sibling. But the eight students we interviewed all agree on one thing: They're very glad they did.
While co-enrollment may not be ideal for all twins, these students say that there are plenty of benefits: They have a built-in study partner; a buddy to hang out with from the moment they arrive; a helpmate who can lend them things; and, for some, a co-networker who can broaden their circle of friends. It's also comforting to talk with a sibling when a tinge of first-semester homesickness sets in.
On the other hand, James says with a dash of humor, it can be tough to have someone on campus who can "rat you out to the parents if you make a huge mistake." That danger notwithstanding, however, he enjoys getting together with twin-sister Jessica all the same.
"She is just fun to be around. It's nice having her here to complain [with me] about how our parents will react to a bad test score. And then it's comforting when we agree that if our parents went to Dickinson they probably would have failed," he jokes.
Learn more about these students, including:
Read the full story
- Why some people think that Andrew and Jack can read minds
- Which siblings are living on different continents
- Which siblings are in the same sorority
- What it's like to attend a different school than your twin
- The most-cited benefit of attending school together
Sometimes, they have fun with it. Being a twin is a good icebreaker, many of the students say. And it can be amusing; Andrew admits that he and Jack have each temporarily claimed the other's identity. Though rarely, they have switched desks in school and have even fooled their parents.
Naturally, there are drawbacks, too. Awkward social situations arise when students are mistaken for their twins. At times, some of the interviewed students say, people don't recognize the fact that they are different from and exist independently of their twins. And after a while, incessant questions from strangers and acquaintances can get tiresome.
But overall, the students recognize the unique opportunities they've been given in life and at school.
"I have been able to share so many things with my sister that we would not have been able to share if we were at different colleges," says Lauren.
"I have really enjoyed going to school with my brother," Stephen agrees. "It has made life much easier for me and my family, and it has made my college experience a lot of fun."