I thought that I was completely prepared to handle college life without my twin. In fact, I was looking forward to it. I didn’t realize how hard it would be until we packed our bags and left, with him headed to the bustling metropolis of LA, and I to a small town in Ohio. My brother and I had always been together, and had only spent approximately two weeks apart before going to college. While I never considered us to be the stereotypical twins that couldn’t handle being apart, the separation anxiety I felt during my first few weeks was a lot more intense than I expected. Suddenly, I didn’t have to deal with my brother’s stupid jokes, unwanted advice, or raids into my bedroom at ungodly hours in the nighttime—and I missed that. What used to be a constant presence in my life was suddenly gone. While everyone’s experience is going to be different, here are several things I learned while going to a different college than my twin brother.
Your Relationship is Going to Change – And That’s Not a Bad Thing
Let’s face it – Doing college on opposite ends of the country is wildly different than sharing the same house and bathroom with your twin. Don’t be afraid of how that’s going to change your relationship. Living in one of the premier cities in the USA compared to seeing Amish buggies roll by in Gambier has given each of us contrasting experiences. It’s always fun for both of us to talk about our discrepancies in college life over FaceTime every night. These differing lifestyles have changed both of us and how we interact with each other. We used to rely very heavily on each other, but the independence that college life requires has forced us to become self reliant.
Living Apart is a Relief
After getting over my separation anxiety, I started to realize that college without my brother was actually refreshing. It is very common to associate your identity with your twin. The fact that other people, such as teachers and friends, subconsciously compared my brother and I didn’t help this either. It is really nice meeting people who haven’t met or don’t even know that I have a twin. This has helped me figure out that my brother and I aren’t very alike at all—he wants to major in business and is part of the entrepreneurship and surfing clubs, while I am a potential English major who dabbles in choir and book clubs. Being away from each other has allowed us to explore our identities and realize that while having a twin is cool, you shouldn’t have to base your identity on them as heavily as you did in high school.
I used to take my twin for granted. But now, after being apart for several months, I have realized that he is one of the best things in my life. Getting a text from him, no matter how random it is, always makes my mood better. Both have us have bonded over the confusion and fun that college offers. I’m even looking forward to my brother’s ill-timed humor come Thanksgiving. While this first semester hasn’t been easy without him, I would say that going to a separate college has made me appreciate my twin much more, and has allowed me to reflect on my identity without him.