“Are you two sisters?” someone asks.
“No,” Katia and I say in unison. “We’re twins.”
This is how almost every conversation begins with someone my sister and I don’t know.
Being a twin has its perks, but there are definitely some not-so-good aspects that come along with it.
“I wish I had a twin! You’re so lucky – it must be so cool to be a twin!” people say to me all the time.
And my favorite question I get asked: “Is twin telepathy real?”
The answer is, yes, it exists.
Just to give you some background, I was born on April 26, 2000, at 2 p.m., and Katia was born at 2:08 p.m. We are fraternal twins and currently the only twins in the high school.
The University of Texas at Austin conducted a study in 2009 that estimated that out of every 1,000 people, 32 are twins.
That’s only 3 percent of the population.
Anyway, what’s it like to be a twin?
For the first six years of our lives, we wore the same exact clothes everywhere we went.
Yes, that’s right. Everywhere we went.
This wasn’t because Katia or I wanted to; it was because our parents made us.
It was in around second grade when we changed up our styles and finally began to wear different clothes.
Nevertheless, we still always do the same activities, have the same friends, are in the same classes, etc.
We also spend all of our time together.
The longest Katia and I have ever gone without seeing each other was for a week during the summer of 2014. Katia was in San Diego, and I was at home.
And that week was pretty miserable for both of us.
However, being together all the time causes us to be seen as one person by our friends, teachers and family members.
The number of times that my parents or even teachers (such as Fels) have called me by Katia’s name or called Katia by mine is inestimable.
This is definitely a big issue for all the twins I know.
Katia and I are no exception; we both get irrationally insulted when we’re called the other’s name.
In addition, we compete with each other nonstop over things such as grades and sports.
Although this is something many siblings do, being a twin amplifies this competition.
In addition to competing with each other, we are also compared.
Being compared with an older sibling or younger one is a lot of pressure and pretty bad in general. But, trust me, it’s much worse when that sibling is the exact same age.
Katia and I didn’t like being twins that much while growing up because we were assumed to be one package.
And even to this day, we are seen as one package.
Katia and I are two completely different people. We look alike, but we don’t look identical or sound the same, and we have different interests and views on certain things.
Although we are both around the same height of 5 feet 3 inches, we have different characteristics.
Katia always has her hair in a bun, and she never wears it down.
On the other hand, I never put my hair up in any form of ponytail or bun.
Katia has a lower voice than mine, and she speaks in monotone a lot. However, I have a pretty high-pitched voice.
Katia and I have different movie and music tastes.
For example, I limit myself to watching only movies made after around 2005, whereas Katia doesn’t care when a movie was made and enjoys a lot of old movies.
Katia’s favorite sport is volleyball, whereas mine is track and field.
I could go on and on about how different we are.
Yet we get labeled as “The Twins” by many.
But being a twin also has its advantages.
Having a twin is somewhat like having a built-in best friend.
And the best part is she can never leave me or unfriend me because we are family.
We are stuck with each other – forever.
As I’m writing this, I see Katia sitting across from me at the dinner table watching Netflix on her computer.
It’s strange to think that in less than two years, we could be going to colleges in two different states – or even across the country.
The twin whom I grew up with – this person I’ve seen throughout every hour of every day – will no longer be with me.
Unless, of course, we go to the same college and become roommates.
—By Annya Dahmani