New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

What It’s Like Sharing NYU With Your Siblings

Going to college with your siblings can either make finding your “home away from home” a lot easier or a lot more complicated.
Elaine Chen
Twin sisters Angela (left) and Emily (right) in the Bobst Library. (Photo by Elaine Chen)

Do you remember your first days at NYU? Frantically sifting through the lists of events and people, trying to find something that stuck. You wanted to be part of something less temporary and more familiar, so you tried to build friendships that would outlast Welcome Week. Though this first-year plight seems somewhat universal, for people who go to school with their twins and siblings, finding home away from home takes on a whole new meaning.

“Especially at a big university like NYU, it’s kind of easy to get lost, and it’s hard to meet people sometimes,” Stern first-year Angela Tsoumpas said. “So, I think having a twin that I know I can always text to and hang out with is really helpful.”

Angela’s twin, Emily Tsoumpas is also a first-year in Stern and similarly finds comfort in having her twin accompany her during the college experience.

“In the first year of college, it’s kind of like you are meeting new people and you don’t really know them that well, so having someone I have known for my entire life, and I know she has my back and I can trust her,” Emily said. “It’s nice.”

Though it’s relieving to have the emotional and social support, Angela and Emily explain that sharing NYU isn’t always fun.

“Because we look so similar, people will sometimes mix us up,” Angela said. “When Emily did something, people will think that I did it.”

For Emily, the problem lies more with individuality and self-expression.

“We are kind of like a package deal,” she said. “I think maybe if we go to different schools, we can branch out more. It’s kind of difficult to individualize yourself.”

You may have heard that some identical twins have a special connection between each other, like magical telepathy that allows them to feel each other’s emotions from afar. As surreal as it may sound, it actually happens, according to CAS first-year Rachel Bell.

“I do think twins have some weird kind of connections,” Rachel said. Her twin brother, David, is a first-year in Steinhardt. “I can always tell like when he’s having a bad day, even [if] we are not together.”

Sometimes, siblings don’t look alike and have completely different characteristics. In this condition, college siblings can usually have more separate lives. Yet, for CAS sophomore Dillan Spector, this isn’t necessarily a good thing. He said it’s awkward when people realize his brother is his twin, not his fraternity “brother.”

“A lot of people don’t even know we are siblings. We look absolutely nothing like each other. When I’m introducing him to people as my brother, a lot of people think I’m in a frat, and he is my frat brother,” Spector said, regarding his one-year-elder brother who is studying in Tisch.

“We are in almost two very separate worlds. I’m really focused on science and he likes drama and stuff like that. But we still get along well,” Spector said.

No matter how different or similar they look, siblings enjoy having someone that can bring the comfort of home just by the look of their face.

Email Elaine Chen at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Elaine Chen, Deputy Photo Editor
Elaine Chen is a sophomore majoring in Media, Culture, and Communication. She's an international student from China. She loves cooking, traveling, and photography. As an introverted Asian girl, she's trying really hard to get more involved in all kinds of events and become a (fake) New Yorker. She's so bad at remembering things, like names. Find her on Instagram, @elainechenjj

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