Twins share struggles, successes being together on campus

By Muskaan Gupta, Staff writer

Miranda and Melody Zhou, juniors in Business, have grown accustomed to obvious stares.

Twins often get confused for each other by teachers, close friends and sometimes even family. Since Miranda and Melody have dealt with some awkward situations before, they have learned how to help their friends tell the difference between them.

“We like to tell people how to tell us apart right when we meet them, so it’s easier. We never feel awkward if someone calls us by the wrong name and are quite used to it,” Melody said.

People often assume that having the same face means having the same personality, same interests and same taste. While twins may be physically identical, their personalities can be quite polar opposite.

Rachel Rosa, freshman in Business, shared her experience of being “clumped” as the same person with her twin brother. She is more interested in business, while her twin brother studies artificial intelligence and computer science.

“We’re different in about every imaginable way, but that’s what makes it more interesting,” Rosa said. “We are entirely different in the way we think, our interests and our personalities. Despite this, we are the best of friends.”

While the Zhou twins have a common interest in business and accounting, each twin brings their own unique qualities to the table.

Miranda noted that Melody is more into fashion than she is. Meanwhile, Miranda tends to be more serious than Melody. Despite these differences, they continue to participate in the same organizations since they enjoy being in each others’ company, and they work well together.

When picking colleges, twins are faced with the daunting question of either staying together or going separate ways. On one side, they get to continue their 18-year journey with their twin as they grow into adults. On the other hand, they have the opportunity to explore who they are and pursue their personal goals.

When faced with this dilemma, the Rosa twins decided to seek colleges that best fit their unique personalities and allow them the freedom to grow as individuals.

Ultimately, Rachel chose Illinois while Kevin decided to travel 2,000 miles away to Caltech in California.

This decision came with its benefits and challenges.

“We picked different colleges because our respective colleges fit us well,” Rosa said. “We would have liked to go to the same school, but we know that the schools we picked are a good fit. Although it is difficult to go to a different college than him and not be able to see him all the time, like high school, it is nice to be able to see each other during breaks.” 

Rosa looks forward to seeing her twin over Thanksgiving break. The break will provide the perfect opportunity for the twins to reconnect and share their one-of-a-kind college experiences with each other.

Having a twin on campus can have its perks as well.

For many, it is like having your best friend, the person who understands you the best, with you through all the bumps along the road, for better or for worse. This is one of the many reasons why the Zhou twins chose to stay together at the University.

“We both chose UIUC because we knew we wanted to go to school together and this school was one of the good ones that accepted us both. Being twins definitely influenced our decision to come to this school,” Melody said.

Being in the same college has also helped the Zhou twins develop a closer bond, as they overcome challenges like homesickness together.

One of the struggles of having a twin on campus can be dependence on each other, according to the Zhou twins.

“We definitely rely on each other more because we are from New Jersey and being far from home is harder,” Miranda said. “Sometimes we consult each other on everything and at times it can hinder our independence. I think we need to try to not always think about each other. It is nice to care for each other, but at times it’s stressful to worry about myself and her at the same time.”

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