All in the family — Twins and siblings have twice the fun

When Rachel Ruggiero, senior nursing major, goes about her day on campus, fellow students and professors often stop her, greeting her with a name other than her own. But that’s just a normal day in the life of Rachel and her twin sister Christina, also a student at the College.

Although Rachel expressed that this can be a cumbersome part of being twins on a college campus, she also said that it can be exciting and fun to see and hear people’s reactions.

“A lot of people don’t even know that I have a twin sister on campus and since Christina and I have different majors, people think we are the same person,” Rachel said.

Rachel’s days are made even more interesting by the fact that her younger sister, Lori, also attends the College. Lori, a sophomore civil engineering and English major, said living on campus with her sisters helped with the college transition.

“It definitely made the transition easier because it was like having a little bit of home here,” Lori said.

Christina, senior biology major, said she likes having her sisters on campus.

“Having my sisters on campus allows us to become even closer,” she said. “We get to see each other a lot.”

Rachel said that coming to the College was her individual choice as well as Christina’s.

“Christina and I applied to five of the same schools and we both ended up liking this one best,” she said.

For Lori however, the fact that her sisters attend the College was a deciding factor.

“I get homesick a lot, so it is good to have them around,” she said. “My parents did encourage me a little bit to go to the same school because I love to be with my family.”

According to Rachel and her sisters, the positive points of having siblings on campus definitely outweigh the negative.

“It’s great,” Rachel said. “The fact that you know someone is always there for you no matter what, and although we have made
good friends here, it’s always nice to have a sister around.”

A couple of the friends Rachel talked about are Jocelyn and Jasmine Charl?n, another set of twins that actually live in the same townhouse as the Ruggieros.

Jocelyn, a senior nursing major, said living together is the best.

“It’s great because you know you always have someone there for you that will support you,” Jocelyn said.

For these twins, nothing comes as a surprise. According to Jasmine, a senior nursing major, the reactions they get on campus range anywhere from, “What a big surprise,” to “Gosh, are you attached at the hip?” When faced with these reactions, the Charl?n twins realize how close they have become and that what others say doesn’t change how they feel about one another.

“We just say that we love it, and that we are happy,” Jocelyn said. “We figure that the majority of our lives, we probably won’t be living together, so we should enjoy it while we can.”

Besides having a familiar face to turn to on campus, the Charl?n twins said having a sister on campus also has other benefits.

“You can live with someone you are comfortable with since you have lived with them all your life,” Jasmine said. “And you can share clothes and books (since we have the same major).”

In addition, having a few extra friends on campus is never a complicated task for these twins.

“We know twice as many people, and then we introduce each other to them,” Jasmine said.

When it comes to having a best friend on campus, these girls are not the only siblings that have a companion nearby. Keith and Kenny Lucas, junior philosophy majors, said they are so used to being with one another that coming to college without each other was inconceivable.

“They say twins are inseparable, but me coming to the school with Keith is like going to school with my best friend,” Kenny said.

Coming to college together was something the Lucas twins decided to do because of how close they are to one another, and for the advantages they felt it would give them. Kenny said the best thing about having his twin brother on campus is knowing that when he has a problem, he can always go to him for help and encouragement. Keith agreed, but added that being so close to his brother helps keep him in line.

“The best thing about having my brother on campus is that he is my best and worst critic,” Keith said. “Just someone to hold me accountable. He has helped me grow as a person and intellectually.”

For Keith and Kenny, the worst part of living with a sibling and, more specifically, a twin on campus is that it is difficult to establish a separate identity.

“I’ve become very comfortable with my relationship with Kenny,” Keith said. “That alone makes it difficult for me to break out of that, to find my own friends or do my own things.”

Finding an identity, however, is not a difficult task for Jonathan and Laura Cataldi. Jonathan, senior Spanish education major, and his freshman sister, Laura, health and exercise science major, both take classes at the College.

“It’s cool having my sister go here,” Jonathan said. “I live off campus so we really don’t see each other much, but when we do, it’s cool because we can hang out together.”

In addition, Jonathan and Laura had very separate reasons for coming to the College. Jonathan said he came to the College because it was his first choice academically and because it was well respected for its teaching program. Laura’s motive was a little different.

“I came to this school because it has one of the best lacrosse teams in the country and I wanted to play for (the College),” she said.

For Jonathan and Laura, having one another on campus serves a lot of practical and emotional needs.

“Since I’m older and came to school when she was a sophomore in high school, I didn’t really see her too much,” Jonathan said. “Now, if we need something, we are here for each other.”

The Cataldis agree that they have not experienced any negatives attending the same college.

“So far, knock on wood, there haven’t been any bad points,” Jonathan said. “We don’t see each other enough to really have any issues.”