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"Which one is the smarter twin?"- Common App; background or story


marecrowley 3 / 23 2  
Jun 12, 2013   #1
Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their
application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story in 650 words or less.


For as long as I can remember, I have always been a comparison. "Which one is the smarter twin?" "Are you faster than Noelle?" When I was little I reveled in the extra attention that I received due to my physical likeness to my sister. Peers seemed to be drawn to the strawberry-blonde, green-eyed girls that looked and dressed exactly alike. Noelle and I actually auditioned for commercials in New York City during elementary school based purely on our twin-ness (unfortunately we never did anything). However, even then I struggled to define myself as an individual. At any opportunity I dressed myself differently than my sister, much to the dismay of my mother. Our struggle for separate identities went so far as inane physical fights over the same Elmo bubble bath.

The truth is, Noelle and I are quite similar. We have analogous interests; we both love reading and writing; our love of food, specifically dumplings, is unparalleled. We think the same; there are countless times in which Noelleykins and I have heard seemingly benign things, turned to each other, and burst out into hysterics. As cliché as it sounds, we sorta complete each other. Our connection is incomparable to anything that I have ever heard or read about, and I truly treasure our relationship. At the same time, it has made growing up an extra struggle.

I think everyone can relate to the mystery and confusion of the adolescent years in regard to one's individuality. Everyone tells us that we need to figure out who we are, and what we want to do with our lives. It's especially hard to do that when other people associate your identity as one entwined with another individual. Even I have a hard time describing me without comparing myself to my sister. I think when people ask me "how are you guys different?" they are looking for superficial differences to appease their slight curiosity at the uncommon phenomena of identical twins. A response of "Well, I'm an inch and a half taller," or "Our hair parts in opposite directions" is enough to satisfy the low appetite of the average inquirer. It's sometimes frustrating trying to differentiate myself from Noelle based purely on physicality's; I want to tell people that I love horses, have a passion for long distance running, and want to be a journalist. Of course, people never seem to be interested in those things.

I suppose my interest in individuality stems from the seemingly lack of it in my own life. In my attempt to discover myself as an individual, I have delved into the rich narratives of John Green and Jack Kerouac, filled with characters oozing idiosyncrasies. I am completely enraptured with the uniqueness and non-conformity of these individuals, something that I am striving to figure out in myself. Originally I thought that in order to "find myself," I had to be different than my sister. I thought of my own individuality in regards to my sister's, which sorta defeats the purpose. But as I've gotten older and had my own experiences, I've come to learn that I shouldn't constantly be comparing myself to Noelle. We are our own people; we have different passions and different dreams. Our similarities make us special individually while contributing to the unique connection that we share. I still think that together we are unstoppable; our differences compliment each other and I'll always feel that something's missing in my life if Noelle isn't there. But I think that college is the time for me to develop the qualities I never had to because of Noelle; it's time for me to complete myself.

dumi 1 / 6,928 1592  
Jun 13, 2013   #2
For as long as I can remember, I have always been a comparison.

For as long as I can remember, there wasn't a day that I was not in comparison;

When I was little I reveled in the extra attention that I received due to my physical likeness to my sister.

... this is not clearly expressed :( What are you trying to say?

Noelle and I actually auditioned for commercials in New York City during elementary school based purely on our twin-ness (unfortunately we never did anything)

Noelle and I auditioned for New York commercials when we were in elementary, purely because of the reason that we were twins.

At any opportunity I dressed myself differently than my sister, much to the dismay of my mother. Our struggle for separate identities went so far as inane physical fights over the same Elmo bubble bath.

... very impressive :)
Pahan 1 / 1,907 553  
Jun 15, 2013   #3
We have analogous interests; we both love reading and writing; our love of food, specifically dumplings, is unparalleled.

We have analogous interests ; we both love reading and writing, eating dumplings, ???? (wish you have one more common interests here)

We think the same; there are countless times in which Noelleykins and I have heard seemingly benign things, turned to each other, and burst out into hysterics.

"We think the same" - I feel you better change this slightly, because this does not happen one to one in real life even if both of you are twins;

We share very similar thinking and perceptions.

I suppose my interest in individuality stems from the seemingly lack of it in my own life.

I suppose my interest in individuality stems from the reason that I lacked it in my own life.
guccigirl - / 1  
Jun 23, 2013   #4
I read both this essay and your other one. I think this essay is much more you; it helps me imagine how hard it must be to have a twin (but, admissions officers might see lots of essays about twins. not sure). However, what the other essay had that was great was the specific adventure you had at the airport. This essay seems general. I think this topic is great, but I think you should have a specific story that really articulates your ideas.
OP marecrowley 3 / 23 2  
Jun 27, 2013   #5
Thank you, these are all very helpful!
jkjeremy - / 380 72  
Jul 23, 2013   #6
We think the same

Aha! This merits a comment/observation/point of criticism:

Superficially, it might appear that you "think the same." The overriding point of this essay, however, needs to be that you DON'T.

As is the case with the other essay (and probably with everything you write), this is very engaging. However, whether this essay's mostly about YOU and your identity as opposed to your relationship with your sis is another matter entire.

It's fun to work with students like you because I can focus on subtle things like this...

truly treasure the kind of closeness

Read it aloud and tell me whether you wished to create this alliterative effect.

Paradoxically, although you're obviously a gifted student, I think that a slight "dumbing down" of this task (that is, the instructions that I'd give---NOT the quality of your writing) might be in order.

I hope I'm making sense with all this.

If we don't discuss these papers again, I hope you enjoy the remainder of your summer!
jkjeremy - / 380 72  
Jul 23, 2013   #7
As cliché as it sounds, we sorta complete each other.

If it sounds cliche, then it probably is cliche and, as such, does not belong in your paper.

Also, you know better than to use slang like "sorta" in an important essay like this.

(I hope that doesn't sound cruel...)
OP marecrowley 3 / 23 2  
Jul 23, 2013   #8
You have to be one of the most fun essay revisers(?) I've worked with. Thank you for the blunt suggestions; I can handle it and actually do much better than when someone tries to be "nice." I did read that sentence aloud- yup I definitely had no intention of doing that. To be honest I just write like I talk, or that's what my friends say anyways. In regards to some of your suggestions- many of those seem to be from the original draft; I think I've already made many of those corrections already. In your opinion, what works and what doesn't in this essay? Should I attempt to take a different angle on it, or can I use what I have and make corrections and make it all work?

Thank you,

Mare
jkjeremy - / 380 72  
Jul 23, 2013   #9
You have to be one of the most fun essay revisers(?) I've worked with.

I'm a writing instructor. Thanks for the compliment. You're a bright "kid."

I can handle it and actually do much better than when someone tries to be "nice."

Although they aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, being "nice" isn't the same as teaching. If more teachers understood this, then forums like this (and the one I just created) wouldn't have to exist.

Should I attempt to take a different angle on it

Yes. Below are the "dumbed down" instructions to which I alluded to earlier. I hope they don't come off as patronizing.

Make a list (as long as you can make it) of things you've learned about yourself as a result of being a twin.

Don't worry; there will be more to come.


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