I always get asked what it is like to be a twin. I never quite know how to respond. I have never not been a twin.
To me, being a twin and having someone your exact age, with your exact face, is normal for me.
I sat down and really thought about how my life could be so different from those who are not twins. From my experience and in no particular order, this is what it is like to have a twin:
1. Always being called the wrong name. I have been called by my twin’s name my whole life. So much so, that I have actually started answering to it. Even when I am in a situation in which she would not be around, I still turn around and try to answer when someone says, “Maddy.”
2. Being known by your last name or as “The Twins.” It does not matter where you go or how far away you are from one another. All of our teachers called us the “Dorfmans” growing up.
I had a gym teacher in middle school who did not even bother to learn the difference.
All of my friends and their parents knew us as “The Twins.” We were never individuals. People always assumed if you had one you had to have the other.
3. Constantly being compared. It never mattered whether it had to do with school, social activities, friends, cleanliness of rooms or even our hair. For example, I was never as good as my twin in school. I had lower grades, even though they were still good. My parents did not always mean to compare our grades but it was always hard not to. Report cards came out and they congratulated us equally but it never got easier seeing all of her A’s, when I could not get one.
One time in sixth grade, my math teacher pulled me out of class because he heard me saying that my twin probably did better than I did. He was the first person, that I remember, to tell me that I need to stop comparing myself to her. He said I was just as smart as she was, just in a different way.
4. Sharing friends. It does not matter whose friend they were first, eventually they just became friends with both of us. We have had to share friends our entire life.
“Just get your own friends,” some will say. Easier said than done. We did not have a large pool to pick from since we were the same age, and then eventually friends would sleep over and it was all downhill from there.
5. Having someone who knows exactly what you are going through. When you are a twin you are the exact same age, so you can relate to what is going on with each other.
Whether it is problems at school or puberty, they know how you feel. It is a constant support system whether you like it or not.
6. A built-in friend. Since you are the same age and have the same parents, you are practically living the same life. There was never a time in which one could go out and the other could not. One could drive while the other was stuck hitching rides from others. You would just hang out with each other because it was easy. Now that we are in college, it is even better.
We are almost always together because all we have to do to make plans is turn to your right and say, “Hey I’m going to run to Ulta in 20 minutes. Be ready.”
This is just a sneak peek of what it is like to be a twin. If I included everything, you would be reading a novel. I hope now, when people ask me what it is like to be a twin, they will finally understand.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and are not representative of The Slate or its staff as a whole