Life with a Twin: A Unique Journey of Shared Identity 

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A twin sandwich; Katelyn Gill on the far left, then Ashley Lamme, Haley Lamme, and Caroline Gill at the Dreamville Festival. Lexie and Laney are pictured at homecoming! These sets of twins tell parts of their stories as they share the experience of growing up.

In the hectic halls of high school where students shape their personality, and identity, and navigate through adolescence, some Leesville students stumble across their own DNA. Twins, bonded by blood and some of the time inseparable since birth, bring an interesting dynamic to high school. Something that you can only experience if you are one. 

Not only sharing birthdays, but intertwined friend groups, sports teams, and oftentimes competing to stand out from each other and fighting to find their own identity. 

Ashley and Haley Lamme 

I have first-hand experiences with growing up as a fraternal twin. Ashley Lamme, my twin, is both my sister and friend all in one. 

Growing up, Ashley definitely stole the show. Her big personality oftentimes towered over mine, struggling for me to find my voice. It wasn’t until middle and high school that my personality grew but that also came with disagreements. 

“We argue, but we always come out of it with more awareness of others’ feelings and how they process certain things. We are together all the time,[so] we are bound to get annoyed with each other. We grew up differently as well. Just because we grew up at the same time doesn’t mean everything happened to us the same way. She hates it when I call her stupid. I hate when she brings up the past. It’s all nonsense in the end but yes, we argue, but nothing would ever stop us from having the relationship that we do”, said Ashley Lamme. 

We used to fight like crazy. It’s hard to navigate being related to someone, yet being so different. When people think of twins they think of a spitting image of each other. The same face, body, personality, interests. Ashley and I prove that stereotype wrong. 

“Growing up with a twin was growing up with a best friend who showed you the good and bad parts of yourself. While there was competition between who got the higher grade on the test, who wanted to remote, and who could win the Easter egg hunt (Haley typically did), maturing and adapting to life with a twin helped me realize who I wanted to be as a person and how important relationships can be in your life”, said Ashley. 

On top of forming friendships and being associated with each other, being a twin comes with the constant comparison of each other. Our parents learned how to parent two girls that are totally different. It is definitely a roller coaster of emotions as we navigate high school as a family, but the love never goes unnoticed. 

“Of course there are challenges,” said Ashley. “Not being the same height so we can’t share clothes. She can take mine but I can’t take her cute tops. Everything used to be a competition when we were older. Who was the cuter twin or the smarter one. It hurt being viewed as two separate people and one of us being viewed as better. But I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I love Haley Lamme.”

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Ashley will be attending York College in Pennsylvania to pursue her volleyball career, and I will be attending the University of South Carolina. It will definitely be a big adjustment. I will miss having my best friend right down the hall from me.

“Going to different colleges is going to be rough. I don’t think we’ve spent more than a week apart for 18 years. We are wombmates. I won’t be able to barge into her room and steal q tips and she can’t take my bronzer. There’s no more sharing clothes, there’s no more texting “are you home” or calling her when I’m getting off work and asking her if she wants to take a drive. We are going to be 11 hours apart. Yes, I will be playing the sport I love and she will be meeting all of these amazing people and learning new things, but not having my best friend 5 steps away? That’s going to be rough”, said Ashley. 

Lexie and Laney Duncan 

For many students, they could not imagine life without their twin. Lexie and Laney Duncan, seniors at Leesville Road High School reflect on growing up as fraternal twins, being side by side. 

“I feel like a twin bond is different from a normal sibling bond because you’re the same age and going through the same milestone moments in your life with each other. It’s definitely like having a built-in best friend,” said Lexie Duncan. 

“Growing up, we always had someone to play with when we were little. We never failed to keep each other entertained. I was the purple twin growing up and Laney was the pink twin,” said Lexie. 

“Since birth, we have been inseparable. When we were little, Laney would literally crawl into my crib and sit on me. We definitely get along better than all the twins we know. We really don’t argue that much at all. When we do it’s normally about stealing clothes or just normal sister annoyances,” said Lexie. 

“We are both going to UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall. We’re rooming together, but we’re planning on getting involved in different activities like cheer and soccer so we will still be able to become independent from one another,” said Laney Duncan. 

Lexie and Laney supported UNC as little kids not knowing they would be rooming together and attending their dream school in the fall. 

The Duncan twins relate to other twins who find themselves navigating a close relationship but also wanting differentiation. While they both cherish a beautiful friendship and sisterhood they also cannot wait to form independence and gain a stronger sense of identity. 

Caroline and Katelyn Gill 

Social dynamics with the complexity of high school adds another dimension to students’ experiences as twins.

Students often have peers and students struggling to tell them apart and always associating themselves together. Katelyn and Caroline Gill, seniors at Leesville, recount their experiences of constantly being referred to as the “Gill twins”, instead of their own names.

Caroline and Katelyn are identical twins, very close, have the same friends, and love to do similar things. “It’s almost like people think we are a packaged deal. Growing up it was hard to tell us apart. Friends’ parents refer to us as the ‘Gill twins’ and we are always together so our friends and friends’ parents constantly group us together,” said Katelyn. 

“We literally argue every single day. Like on the way to school, who made us late that day, if we are wearing each other’s clothes, and who gets to drive,” said Katelyn. 

Caroline will be attending the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Katelyn will be attending the University of South Carolina in the fall. “It will be nice to have a distance at separate colleges because we have always done everything together and now we get to experience something new,” said Caroline. 

Alex and Jude Martin 

Alex and Jude Martin are fraternal girl-boy twins. Their twin experience differs as she grew up with a boy-best friend and brother all in one. 

“It was always nice to have someone so close to me that is the same age and also the other gender. It made us both more understanding of other people and how to treat each other. It was like I was guaranteed a friend group and a support system,” said Alex Martin. 

“Growing up with a twin was definitely scary at times. Although it’s been settled and mended now, my twin and I had an on-and-off rivalry when we were very little. I would go downstairs one morning and she would have a force field of cereal boxes protecting her from talking to anybody else. Other mornings she would be completely normal and eat her breakfast without needing a barrier of cardboard”, said Jude Martin. 

Alex and Jude Martin share a very special bond. They guide each other through the endeavors of adolescence and both have come out stronger by being so close to each other. 

“He has a sense of comfort. Growing up I would often follow in his footsteps and let him be the one to do something first. He helped manage my anxiety and it is something I am very thankful for,” said Alex. 

“Nowadays we constantly mess around whether it’s driving to school or driving back from school or seeing each other at home during the day (very rare). We’ve grown close after our battles, whatever bruise or scratch from the past has turned into a story to laugh at. She still slaps me on the occasional annoyance but I’ve understood to love her as we’ll always end up making a good story out of it. Also twin telepathy is real, people are lying to you”, said Jude.

“We will both be going to Appalachian State University. I’m really excited to have my brother right by my side as we go through this huge in our life. I know he will be right down the hall or a short walk to a different building,” said Alex.

As these sets of twins approach the end of high school, they embark on a journey of self-discovery, navigating the balance between unity and individuality. 

They all share stories of shared experiences, intertwined destinies, and the blood bond that deepens the idea of siblinghood. High school is an intimidating, chaotic time for individuals, where every student seeks to find their place, but twins stand out as a testament to the power of connection and the beauty of shared identity.

 

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