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  • Writer's pictureHumans of International Studies

MARIJN (3rd year)

“She is the person I am the closest to in the world, but it is still important to make sure that you branch out and that you remain your own person. Growing up with an identical twin sister (& myself being the older one, which is a crucial and heatedly discussed detail among twins) meant that I was gifted with a best friend from birth-onwards. But despite this unspoken connection between us, it was always important to us, and my parents too, that we were being seen and understood as individuals. So, whenever people would ask: “Oh how are the twins?” My parents would reply: “Marijn and Sophie are doing fine.” We also went to different high schools, so I would say that we were very close in our childhood, did our own thing in high school, and now we grew back together again - after both having been allowed to have their own experiences growing up. Overall, I would say what I found so fascinating about having a twin is how different we are still, despite looking so alike. And that is why it bothers me so much when I see parents dressing up their identical twins in the same clothes – since they are still not one entity but should be respected as individual human beings. In our case for example I would say that I am more the head, and Sophie is the heart. While I am someone, who is quite straightforward and rational with what I want, Sophie is more about trying things out to find out if it is for her or not. Those differences I’ve always found enriching, as you can learn from one another and can despite individual differences complement one another. So, I would not have it any other way and am so very thankful for my twin-sister Sophie.“ (Marijn, 3rd year, Leiden)

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