The college experience is typically one spent away from home, but for the Donovan sisters, home will always be right down the hall.
Aislinn and Bethany Donovan are identical twins who say that Springfield College was an obvious decision because it was the only school they got into together.
At the beginning of this school year, the sisters moved into the same floor in International Hall to begin their second year together at Springfield. For most, it would be difficult to attend college with a sibling, but the Donovans say they could not imagine life otherwise.
Although in childhood they mirrored one another, Aislinn and Bethany say college is a different story.
Aislinn and Bethany grew up in Falmouth, Mass., a popular seaside destination on Cape Cod. The twins say they have always had an extremely close connection, even before they could speak.
“When we were one or two, our mom told us we spoke our own language; she had no idea what we were saying, but we could understand each other,” said Aislinn.
The sisters did gymnastics, soccer and track together and dressed in unison until the first grade. The Donovans had similar friends all the way through high school at Falmouth High, where surprisingly, they were only one of six pairs of twins. After graduation, the sisters were faced with choosing a college, and the Donovans knew that separating would not be an option.
Independence is different for twins, and the Donovan sisters say their matching Springfield College acceptance letters were all they needed.
“A lot of the other twins from our high school went to different colleges at first, but now they are back together,” said Aislinn.
“We didn’t even think twice about going to different schools,” said Bethany. “I think even living in different dorms would be hard,” her sister added.
The Donovan sisters now share their independence at Springfield College. Aislinn and Bethany pursue their interests as individuals at SC, but at the same time, they manage to keep each other close by.
Bethany studies psychology and went to Pre-Camp without her sister during her freshman year. Aislinn studies athletic training, is a New Student Orientation leader and played soccer without her sister freshman year.
“We are not attached to the hip,” said Aislinn. “We do a lot of things the same, but when we came here to Springfield, we did everything different.”
On Saturday, the Donovan sisters’ parents came to enjoy a day at Springfield College with their daughters for Friends and Family Weekend. Aislinn and Bethany say their mom and dad love the fact that the sisters share the same campus.
“They love it. They know that they can come visit us together and that we will always be here for each other,” said Aislinn.
Sibling arguments are rare and brief, the sisters say, and they feel that sharing Springfield with a sibling makes the college experience even better.
“It is great always knowing each other is there, going through the same things together and sharing the best time of our lives with each other,” said Aislinn.
When asked what the importance of family is, the Donovan twins answered with one word at the same time.
As they enjoy their remaining years on Alden Street, the sisters know that more difficult decisions await them after their next graduation, but Aislinn and Bethany say they have already talked about it.
“Oh, we’re living together,” said Bethany. “We have already talked about living on the same road, maybe getting an apartment together. Even a half-hour apart is so far,” Aislinn added.
“Even ten minutes is far,” her twin corrected.
Sean Seifert may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org