So I am in the process of writing my personal essay and I want it to be the best it can be.
The prompt is:Describe the environment in which you grew up, and explain how it has shaped you as a person.
Here's what I have right now:
"Are the two of you twins?"
A polite, "Yes," as we walk by.
When people learn I am a twin, they lead into the matter at the first available opportunity, as would be expected. No matter what we could previously be talking about, be it school...sports...weather, it is suddenly dropped in favor of this new one. When my brother and I are actually together, the fact that I am a twin is (obviously) much clearer. With this observation, someone may point and stare as if my twin and I are on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list, or other times, a total stranger might come up to us like we've known each other for years. A simple glance is all it takes to spark an interest. And so begins the flow of questions.
"Am I seeing double?"
"What's it like to be a twin?" (As if I have any means of comparison)
How does one go about answering a question such as this? How can they understand twinhood from my perspective? For the seventeen years I have lived on this earth, I have encountered this situation more times than I care to count (This number not including the first quarter of my life which remains unclear, given the fact that I was but a mere child). All my life I have had an identical twin, an exact copy of my genetic make-up, and all my life people have never ceased to be amazed by this.
The first question ("What's it like?") is general enough for me to describe the simple niceties of being a twin. The second question about whether or not I find it enjoyable, however, doesn't leave me with as much "wiggle room." I can pipe off the things I may insincerely like or dislike-the ability to play games with strangers, or the headaches which arise from lifelong sibling rivalry-but can I really say whether or not I want to be a twin? Being a twin is so fundamentally a part of my fundamental existence that I could never say yay or nay; all I can retort is a hesitant "Well, it's alright, I guess. I can't complain."
Though in spells of rage I have been known to regard my twin brother as someone who is incompetent and riling, Zach and I are nevertheless best friends. There is no other person I have spent more time with than my brother, and can be around and yet proceed to act so innately and so uninhibited that it feels as though I were by myself. Granted we have our moments of weakness, but our fights are never caused by anything more than misplaced aggravation or fatigue-induced irritability.
I suppose the most reasonable explanation for this is relatively simple; my brother and I understand each other better than anyone else. We get a kick out of the same jokes and respond to certain things in similar ways. We share the same interests and like all of the same foods. Just because we can finish one another's sentences, doesn't make us psychological oddities but shows just how identical we really are.
While I could not be happier being a twin and would never wish otherwise, I often find myself zoning out when being bombarded with these questions. I guess this is because the inquirers are so interested in Zach and me collectively, not me as an individual. Expectations that my twin brother and I are the same person (produced twice) have limited my expression of my personality.
I look forward to my college experience as a chance for people to know the me, and not (just) the we. I hope that as my brother and I both go our separate ways, I will find my own self through my journey to become a physician, thus developing a new identity different from that of my brother.
Should I add something about the university?