Last year's hit movie The Social Network brought attention to a lot of aspects of Harvard: Kirkland House. Maxwell Dworkin. The, um, bustling party scene. Dropouts who found mega-successful companies. And twins.
Twins told us that from the very beginning, they look at the college experience slightly differently. Several spouted theories on college admissions that pertain uniquely to twins. They said they think that the College chooses to admit either both or neither when a set of twins applies, since one admitted without his or her sibling would likely choose not to come to Harvard and thus pull down yield rates.
Director of Admissions Marlyn E. McGrath '70-73 said that was a myth. "Twin identity is not an advantage or a disadvantage. We treat everyone completely and fully as individuals, not as a unit."
For the lucky accepted pairs, housing comes next. Dean of Crimson Yard Catherine R. Shapiro said that twins are unlikely to be assigned to the same dorm. "We try not to put people from the same high school together," she said, twins included. Most of the twins interviewed for this blog post chose to join separate blocking groups for their upperclassman years as well.
Twins said that they help each other broaden their campus horizons. Eve H. Rosenbaum '12 said, "I've gotten to know a side of Harvard that I probably would never know if Elliott didn't go here as well. I go see his shows, know his friends, and hear about his professors and classes."
For international students, a twin serves as a travelling buddy. As Elise M. Kang '12 observed, "It's great to have family around all the time."
Alexandra L. Bradbury '13 is part of a set of triplets, but is the sole member of the trio at Harvard. Having siblings so close, she theorized, could have its downsides. "It may stunt your growth in becoming an individual."
And Robert T. Bowden '13, who does attend Harvard with his twin, confirmed the sentiment in part. "To anyone who meets him first, I'm just his brother, and vice versa."