The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The twin experience

By Jade Marzolf

Being a twin is sort of a mystery to people who don’t have one, but Chatham University has a few sets of them who were willing to share their experiences.

Amy Wain ’21 and Melissa Wain ’21 are fraternal twins who major in creative writing. Jesse Solomon ’21 studies media arts at Chatham University, and his identical twin, Stephen Solomon, attends Carnegie Mellon University.

Here are four things to know about having a twin:

1. Twins can be best friends or hate each other’s guts: “The twin experience isn’t universal,” Melissa Wain said. Some become best friends at an early age and maintain that connection throughout their lives, while others might despise each other. Some twins are highly competitive, but others prefer to work as a team. The constant comparison between twins either fosters competition between them or extinguishes it.

2. All the twin questions are annoying: Twins tend to hear the same phrases and questions over and over: “Who’s older?” or “Can you read each other’s minds?” They get tired of answering them.

“It makes me genuinely wonder if we’re the first set of twins these people have ever met in real life,” Melissa Wain said. “The one I hate the most is the twintuition one, or some variety of it, like ‘Do you feel when the other one is in pain?’”

“I hate when people ask if we argue a lot,” Amy Wain said. “I think that’s kind of a common trope … but it’s just kind of irritating when people assume we hate each other.”

A better question would be something like, “What are each of your favorite movies?” It’s one that’s not as common and gives twins a chance to showcase their differences.

3. Twins are two separate people: While twins do look similar, they do have distinct qualities. Something that works for one twin might not work for the other. Even if twins share a close bond, they are independent people and can choose divergent paths, like going to separate schools.

“College decision making was a last-minute change for me so that made it not possible for me to attend CMU,” Jesse Solomon said. “I miss [my twin brother] all the time, and we talk everyday numerous times.”

4. Being a twin isn’t magical: Twins have never experienced anything other than being one. “Asking me what’s it like being a twin is like asking what’s it like having brown hair. I don’t know, it’s normal,” Amy Wain said. “What’s it like not being a twin?”

Author of this article, Jade Marzolf (right) pictured with her twin sister Iris Marzolf (left). Both Iris and Jade are seniors at Chatham University and writers for the Communiqué.
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