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Personal Essay About Twins

So I am in the process of writing my personal essay and I want it to be the best it can be.
The prompt is:
Describe the environment in which you grew up, and explain how it has shaped you as a person.
Here's what I have right now:

"Are the two of you twins?"

A polite, "Yes," as we walk by.

When people learn I am a twin, they lead into the matter at the first available opportunity, as would be expected. No matter what we could previously be talking about, be it school...sports...weather, it is suddenly dropped in favor of this new one. When my brother and I are actually together, the fact that I am a twin is (obviously) much clearer. With this observation, someone may point and stare as if my twin and I are on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list, or other times, a total stranger might come up to us like we've known each other for years. A simple glance is all it takes to spark an interest. And so begins the flow of questions.

"Am I seeing double?"

"What's it like to be a twin?" (As if I have any means of comparison)

How does one go about answering a question such as this? How can they understand twinhood from my perspective? For the seventeen years I have lived on this earth, I have encountered this situation more times than I care to count (This number not including the first quarter of my life which remains unclear, given the fact that I was but a mere child). All my life I have had an identical twin, an exact copy of my genetic make-up, and all my life people have never ceased to be amazed by this.

The first question ("What's it like?") is general enough for me to describe the simple niceties of being a twin. The second question about whether or not I find it enjoyable, however, doesn't leave me with as much "wiggle room." I can pipe off the things I may insincerely like or dislike-the ability to play games with strangers, or the headaches which arise from lifelong sibling rivalry-but can I really say whether or not I want to be a twin? Being a twin is so fundamentally a part of my fundamental existence that I could never say yay or nay; all I can retort is a hesitant "Well, it's alright, I guess. I can't complain."

Though in spells of rage I have been known to regard my twin brother as someone who is incompetent and riling, Zach and I are nevertheless best friends. There is no other person I have spent more time with than my brother, and can be around and yet proceed to act so innately and so uninhibited that it feels as though I were by myself. Granted we have our moments of weakness, but our fights are never caused by anything more than misplaced aggravation or fatigue-induced irritability.

I suppose the most reasonable explanation for this is relatively simple; my brother and I understand each other better than anyone else. We get a kick out of the same jokes and respond to certain things in similar ways. We share the same interests and like all of the same foods. Just because we can finish one another's sentences, doesn't make us psychological oddities but shows just how identical we really are.

While I could not be happier being a twin and would never wish otherwise, I often find myself zoning out when being bombarded with these questions. I guess this is because the inquirers are so interested in Zach and me collectively, not me as an individual. Expectations that my twin brother and I are the same person (produced twice) have limited my expression of my personality.

I look forward to my college experience as a chance for people to know the me, and not (just) the we. I hope that as my brother and I both go our separate ways, I will find my own self through my journey to become a physician, thus developing a new identity different from that of my brother.

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Should I add something about the university?

Very good. You've gotten the environment part down and part of the shaping down, but you are actually just describing the "WE." Now you need to work on describing what exactly the environment did to make you who you are today. Other than that, this is a spectacular essay. There are no obvious grammar or spelling mistakes to distract the reader from the meaning of the essay itself.

Well the other prompt is: Tell us something that you have not already told us in this application that will help us better understand your potential for success as a college student at the University of South Carolina.

I wasn't sure which this would fall under

In that case, go ahead with your plan. Excellent job.

I wasn't sure what you meant by 'pivotal existence' - specifically, the use of the word pivotal.

I thought your whole essay was excellent! Very interesting to read, and particularly insightful into the world of being a twin (sorry - all us non-twins will be eternally curious about that!).

Your last sentence ...

Although I could not be happier being a twin and would never wish otherwise, I hope my college experience will be a chance for people to know the ME, not the WE.

is great in concept as a closing sentence, but struck me as just a little weak in the way it flowed. Maybe replace 'although' with 'while' (works well with the word would, i think) and perhaps choose a stronger word than 'hope' ... "I can't wait for my college experience to be a chance for people to know the ME, not (just) the WE."

Good luck!!

Like fundamental. I'll change it to that.

Thanks!

I'm also wondering if I should add a little about how expectations limit my ability to express myself

The second people learn I am an identical twin, the second everything previously being discussed is forgotten. School...sports...weather...you name it-gone. When my brother and I are actually together, there is no casual discussion. A total stranger will come up to you like you've known one another for years. A simple glance is all it takes to spark an interest, and so begins the flow of questions.

...
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Let me know what you think! Responses would be greatly appreciated! :-)

It is an overall good essay however, I dont see the point of it honestly. You can talk about a lot of stuff and then in the end its like BOOM last sentence. You should interwine that last sentence through out your whole essay.

The second people learn I am an identical twin, the second everything previously being discussed is forgotten. School...sports...weather...you name it-gone. When my brother and I are actually together, there is no casual discussion. A total stranger will come up to you like you've known one another for years. A simple glance is all it takes to spark an interest, and so begins the flow of questions. This whole paragraph is so confusing what are you trying to say ? reword it

I look forward to my college experience as a chance for people to know the ME, and not (just) the WE. Its poor writing to use caps as you did. I understand you are trying to emphasize it but you haev to do that another way

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This is really interesting to read! I wanted to ask you... what is it like being a twin?

Just kidding.

The second people learn I am an identical twin, the second everything previously being discussed is forgotten.


Add the verb "is" to this sentence.

and so begins the flow of questions.


hahaah well written... I like it.

A total stranger will come up to you--- do not switch from saying "I" to saying "you." It is better to avoid saying "you."

Oh... cool ending. So... what is the main idea of this essay? It is strange that you choose to write about it if it is something that you are sick of talking about. Anyway, how about "how it shaped you as a person" who is going into a particular profession? Write a little about your outlook on the future. Are you and your brother both serious about your chosen fields? If so, you are developing new identities and soon will be completely different from one another. You are what you do.

they redirect discussion to the matter at the first available opportunity, as would be expected. --- just an idea

No matter what we could previously have been talking about, be it school...sports...weather, it is suddenly dropped in favor of this new topic.

the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list-- hahaha, very funny...

...so interested in Zach and me collectively, not me as an individual. --- this is very well explained.

I think this can be better if you complete it by discussing what makes you different from him -- especially if you can write about your intended major, career, etc... the stuff your college education is all about.

What would you recommend for a word count? I'm at 647 before adding info about differences, major interests, etc. from your statement above.

I don't know, I would not hesitate to just call someone at the admissions office and ask. They should give a suggested word count!

:-)

It's 500! Shoot...

Okay, I have it down to 497.

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"Are the two of you twins?"

A polite, "Yes," as we walk by.

When people learn I am a twin, they redirect discussion to the matter at the first available opportunity. Anything we could have previously been talking about is suddenly dropped in favor of this new one. When my brother and I are actually together, the fact that I am a twin is (obviously) much clearer. A simple glance is all it takes to spark an interest. And so begins the flow of questions.

"What's it like to be a twin?" (As if I have any means of comparison)

"Do you like it?"

How does one go about answering a question such as this? How can they understand twinhood from my perspective? For the seventeen years I have lived on this earth, I have encountered this situation more times than I care to count. All my life I have had an identical twin and people have never ceased to be amazed by this.

The first question ("What's it like?") is general enough for me to describe the simple niceties of being a twin. The second question about whether or not I find it enjoyable, however, doesn't leave me with as much "wiggle room." I can pipe off the things I may like or dislike--the ability to play games with strangers, or the headaches which arise from lifelong sibling rivalry--but can I really say whether or not I want to be a twin? Being a twin is so fundamentally a part of my existence that I could never say yay or nay; all I can retort is a hesitant "Well, it's alright, I guess. I can't complain."

Though in spells of rage I have been known to regard my twin brother as someone who is incompetent and riling, Zach and I are nevertheless best friends. There is no other person I have spent more time with than my brother, and can be around and yet proceed to act so innately and so uninhibited that it feels as though I were by myself. Granted we have our moments of weakness, but our fights are never caused by anything more than misplaced aggravation or fatigue-induced irritability.

I suppose the most reasonable explanation for this is relatively simple; my brother and I understand each other better than anyone else. We get a kick out of the same jokes and respond to certain things in similar ways. Just because we can finish one another's sentences, doesn't make us psychological oddities but shows just how identical we really are.

While I could not be happier being a twin and would never wish otherwise, I look forward to my college experience as a chance for people to know the me, and not (just) the we. I hope that as my brother and I both go our separate ways, I will find my own self through my journey to become a physician, developing a new identity different from that of my brother.



Being a twin is something I've always been proud of. For as long as I can remember, it's been the two of us against the world and I'm fortunate that as we've grown older, our unbelievably close relationship has turned into a friendship of epic proportions. I do wonder every now and then how different my life would be if I had a younger sibling to look out for or an older sibling to look up to, but I wouldn't change a thing because my sister, Nicole, is my person. No matter the combination (two girls, two boys, a boy and a girl), every set of twins can identify with these six things:

  1. Learning to share very early on. I'm not just talking about materialistic things like toys and clothes. As a twin, my life as a whole has been shared from day one. From birthday parties to my Bat Mitzvah to my bedroom (yes, we had a short stint with a bunk bed), being a twin has taught me the true meaning of "sharing is caring."
  2. Answering the same questions over and over. "Are you identical or fraternal?" That's generally the first of many questions you're asked after revealing you're a twin. Another common inquiry is if we share the same group of friends. I've always found this to be somewhat of a strange question, only because I can't imagine having two separate social lives. Many sets of twins do branch off into their own crews, we just weren't one of them. Don't get me wrong, we each have had friends over the years that never overlapped, but our closest friends are shared (see above).
  3. Icebreakers are a breeze. Having to announce a "fun fact" about yourself in a room full of people may be intimidating to the average person, but for twins it's quite the opposite. I shouldn't generalize, but I personally am always excited to share the news. I never have to think twice about what to say or worry that it isn't compelling enough. Overall, it's a pretty convenient anecdote to have in my back pocket.
  4. Keeping a picture of your twin on file. Once people find out you're a twin, they always want to see a photo for comparison. We were never one of those sets of twins who could switch places and fool everyone around us. People who know us can differentiate with ease, but we have gotten some perplexed faces from acquaintances and distant family members who only met us as babies.
  5. The conscious effort to set yourself apart. Although it's truly awesome to be a twin, I've also found it important to foster my own individuality. My sister and I have innately different personalities, so this was never a huge challenge. Whether it was participating in different Summer activities when growing up or deciding to attend different colleges, we've made many decisions as individuals instead of as a unit.
  6. Having a built-in best friend. Imagine growing up having your closest pal right down the hall every night. Imagine having one person who's going through exactly what you're going through at every stage of your life. That's what it's like to be a twin. Having a twin is like having a constant soundboard to bounce ideas and questions off of. My twin is my first and unwavering source of advice, because she understands me to an extent no one else does.

So if you've ever wondered what it's like to be a twin, yes — it's freaking awesome. Being a twin has taught me so much about life and it's become a part of my identity. So thanks, Mom and Dad, for giving me the best partner in crime a girl could ask for.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Samantha Netkin