Olivia Macklin’s sister, Laura, was walking through her hometown of Kalaheo, Hawaii when someone waved to her. Laura had never seen this person before and was confused. She didn’t wave back. Olivia’s boss told her a few days later that she had seen Olivia and that Olivia did not notice her.
This strange scenario makes sense when you realize that Laura and Olivia are twin sisters who look extremely alike. Her funny encounter is similar to the experiences many twins at UP have frequently. When you share not just a last name, but also a similar face, being confused for the other twin is the norm.
Sophomores Nicole and Jennifer Manning took advantage of people’s inability to distinguish between them when they were children. The girls attended a school where they were required to wear uniforms, and the only distinguishing feature that teachers could recognize was that Nicole wore a pink bow in her hair while Jennifer had a yellow one on. Naturally, on April Fool’s Day, the girls would trade their accessories and cause utter confusion among the classroom.
“Our teachers would just be like ‘Manning!’ because they couldn’t tell which one of us it was,” Nicole said.
When the Johnston twins were in an AP Biology course in their senior year of high school, Rory had an easier time in the class than his brother did. Once, he took an exam in the class in Conor’s place.
“The teacher had no idea what happened,” Rory said.
If you do confuse one twin for the other, freshman Nikolai Apenes says that you don’t have to feel awkward, and you shouldn’t let it deter you from talking to either one.
“I’m not offended if you think I’m Jacob,” Nikolai said. “Just say ‘hi’ even if you’re afraid of saying ‘hi’ to the wrong twin.”
There are, surprisingly, more awkward twin encounters than getting the siblings mixed up. Sophomores Dan and Ben Lively said that they were once asked how long they had been twins. They casually responded that they’d been twins for five years.
Twins have varying reasons for choosing to attend UP together. For some, it was coincidence. For others, knowing that their twin chose UP swayed them into choosing it also. For some, going to separate colleges wasn’t even an option.
Junior nursing majors Becca and Bethany Lorenz are best friends who have spent almost every aspect of their college experience together.
“Mom wouldn’t let us room together (freshman year). She told us to make new friends,” Becca said.
The girls were not keen on the idea of living separately. Their solution? To request rooms next to each other.
For Jennifer Manning, knowing that her sister was going to UP helped her make her college decision.
“I chose first,” Nicole said. “Then two days later, (Jennifer) was like, ‘I’m also doing UP.’”
Both Apenes brothers, however, chose UP by chance, and not because the other twin chose the school.
For Laura Macklin and her twin Olivia, attending the same college eased the transition.
“It’s an automatic friend,” Laura said. “It’s just easier when you have your family with you.”
Her sister Olivia concurred.
“It’s nice because then you don’t have the full cut-off from your family,” Olivia said. “And if you’re not making friends easily, either I have an automatic friend, or she has friends that I can become friends with.”
They also said, in unison, that they will probably stay together after college. The Lorenz twins also plan to live in the same town after college.
Though for the Lively twins, it’s not imperative that they stay together after UP.
“Whatever happens, we’re still going to talk to each other,” said Dan.
Several of the twins mentioned that if they fight, they don’t stay mad, and they greatly appreciate having a sibling with whom they are so close.
“You expect so much from the other person because you already know them so well,” said Becca.