Twin bonds can double tension and anxiety

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Twin bonds can double tension and anxiety

Twin sisters Rachel and Makenna Summers are driven by a competitive nature.

Twin sisters Rachel and Makenna Summers are driven by a competitive nature.

Twin sisters Rachel and Makenna Summers are driven by a competitive nature.

Twin sisters Rachel and Makenna Summers are driven by a competitive nature.

Jessica Klein, Staff Writer

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She’s always with me. She’s my best friend. She competes with me and she fights with me, but she also motivates me.

She’s my twin sister.

Approximately 32 out of every 1000 people in the world are twins, according to the University of Texas, Austin. This means that there are around 10 million people in the U.S. who have this unique and rewarding experience.

At first glance, there are many benefits to having another human being always by your side. The first day at a new school is a time when many students often feel insecure and somewhat fearful of being accepted. According to an article on Education.com, many children are terrified on their first day of school. Kids file into their preschool classes wide-eyed and in desperate need of a friend.

Having a twin can come in handy because twins can be best friends even before school starts. An article on The Odyssey states that having a twin as a guaranteed friend continues as a lifelong bond.

“My twin and I transferred schools, and it was so nice knowing that there was someone there on campus for you and that you always have somebody,” said Olivia Cherry, a sophomore at Woodside High School.

A twin can have someone that will be with them in the same classes, learning the same material. As a result, twins can help ease the stress of academic situations for each other by being study partners.

“My twin sister and I check to make sure [the other twin] studied and did their homework. We try to help each other and work together,” said Isabelle Cherry, a sophomore at Woodside High School.

However, one of the most significant struggles of being a twin is competition.

According to Family Education, twins will start to compete with each other because parents, adults, or friends continually compare them. These side-by-side measurements put pressure on them and motivate them to be better than their sibling.

“Since we are twins, we are always compared. You want to be better than the other, and they are the other half of you,” said sophomore Lilly Rosansky.

The effects of this competition are most notable inside the classroom, especially in high school. An article written by the Technology Student Association points out that feelings of stress from competition become more intense during high school when grades are more important. During the high school years, many twins find themselves in a scholastic tournament.

There is a lot of competition, especially in the Bay Area with all the stress and pressure from everything. Here, you are determined and motivated to get over a 4.0 GPA and some of that pressure might come from siblings.”

— Lilly Rosansky

Miriam Bacigalupi, a sophomore at Carlmont, often measures herself relative to her twin and competes with her academically.

“Even though we are in different classes, I still compare myself, the classes I’m taking, and my grades with her because I feel like it’s a competition. We also compete about who has more homework or is smarter overall,” Bacigalupi said.

With the continual stress of grades and academics, having a twin can put unnecessary strains on an already difficult situation.

“There is a lot of competition, especially in the Bay Area with all the stress and pressure from everything. Here, you are determined and motivated to get over a 4.0 GPA and some of that pressure might come from siblings,” Rosansky said.

Grades and homework become points in a never-ending game of “who’s better” or “who’s smarter.” This infinite struggle impacts twins in different ways.

Rick Weiss has a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California Berkeley, works with young adults and teens, and focuses on family dynamics. He explains that competition has the potential to affect twins negatively.

“People want to feel that they are unique. If you are always competitive with your sibling, then it’s potentially a set up to feel like it’s a win-lose kind of a game. If somebody wins, then the other has to lose,” Weiss said.

For a twin, parent or family involvement may determine their relationship and how much they compete with their other twin.

“It’s important for parents to create win-win situations for their twins by rewarding each twin’s uniqueness and unique achievements. This attention will help to assist the development of each twin’s unique individual identity,” Weiss said.

When twins are given the right support from an early age, each twin can appreciate their other twin’s achievements without unnecessary jealousy. In that case, having a twin can be a wonderful benefit.

Even the competitiveness that comes with having a twin may actually be a benefit. According to an article on Academia, competition can have benefits, especially when siblings are competing at young ages or when rivalry leads to motivation.

Even though we might not get along all the time, in the end, we both need each other. My twin will always be there for me, and I will always be there for her.”

— Miriam Bacigalupi

According to Twins UK, competition teaches a child at an early age how to overcome difficulties. Twins can also benefit from having that extra push of motivation constantly encouraging someone to do better or try harder. In that way, a twin can have a significant impact on childhood development. Being a twin is an opportunity for a unique bond. This is true for Bacigalupi., as her twin is a vital part of her life.

“Since we are the same age and go to the same school, I know what she’s going through and she knows what I am going through.  We can sympathize with each other during stressful times,” Bacigalupi said.

From personal experience, I know just how special a twins’ bond can be, even if it results in constant competition. The benefits of motivation and a lifelong companion puts into perspective how minimal the negatives are in contrast to the positives.

“Even though we might not get along all the time, in the end, we both need each other. My twin will always be there for me, and I will always be there for her,” Bacigalupi said.

My twin sister and I will continue to rely on one another, and compete with each other, for as long as we need. This motivation will continue to guide me throughout life, as it has done for so many twins in the past.

“One thing I like about having a twin is that everywhere I go their presence follows and guides me. It’s very comforting,” said sophomore Nicole Klein, my twin sister.

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