Page 19 - FIS World June 2021
P. 19

The Parting of Partners
How FIS twins plan to navigate post-graduation life
While there are numerous necessary tasks to complete before the end of their Upper School careers, FIS Grade 12 students are also stealing moments to soak up time with their classmates; they are glancing at family members with the recognition that the people who had felt ever-present may be beyond their reach quite soon. Upper School graduation leads to the prospects of travel, university studies, internships or employment, but most of these pursuits begin with goodbyes. For those students whose classmates are also family members, this transition is accompanied by a reflection on the bond that the four sets of twins who are part of the Class of 2021 have shared, and how distance will undoubtedly bring change.
Laughter can be shared and their connection maintained whether
a hallway or highway separates them.
As Oliver B. considers upcoming university life away from twin, Aiden, who will be embarking on a gap year that holds the possibilities of study, work and an internship, he recognizes the significance of this moment: “Up until this point I have more or less spent my entire life with him.”This has included many of their educationalexperiencesaswell.AccordingtoAiden,
“Our relationship always fostered healthy competition about who could do better, and if things weren't going well, we could always ask each other for help.” Oliver acknowledges that it has “been comforting knowing I had my brother around, and that he always had my back and I had his.”Though both assume that this time apart will be “weird,” Oliver has hopes that they will “adapt and find a middle ground that works for both... in terms of communication and keeping each other updated.”
Though Oliver and Aiden found competition motivating, Anna and Luisa K. have often rejected the attempts of others to compare their skills. Luisa reflects, “We are often asked who gets the better grades, who is smarter, stronger, funnier, but these are things we do not really care about.”Their shared attributes, like their sense of humor, which Luisa sums up as laughing “at everything” is what they both hold onto even as they contemplate their distinct futures. While Anna recognizes that their past transitions to new schools were smoothed by the presence of a twin because“it’s much easier when you have a friend with you,”the sisters have avoided any efforts to align
their future plans, which likely include enrollment in separate universities in the United Kingdom. Luisa confides, “Due to our different interests, I never felt like I was trying to follow the same path as her, and I did not want to force myself to study something or live somewhere just to be close to her.”These sisters seem to already know that laughter can be shared and their connection maintained whether a hallway or highway separates them.
In facing challenges such as the first day of school, side by side, Bobby and Sam R. also found comfort in their twin’s presence; such past obstacles were, therefore,“much less scary.”However, the intervening years from the moment they set foot in their first classroom to the moment these brothers embark upon their own journeys at separate universities may have provided them with the courage and support to face this next step alone. Sam expounds, “I may struggle at first as I shift into living on my own... Although there are some things which make me a bit nervous, I think, overall, most of it is excitement and eagerness to finally start the adult chapter of my life.”
For Tom and Leon S., who, in months, will find themselves an ocean apart as they pursue undergraduate degrees, the discomfort of their impending separation is not confined to them alone.
“The whole family has been strategically avoiding the conversation about the upcoming changes,” shares Tom. However, consistent with the other twins interviewed, the brothers’ individual goals will not be sacrificed. Leon states, “I made my decisions as to where to study solely from the criteria of what is best for my own academic future. Clearly, Tom and I would have enjoyed living close to one another, but at the same time I want to embrace the challenge of living by myself and following my own goals and aspirations.”
Though their status as twins has shaped much of their identities, these siblings’ insights as they gaze down their solitary future paths can certainly be applied to their non-twin classmates, who might be dreading leaving a younger sibling behind, fearing the coming distance from parents, or worrying how close friendships will fare when physically separated. But when it comes to our most profound connections, geography appears to matter little. Tom muses,
“Distance won't break the bond between my brother and me - I don't have to see him to know that he will always be there.”
Katie Thieme FIS Parent
Oliver and Aiden
    Anna and Luisa
 Leon and Tom
 Sam and Bobby
June 2021 FIS World 17

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