What happens when siblings go to the same college abroad?
Siblings at Columbia University, Iranian American, from London:
-Darius, Freshman at Columbia College, prospective financial economics major
-Azar, Junior at Columbia College, studying art history, MEESAS (Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies) and business
-How did you find out you got into Columbia?
A: “I was studying for my IB Bio exam, and it was a great time... My parents and brother were there and we realized the decision would be up in an hour, and started freaking out. I ended up getting in, printed out the email and had everyone read it like a million times because I didn’t believe it, then we celebrated and I didn’t do very well in my bio exam after all.”
D:”I applied early decision and didn’t get stressed until the mid day that day, then I really started thinking about it, -especially knowing that she was there- and I really wanted to get in. My parents, grandparents and my sister were there, I opened up the email and the first word was “Congratulations” so I freaked out again. I printed out the email as well, was convinced they made a mistake, I was like “I’m printing it so they can’t take it back.”
-How would you describe your relationship?
D:“I wouldn’t describe it as a sibling relationship. I’d just describe it as Azar being one of my best friends, and also someone to respect, admire and look up to. For instance, I need to match her Dean’s List first semester which is probably not going to happen. She is basically the perfect human being, but I can still try.”
A:“It’s okay, you’re pretty close... It’s the same for me. You’re my best guy friend –okay, also my best friend. You’re adorable, and it’s nice having you here because I have someone to take care of. Every time you do something wrong I’m just like “don’t do that” and guide you the right way. I feel like I’m reliving my college life through you.”
-How did your relationship change when you ended up in the same college?
D: ”We have a two year age gap so there were two years while she was at Columbia and I was still in high school. We would see each other during breaks, but we would text, skype, and speak on facebook almost everyday. Now that we’re back together, I don’t think it’s been two or three days where I haven’t seen you.”
A: “Yeah. Might as well cry.”
-What’s the worst thing about going to the same school?
D:”God there are so many things to choose from… Mine is definitely being judged for all the stupid decisions I make. She went through the learning process and already knows better, whereas I still have to go through that. I just get made fun of going through the entire process. And mainly having her stellar academic record to look up to. I was convinced that when she got into Columbia, she set the family bar really high, and it was the end of that. Then once her grades started coming in I was like huh... And then she started getting internships, and I realized this is going to be continuous basically.”
A:“Literally the only thing I’m scared about sometimes is that you’ll hook up with someone I know, or someone in my grade, which would be kind of weird but that’s not a really bad thing, and also good for you!”
Favorite spot in the city:
D: “McBain 6. Don’t write that down. Should we go for the really pretentious 1Oak answer or…? Don’t write that down either.”
A:“If that’s your favorite spot that’s so bad. Oh my god no.”
D:“Oh I got it! Teuscher Chocolates in Rockefeller Center. Every time we would come to New York as kids, no matter what we were doing we would always walk through it and get champagne truffles.”
Siblings from Princeton University and Yale University, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:
-Tita, Senior at Yale, studying Global Affairs
-Melekot, currently working in the Business Group at Google, graduated from Princeton in 2011, studied Politics and Middle Eastern Studies
M: “I think I’m an awesome big brother! I really care for my sister, which is why I prevent her from doing a lot of things... I think this is the way in which to express the most affection. However, when I’m feeling good, I have a policy of “if i didn’t see it it didn’t happen”, which is also fantastic. But I love my little sister, and I want her to grow up to be nothing like me.”
H: “So we call everything he just described being overprotective. No really, we have a wonderful relationship, it’s lovely being the little sister, and being primped and pampered whenever I’m in the city. Whatever he hasn’t seen, didn’t happen– because it didn’t happen. We’re super close, and we also have a sister between us, she is lovely as well.”
-Did your relationship change when both of you started college?
M: “Yes, because I remember when she was born, she was always a tiny...thing to me. And then she became a proper human being, and then even became opinionated, and like started articulating ideas which was weird. So everytime I’d go back home, she was growing up, and then when she moved here, she became a proper adult! So now I seek advice and stuff from her!”
H: “So this is how I knew I was a “big girl”: when I was much younger before Melekot went to college, we’d all hang out as the three siblings in the living room, watch TV whatever, make small talk, talk about our days… And then I’d go to sleep, and I could hear all the conversation coming out and they had these like really deep conversations! I’d cry to sleep to loud laughters that had been clearly bottled up until I went to bed. And when I went to college, I was finally allowed to be a part of those conversations.”
Twins at Columbia University, from New York:
-Grayson, Junior at Columbia College, studying Middle Eastern Studies and economics
-Alexandra, Sophomore at Barnard College, studying film with “a little theater smeared in”
G: “She is the only one that gets me.”
A: “He’ll say a thing that’s by all accounts not a funny thing, but it’ll be hilarious because-”
G: ”Don’t say that, it’s a very funny thing. It’s always a funny thing.”
A: “I’m trying to think of an example… Gerald!”
G: “What up Jerry?!”
A: “It’s almost like remember in middle school when everyone was really into ‘random humor'?
G: “We’ve never moved on from that phase.”
A: “Never. We’re still on that flow, in this really obnoxious way, and it’s great.”
-What happened when you came to college?
G: “Funny enough, I went to a boarding school for 4 years, and she stayed-”
A: “That’s not funny.”
G: “...So actually we were back together in college after being apart for 4 years.”
A: “I used to send him these huge newsletters like spam emails to update him on my life. And now, we operate in different spheres extracurricularly on campus, in that he is about CCSC, (Columbia College Student Council) and being professionally pretty and I-”
G: “And you’re not? You’re a Runway Warrior!”
A: “I yell and wave guns on stage… Anyway, every so often those two spheres just venn diagram in a cool way.”
G: “I’m student government and she is press. So I do things and she hates them.”
-Would you say you got closer?
A: (In a deep, sophisticated voice) “Like a fine wine, it deepened and complexed.”
G: “The frequency of insanity just increased.”
A: “When he went to boarding school, I basically operated like an only child. Now it’s really fun, and I want to at one point in our lives, live with him. The house would probably look horrible though. One half would be tacky Memphis design-”
G: “That’s your half.”
A: “...and the other, like a pottery barn.”
G: “I got pottery barn, no shame. You know, it’s for the modern-”
A: “For the modern working man. Just like with your GQ spread out in a fan on the table.”
-Are you in any clubs together?
G: “We’ll be in Latenite together.”
A: “We’re also thinking about hunkering down and writing an Op-Ed together.”
G: “Against ‘the man’, ‘the system’…”
A: “Yeah. Also last semester we took Rob King’s Intro to Film class together, it was the first class we took together since preschool.”
G: “We sat next to each other in the back, which made me realize why we were split up in preschool to begin with.
A: “We were just sitting making fun of Speed Racer, like the minute the monkey came out–”
G: “He is a true believer, like he really got that together.”
A: “What, the monkey?”
G: “No, Rob King! Although I love the monkey too...”
A: “And Rob King also has twin babies. We would go up to him after class, and scare him for the future.”
-Do you study together?
G: “If you want to call it studying.”
A: “One time we were going to study together, and I got him Insomnia Cookies, and happened to have googly eyes in my pocket, so we just spent 30 minutes putting the googly eyes on random stuff in his room..”
G: “So yeah we try to study together. I still have those cookies by the way.”
-Do you go out together?
A: “We actually went to Circo last night, I made weird faces to Joel Gray who was sitting across from us. We don’t really go out clubbing together because I don’t have a fake and I’m a child, but we’re turning 21 on January 15th, and we will probably have a messy “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” night. We want it to be ‘Twin Peaks’ themed.”
G: “Because we peaked and we’re 21.”
-What are your favorite things about each other?
G: “You know those feelings inside your head, you can’t squeeze them out, but that you’re inclined towards, it’s like that. Who she is as an entire person is someone I can come to for any sort of thing, any issue, just to chat, to mess around... They say there is ‘a bond between twins’ and I very much believe that. No one else gets my stupid jokes the way she does and I don’t appreciate anyone else’s sense of humor as much as I appreciate hers. She is also unbelievably kind and more selfless towards me than you think a person could actually be, and it astounds me.”
A: “One time we were walking on the street and there was this homeless man who yelled after him like ‘You were on that 90210!’ He was very insistent that it was Grayson, even though it doesn’t make chronological sense at all. So Grayson very much looks like a polished, little pretty man. But then he opens his mouth, then it’s eldritch horror, and you’re like ‘Wheeere did that come from?’”
G: “This is an insult in disguise I’m sure.”
A: “Not at all! His capacity to dork out is unparalleled. But then also, he is the most shockingly honest, good-hearted human with zero ulterior motives I’ve ever met in my life. To the point where, like my one friend who is super obsessed with comic books said, ‘he is going to have a Lex Luthor moment, he is going to become a super villain because he is just too nice! Break the cutie!’ To have Grayson as a friend is a forever blessing– it sounds like I’m trying to get you adopt a cat, 'give it a forever home' (then she started singing “In the Arms of an Angel).
Whenever I see pairs of siblings working together in creative fields like the Makovskis, the Coen brothers, or the Cicieregas; people who are on a vibe and they work together, that makes me really excited because I feel like Grayson and I, wherever we end up going, –at least we will make some ridiculous Youtube videos– it’ll be great."
Past twinning Halloween costumes: Bambam and Pebbles, Very Hungry Caterpillar and the Bitchy Ladybug, Woody and Buzz, accidentally Sweeney and Mrs.Lovett (They saw each other through social media)
Past celebrations: Quinceañera, Sweet Sixteen, ‘Barn’mitzwah
Future celebrations: Golden Fifties and Dinosaur BBQ.
Siblings at Columbia University, from Beirut, Lebanon:
-Noor, Junior in SEAS (School of Engineering and Applied Science), majoring in Chemical Engineering
-Issam, Sophomore at Columbia College, majoring in Financial Economics and Statistics
N: “I was in Dubai, and the decision was coming out at 2 am. So I was in my bed, watching a movie, the decision came out, and I didn’t check it until my movie finished, because I couldn’t ruin that beautiful moment. Then, as soon as I found out, I stared at my screen for a good half hour, and then just like threw my computer and started running in the house. But his story is so much better.”
I: “I was playing FIFA with some friends, and the decision was coming out at 2 am. I left at 1:30 and waited in front of my computer for 20 minutes, refreshing the page. I was skyping Noor, and my whole family was behind me, it was so intense. And then, the decision came out, I just saw ‘Congratulations!’, threw my laptop, took off all my clothes, literally stripped, and started running around the house.”
N: “It was so weird, I was on skype at Columbia and saw everything.”
-How would you describe your relationship?
N: “He is basically my best friend. I trust him completely, and tell him everything. He is my best friend, my psychiatrist, my life coach, my everything.”
I: “I get paid by my mom to do these things.”
N: “...He is always there during good and bad times, as cliché as it sounds.”
I: “I mean she is a lucrative asset to me.”
N: “That’s financial econ talking...”
I: “No, no seriously, like she said, she is my best friend here, I love her so much, and without her I don’t know how I would’ve settled at Columbia. She helped me a lot and guided me during the transition process. I’m extremely grateful to have her.”
N: “We feed off each other’s energy, and it’s great.”
-How did your relationship change at Columbia?
I: “I think it changed after the first year, maybe like throughout the first year, we got much closer.”
N: “Like we actually opened up to each other.”
I: “I don’t think we were this close before college.”
N: “Yeah we had a very brotherly, sisterly relationship.”
I: “And now we’re bros.”
-Do you have mutual friends?
I: “She was the link to my best friends, they were introduced to me by her. And other than that the friends I currently hang out with, she is close to them. So we have a lot of synergies going on.”
N: “We moved into an apartment together this year on Columbus Avenue. It’s really great actually, he is so neat for a guy.”
I: “Because I’m so scared! She tortures me if I don’t clean the kitchen.”
N: “Except you never take the trash out.”
I: “No but it’s great living together. Of course there are cons but she is my sister, so they don’t matter.”
N: “It’s more like a family house than a bachelor’s pad.”
-Did you ever wear matching Halloween costumes?
N: “No, but we just look the same. We have the same nose.”
Siblings from Princeton University and Yale University, from New York City:
-Arielle, currently working at Weber Shandwick as Financial Public Relations Strategist for Wall Street banks, graduated from Princeton in 2012, studied Ancient Greek and Latin in the Classics Department
-Andrew, Class of 2017 at University of Pennsylvania Law School, graduated from Yale in 2012, studied History
-How would you describe your relationship?
An: “She is my best friend, that’s the only way I can describe it.”
Ar: “We are actual friends. I think our friendship is one that I would have even if we had met through school or anywhere else.”
An: “A good way to put it is that we can hang out with each other’s friends even when the other one isn’t there. We have a lot of mutual friends not even based on the fact that we’re siblings. Especially now that we don’t live together anymore, we don’t live in the same city, she still hangs out with my friends, and if she’s not there, I can still hang out with hers, which is a good feeling.”
-How did your relationship change when she went away for college?
An: “That was a weird year actually, when I was a senior in high school and she was a freshman at college. It was the first time I felt like an only child for a year. We still talked a lot and I visited her a couple of times, but when both of us were in college, we started visiting each other a lot; I would always drive down or she would come up.”
Ar: “And that’s also how we built mutual friends. Fun fact– It’s his birthday today, that’s why I’m here!”
-What was the best part about going to different colleges?
An: “The best part was that Arielle and I were really close, but I was always her little brother. Her friends always knew me as “Arielle’s brother”, a lot of people in New York just kind of knew me as that, so it was good to have my own being in college. It was nice when she came to visit and this time “Andrew’s sister" was coming. I wanted to go to Princeton in the worst way and I’m glad I ended up not going.”
Ar: “He ended up making the decision not to go which I was very, very upset about... But you know what, honestly, seeing the incredible man that he has become– he is so independent and mature, I don’t think it would have been possible if we were on the same campus. His reputation, his whole livelihood was very much connected to my “shadow” if we’re going to use that term. I know that it was advantageous but I still really wish he had gone to Princeton! Every time he would come to visit, my friends would always say “We all make mistakes…”
An: “But it ended up working for the best!”
Check them out on New York Times!
Sisters at University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University, from Istanbul, Turkey:
-Zeynep, Junior at Penn, studying Architecture, Fine Arts and Art History
- Esra, Sophomore at Columbia, studying Psychology and Business
-How did your relationship change when both of you started college?
E: “Unlike what we expected, our relationship after being apart took on a new meaning. We aren’t the sisters who live side by side anymore; rather, we became the sisters who want to spend more time together in every possible way, even though knowing it would never be enough. We appreciate the time we have together much more this way.”
Z: ”For her to not come to Penn was the best thing that happened to us. If she was here, I would always feel the “big sister responsibilities” and be too much of an influence in her college life, but because we are apart, we can explore our individuality, figure out who we are, have our own friend groups and discover our own hobbies. It is a very refreshing experience that makes our relationship stronger.”
-What is the worst part about being apart?
E: “The missing stages. When I want Zeynep to be by my side, it sucks to stick to phone calls only. Then again, there’s always the train and another excuse for a reunion.”
Z: “There isn’t much downside of being apart, we’ve always had positive experiences so far. Because New York and Philly are not too far from each other, whenever I feel like my sister is down, I can just hop on a train and go see her. Even though we can’t visit each other all the time, it is really comforting to know that there is the possibility, that chance of going to New York for a night or a day. But still, it’s hard.”
-What is the best part?
E: “The incredible moments of reunions– the 10-second instances of complete love and madness.”
Brothers at Columbia University, both in SEAS (School of Engineering and Applied Science), from Barranquilla, Colombia:
-Ernesto, Freshman, prospective Financial Engineering major
-Jaime, Junior, studying Biomedical Engineering
E: “I was in class, preparing for the ICFES, which is the Colombian state exam, and I got the email, told the teacher I was going to the bathroom, went to the bathroom and opened it, and saw that I got in.”
J: “I was at a soccer game, our team Barranquilla was playing quarter finals of the Colombian League, and as soon as they scored the goal– the goal to win the match, I got a call from my friend, who was checking my email to see if I got in because I had a Blackberry then and couldn’t check myself, and he said ‘Man you got in!’ So yeah, our team won and I was in.”
-Did you want Columbia because of Jaime?
E: “I wanted Columbia in spite of Jaime! I wanted it because it’s in New York, aside from living in the most amazing city in the world, it has all the opportunities I could ever want for my future career, which is probably investment banking or finance.”
-Did your relationship change, being in college?
J: “Yes, I think we got closer.”
E: “Yes, especially when you left for college. And now we’re drifting apart because I can’t stand him anymore.”
J: “He always ditches me for lunch, so..”
E: “He doesn’t have a meal plan, and I have an excessively large one. So everyday he is like “Sign me in sign me in!”
-Does he help you with classes?
J: “Man I tell you which classes to take!”
E: “Yeah like between Physics I and Physics II...”
-Do you hang out with his friends?
E: “Yes, definitely. Jaime’s friends have been very welcoming, all of them, especially his closest friends like Nico, Aris, and Stan. They really helped me out a lot, and made it easier for me as a freshman to be honest.”
Twins at Columbia University, Juliana and Lindsey:
-Both sophomores at Columbia College, studying Neuroscience, from Las Vegas, Nevada.
L: "It stayed pretty much the same, but we’ve actually grown more apart in ways, and realized that we’re different."
-What’s the best part about going to the same college?
J: "I always have someone to study with, especially having the same major."
-What’s the worst part?
L: "Being roommates. That’s actually how we’ve grown apart! Living too close of a space with the same person you’ve been spending 19 years with, we’re just like ‘oh we’re done."
Favorite spot in New York: Soho and Central Park
Siblings at Columbia University, from London, England:
-Hallie, Junior in Columbia College, studying Comparative Literature and Society
-Alex, Freshman in Columbia College, majoring in Classics with a possible History minor, “it’s very English”
H: “I was drying my hair…”
A: “The struggle man. Is that why you were 10 minutes late?”
H: “No, I probably cheated out of the whole moment because I got this email a bit early saying ‘you’re probably going to get in in like a week’ and I was like ‘couldn’t you have just waited’, so I knew to be excited. No one was home, and I was like ‘I guess I’m just going to straighten my hair then’. Only my dog was there.”
A: “I’m sure the dog was happy though.”
H: “Yeah, the dog was very supportive.”
A: “I actually had two friends over at the time and it was very awkward, because I went through all the different applications, and got rejected from each and every school. Columbia was the last one, so I was like ‘guys do you mind leaving me for a minute’ and you know how when you get in, there’s a welcome video, and when it comes on, it’s supposed to be very inspirational. I thought it was a virus! And I was trying to close it screaming ‘go away go away!”
H: “We were both really deprived by that moment. I was in class at Columbia, and we were meant to take this class in Butler so we could figure out how to use this ridiculous software, then I just answered the phone in the middle of this seminar screaming like ‘YEAHH’ and then just spent the next hour pacing around in Butler.”
A: “And that evening, they were like ‘we are going to 1020 on behalf of you’. On behalf of me? Sure.”
H: “I texted everyone I knew and told them to come to 1020, and we sent Alex a bunch of pictures celebrating him getting in, but he thought they were just pictures being like ‘we’re having fun without you’.
A: “I was like I’m happy you’re socializing.”
-How would you describe your relationship?
H: “What is it that we’ve got going on?”
A: “I think we’re both very incompetent as people, so together we form one competent person. Like one tangible member of society.”
H: “That’s so true! Between us, we’re a person.”
A: “So like a necessary form of survival.”
H: “But I will say that you make me look more competent. People think I’m crap, and then they meet you.”
A: “We’re both ridiculous as well. You can tell by our choice of outfit.”
-How did your relationship change when she first went to college?
A: “More space at home, I was quite happy.”
H: “So glad you missed me.”
A: “We talked occasionally, that was fun. I remember her terrible John Jay single being like wow that really sucks, and now I’m in a worse one, so…”
H: “He came to visit freshman year and I was so anxious that he was going to have a bad time. I would get really stressed out like “Are you having fun!?”
A: “You must have fun!!’ I slept on the floor, there wasn’t enough space for me in her room, so I was crumpled aside between the suitcase and the chair and there were 4 cockroaches underneath my pillow when I finally woke up.”
H: “Which is how he decided he wanted to come to Columbia and took a gap year especially to get the John Jay experience.”
-Is she one of the reasons why you wanted to come here?
A: “Definitely, I visited her my senior year in high school. I actually found out her and my dad had been in a caucus to try and convince me to abandon my English applications and go to America.”
H: “He just thought he was coming to visit me in New York but it was all part of an elaborate plan.”
A: “I should’ve realized when I opened your computer and the SAT dates were on the screen.”
H: “We spend a lot of time together.”
A: “We actually had a very awkward moment this term when we ran into each other at Cannons. Mutual embarrassment to the highest degree.”
H: “I was like I don’t know what’s more embarrassing, the fact that you’re here or the fact that I’m here to see you. But we had some good times in Cannons, Alex is quite tall and obnoxious, so I feel like you get a personal bubble, which is a good way to experience Cannons. Then we’ve also run into each other at Koronets.”
A: “I don’t remember that.”
H: “We have friends in common. In fact sometimes Alex hangs out with my friends without me and I always send these anxious texts saying ‘Are you guys hanging out?’
A: “She sent a GroupMe text with all of us just to make sure she was in along the action. We never even use it.”
H: “I just didn’t want to be left out.”
-Do you study together?
H: “Now and then, but we’re terrible.”
A: “We have books in front of each other together, we never really study. That one time in Butler 6, between the two of us we made so much noise, the rest of the table just got up and left.”
H: “This is so classic. It’s like dead quiet in Butler 6, Alex opens his laptop and aggressive rap starts blowing up at full volume, he can’t figure out how to turn it off he finally sorts it out, two minutes later, his phone goes off ‘Bling!’
-Would you say you’re more like the older sister or are you friends?
H: “I try to be a mentor, I try to give advice, I try to act like this old person with authority, but everything I ever say is just disregarded, so it’s fine.
A: “I appreciate that.”
-What were you for Halloween?
H: “I was like ‘I’m subverting gender norms. I’m subverting slutty Halloween’ so I was Hugh Hefner. Then I was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Alex’s was the worst.
A: “We don’t need to talk about it. I went as a gentrification.”
H: “That was just you as yourself with a Captain America shirt.”
A: ”Basically, I went for a really grungy top, and then a slightly hipster tshirt, and then very posh glasses. So I was the gradual process of gentrification.”
H: “You didn’t explain this all to me in great detail. Then Alex’s friend showed up dressed as Alex. He did a good job.”
A: “To be fair, he was wearing my clothing.”
-Any past twinning costumes?
H: “I did come up with the best idea for next Halloween. He should be Shaggy from Scooby Doo and I should wear a shirt saying ‘It wasn’t me. Shaggy and Shaggy.”
-Any last words?
H: “Hmm, any final ways to embarrass you…”
A: “I think we’ve successfully embarrassed each other and ourselves.”
Brothers at Columbia University, from Ridgefield, Connecticut:
-Will, Senior in SEAS, studying Chemical Engineering
-Charlie, Junior in SEAS, studying Electrical Engineering
-Doug, Columbia Class of 2011, studied Operations Research in SEAS, currently goes to Columbia Business School
W: “Definitely a lighter side of relationship. It’s really nice, we’re all basically 21 now so we get to go out together.”
C: “And enjoy the NYC nightlife.”
W: “It’s nice that we’re all at Columbia because we won’t even realize we’re in the same location as each other. One time in Uris, I was sitting across from Doug-”
D: “That’s true.”
W: “And we didn’t even know it. And we both looked up at the same time-”
D: “That’s true.”
W: “And had a really nice eye contact.”
D: “It’s all true.”
-How does it feel like to be the oldest?
D: “I love being the oldest. I like going to the Business School, and it’s great.”
C: “He loves to be the oldest. He is ‘Mr.Type A’. He is also the most eligible bachelor, in the undergrad and grad schools.”
D: “Don’t do this.”
-What happened the first time you went to college and they were still in high school?
D: “Sam took over.”
W: “We actually have one other brother, who didn’t go to Columbia-”
D: “Four boys. Our mom was super unlucky. Or super lucky.”
C: “Super lucky.”
W: “And I think me and Charlie definitely got really close.”
D: “Charlie and Will were always close…”
C: “Not as much as now.”
C: When you were in the city, it was definitely different. But now that we’re all in the city, we get to spend more time together.”
-Do you study together?
W: “Yes, me and Charlie. And sometimes with Doug too at the Business School library.”
-Do you hang out the three of you or mostly in pairs?
C: “I would say all of us, or whoever is available. You guys went to an event last night.”
D: “Yes but I only had one extra ticket. And they go to concerts a lot together, they do their own thing. Charlie and I, what have we done together, we did something together-”
C: “We go to a lot of sports events.”
D: “Yeah, we’re both Jets fans. Will is kind of a Jets fan but he just went on the bandwagon.”
W: “Unfortunately. Who wants to be a Jets fan anyway…”
D: “Yeah that’s true.”
-Where do you live?
W: “East Campus.”
D: “On 97th. They’ve never been to my apartment.”
W: “You never invited us!”
D: “I have invited you a number of times, you said it’s too far downtown, cause Columbia kids don’t like leaving campus.”
W: “It’s true.”
C: “That’s a fair statement.”
D: “Its 20 blocks down.”
W: “We don’t like leaving campus.”
D: “It’s 3 stops... Isn’t that shocking?”
-What’s the worst part about going to the same school?
C: “I think Doug gets pissed off when we embarrass him. He hates that.”
D: “No I love it! There’s literally no downside.”
W: “I’d say, maybe, Charlie gets upset when I blow him off by accident, like when I forget that we’re hanging out.”
D: “Okay here is a bad thing. Will is notoriously late, and needs 20 reminders to go to an event, like everyday and then like 5 times on the day of the event.”
W: “That is true. That is so true.”
D: “Charlie is pretty good about being places on time.”
W: “I want to make sure they actually want to see me, so I make it more challenging for me to be there.”
-Would you want them to go to Business School?
D: “Yeah if they want to. I want them to do what they want.”
C: “Wait now we have to tell a really funny story about Doug.”
D: “No we don’t.”
C: “Hmm, I don’t have one.”
W: “I don’t have one either.”
D: “Well that was a waste of time.”
Twins at Columbia University, both Juniors in Columbia College, from Southern California:
-Karissa, majoring in Sociology with a concentration in Gender Studies
-Kristin, majoring in Sociology with an Education concentration
Kr: “Especially coming to college we sort of wanted to try and maintain our own space, which I think for the most part worked out. In highschool, we basically did all the same things, so people thought of us as a ‘pair’ and not two individuals. Coming into college, we wanted to have our own separate paths, and tried to get involved in different things, and live in different places. But I think overall we still maintain that, we’re in the same sorority now, I joined my freshman spring she joined her sophomore spring. So that one year was the major difference. Even now, we still have our own stuff going on.”
Ka: “We have a lot of mutual friends but also certain friends that don’t overlap, or minimally overlap. We are also involved in different clubs. I write for Spectrum, and copy edit for Core.”
Kr: “She does the writing stuff, and I’m on the executive committee for ΑΧΩ, and Peer Health Exchange.”
-Did your relationship change when you came to college?
Ka: “I think maybe in the sense that we do more different things here. I’m going abroad to New Zealand next semester and she’s staying at Columbia. So I’ll be there from basically January through June, full six months. The longest we’ve been apart ever is maybe like two weeks, that one time you were an Orientation Leader at NSOP and left for school early, that’s like the longest we’ve ever not been in the same place. So six months is going to be strange but we’ll see.
-Any past twinning costumes?
Kr: “Our mom used to dress us the same, until we were old enough to protest. In all our family rituals, we would wear the same outfit. I think that’s why we haven’t had a twinning costume.”
Ka: “I’ve been trying to convince her to be the evil twins from ‘The Shining’ but that hasn’t happened yet.”
-What is the worst part about going to the same college?
Ka: “I would probably say hands down if there is somebody who she knows, that I don’t know, very often random people are waving at me and I don’t know who they are, so sometimes she’ll get a reputation for being very mean, and rude but it’s just because people saying hi to me and me staring at them in the face. So now I’ve just gone into the habit that when someone I don’t know is saying hi to me they probably think I’m her so I just wave back even though I’ve no idea who they are.”
Kr: “When I first joined the sorority I actually had to inform the entire chapter that I had a twin. Because people would be saying “Oh I thought I saw you the other day, I waved at you and you didn’t say hi back.”
Kr: “Coming to school to New York from the West Coast, we don’t have family down here. It is nice to have a person that you really know and can rely on during that transition. Even still now, I was in the hospital for appendicitis a couple of months ago, my parents didn’t fly out here, but I still had her there, she helped me deal with everything, so that’s really nice.”
Ka: “Being twins is like having a built-in sibling but also a really really close friend. People think it’s weird for example when she went off to the OR for her appendicitis surgery, I was there, and they were wheeling her away, and I was like ‘Okay, I’ll see you later in like an hour!’ and all the surgeons were like ‘Oh you’re not going to give her a hug?’ like nooo? Because we’ve just been so close for so long that we’re beyond stuff like that. It’s just a very strange closeness that you can’t really replicate, ever.”
Siblings at University of Pennsylvania, Turkish American, from Boca Raton, Florida:
-Sibel, Junior at Penn, majoring in BBB (Biological Basis of Behavior)
-Meriç, Freshman at Penn, majoring in Biology
-How did you find out you were accepted to Penn?
S: “Funny story. It was the worst but the best night ever. I was so nervous– this was my dream come true to get in, and my neighborhood’s entire power went out right when I was supposed to find out. iPhones were not as popular back then, and I didn’t have a smartphone with internet to check online. We went to a small high school, and during the day that day I told everyone that if I didn’t make my facebook status within the first hour, I for sure got rejected, and told them not to say anything to me. The entire school was like 'oh my god she didn’t get in', but I checked it really late and I was crying out of happiness.”
M: “It was me and my best friend in my room. The anxiety was killing me so I took a nap for like an hour and a half, we both went to sleep and then just randomly, without an alarm or anything I woke up at 4:59, and the decision was coming at 5:00. I was like 'oh my god, there’s a minute left, Chase, Chase!' So we went online, and I was in.”
S: “Everyone was involved with mine, and he just did it entirely himself and didn’t want anyone to know whereas I made everyone sit around me and hold my hands.”
M: “Yeah, I was alone in my room with like one friend.”
S: “I was waiting for his call, but I wasn’t that concerned, I knew he would get in. ”
-How is it like going to the same college?
M: “It makes it a lot easier. If anything is wrong, or I have questions about anything I can easily go to her. I don’t know if it makes her life easier that I’m here, but it definitely makes mine.”
S: “It’s good for the family to have both kids in one place, our schedules are the same. My dad also went here and he was obsessed with Penn since we were born, so we didn’t have that much of an option but we would’ve loved to come here anyway.”
-How did your relationship change when you ended up in the same college?
S: “I think when I left, we had a harder time keeping in touch because I was so busy here, it was my first year and I was totally lost, had no idea what was going on. But now that he’s here and I’m adjusted, we take a lot of the same classes, we’re both pre-med, and it’s easier to help him.”
M: “It’s not like I’m that much of a load on you though.”
S: “No not at all.”
M: “Once every like three weeks I’ll ask you something.”
-How often do you see each other?
M: “Once every three weeks.”
S: “No way, definitely more than that! More as of lately. He also had a girlfriend that he spent a lot of time with and he didn’t have time for me.”
M: “Okay, that’s valid.”
-How are your friend groups?
M: “We’re very different and in our friend groups have completely different roles, but it’s the same group. She’s much more of a socialite whereas I.. I don’t know how to describe this.”
S: “He is friends with social people but he is not social. He enjoys himself in the group settings but isn’t like…”
M: “I don’t talk to anyone.”
S: “He is very likeable, but he doesn’t have to try.”
-Did you get closer here?
S: “I think we are closer now that we’re both older.”
M: “Yeah, I don’t think it has to do with school, it has to do with age, and it just coincided with being in college.”
S: “When you’re younger, the boy and girl difference is more apparent, and when you get older it matters less and everyone is doing the same things.”
M: “And plus now we’ve had just about close to the same experiences, and enough of the same experiences that we can relate to each other in a lot of ways.”
S: “It is also interesting, being Turkish and being in America and going to college here, you’re not the same as everyone else. For us it’s so hard to find someone with the same values, it’s just a different culture, and since there aren’t that many people that can relate, it’s definitely good to have a sibling.”
M: “To have that one person who can understand.”
Sisters at Columbia University, both in Columbia College, from Lexington, Massachusetts:
-Allie, Junior, studying History and specializing in Early United States History
-Emily, Freshman, prospective Psychology major
E: “I visited her here, and we face timed a lot, but being separated was definitely different. We didn’t lose connection or anything, but being in the same place really brings you together.”
A: “Those were the only two years we were separated, but I think it’s been really nice especially now that she’s here with me. I was counting down the days and crossing my fingers for her while waiting for the decision to come up. Now that she’s here, it’s a great feeling to be able to go to such a big school, but still see each other as much as we want.”
-Is she being a good “big sister”?
E: “She is being a great big sister, as well as a great friend. She is definitely ‘showing me the ropes.’”
A: “I’m really trying! Our dad went here too, and he showed us around, so its easier to help her.”
-Are you in any clubs together?
E: “We’re both in the Relay for Life Committee, and are helping plan the big event for American Cancer Society in April.”
A: “We are also in different clubs, and have our own friend groups, so it’s been a great balance!”
Sisters at Columbia University, from El Paso, Texas:
-Natalie, Junior at Columbia College, studying Political Science and Hispanic Studies
-Emily, Freshman at Barnard College, undecided, prospective History major
-What is it like going to the same college?
N: “It was just really nice to be in the same place again, because I’d been on the East Coast for two years, which is very far from Texas. It was a great feeling to be able to see each other face to face again, and we’ve grown closer just because we’re in closer contact.”
E: “I would definitely agree with that. We’ve already had a close relationship beforehand but being apart for two years… it was hard. And having her in the same city is definitely great because I get to see her on a daily basis, and we even get to work on homework together.
-Does she help you out with classes?
E: “Yeah, especially Calculus.”
-Did your sister being here affect your college decision?
E: “Having Natalie here was definitely an added bonus, but it wasn’t the only factor. I came because I loved the campus, and I loved everything about it when I visited. However, having her here definitely helped me, atmosphere wise. It was so nice because she knew where everything was on campus, and I wasn’t the freshman walking around completely lost. And the fact that we were in New York City was just the cherry on top.”