Dec 2, 2008

Seeing double? Twins at Liberty celebrate their unique bonds

by Amanda Thomason

When she got home from work, junior Lindsey Sexton opened her check to see that it read $0. Soon after, Lindsey’s twin sister, junior Laura Sexton, opened her check to see double the amount she was owed.

The Sexton twins realized that there was a mistake in payroll that week at work about three years ago. They both were employed at the same place when an error with their social security numbers messed up their paychecks. Fortunately, they worked the same amount of hours, so they split the cash evenly.

Twins at Liberty trace all the way back to its founder, Jerry Falwell Sr. Falwell was born on Aug. 11, 1933 with his fraternal twin, Gene.

They spent their time playing outside together, building forts and climbing trees. Jerry and Gene went to school at Mountain View Elementary School until Jerry progressed to third grade after skipping second, according to Macel Falwell’s book, “Jerry Falwell: His Life and Legacy.”

Being a twin brings diverse experiences, including occasional financial mixups, which most people do not have. Another is that they are often in the same school until college. At that point, twins have the option to attend the same or separate universities.

“It was never really an option to go to different colleges. We are best friends, so it just made sense for us to go to the same place,” Lindsey said. “We actually never talked about going to different schools, not even once.”

Senior Raquel Moran attends Liberty while her twin sister attends Kentucky Christian University. She wanted to attend a bigger university, while her sister preferred a smaller one.

“The hardest part about being separated is that we do not get to talk as often, but because we go to separate schools, it has led us to develop as an individual and acquire our own set of friends,” Moran said.

Rachel Dunham is a junior at Liberty, and her twin sister, Rebecca, attends Radford University in Radford, Va. Going to different schools gave them the opportunity for more independence.

Much discussion went into Rebecca attending a secular college. Their mother wanted her to go to Liberty along with Rachel, while their brother was the only one, initially, in favor of her attending Radford. Ultimately everything worked and they are all very happy with the choices they made, according to Rachel.

“There really are not any complications going to separate schools. Our parents know we are both happy where we are and that it is the right place to be for both of us,” Rachel said. “My sister and I are so happy with how things turned out – being separate and having our own identity.”

Deciding whether or not to attend the same school is not the only choice twins must make. If they attend the same university, they have to figure out their living arrangements. Meeting new people by not being roommates is an option for some twins, although some would prefer to live together because they have such a close relationship.

Sophomores Katie and Kelly Marvel are another set of twins on campus. For their freshman year they decided not to room together in order to have the opportunity to meet new people. They wanted to have the chance to get to know other students, instead of potentially isolating themselves in a room together. Throughout the year the Marvels realized that they were constantly in each other’s rooms.

“We decided to live together this year since we are together a lot and it makes it much easier to share things,” the Marvel twins said in an e-mail. “Now that we live with each other it is a lot cheaper because we can share and we do not have to worry about splitting up our clothes.”

Chloe and Claire Riss, juniors, are also twins who decided from the beginning that they were not going to be roommates, and they have stuck to it for three years. As best friends, it would be convenient to room together, but they decided that they wanted to be open to making other close friends and available for various ministry opportunities, even as prayer leaders on opposite parts of campus.

Having a twin on campus is also an interesting way of making more acquaintances. Since people often mix twins up, it provides a new way of making friends. Junior Mandy Chapman said she has been able to meet more people in this way.

Her sister, junior Megan Chapman, is a Resident Assistant (RA) on main campus. Mandy said that sometimes she has had many girls wave at her or give her a hug thinking she was her twin, Megan. Normally there is a good laugh when people realize they are talking to the wrong person, and then they end up becoming friends as well, Mandy said.

Many have agreed that being a twin is generally fun and they enjoy it, even though there are still times of bumping heads. After pushing through normal, everyday conflicts, some twins on campus have expressed how much they enjoy having a twin.

“We love being twins because we always have a best friend and someone to understand what we are going through. We always have someone to talk to,” sophomore Bill Turning said.

Some twin characteristics are not popular. Eli and Andrew Overbey, sophomores, agreed that it is normally great being a twin but at times it can become frustrating when others assume they are the exact same people when they are distinctly different.

“I used to not like being a twin when I was younger because it often seemed like our identities were fused into one and we were constantly referred to as ‘the twins’ or ‘Chloe and Claire,’ like our names were one word,” Chloe said.

Twins tend to share a very close bond. The general consensus was that there is always someone around to talk to during the good and bad times. Some twins have showed the desire to remain close to each other after college.

“We would like to start a church together and raise our families near each other. Knowing we will face similar problems, we would like to do life together and make the load easier,” Eli said. “Even so, I will still teach my kids to make fun of their uncle.”

 


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