Wednesday 15 December 2021

Double Doses of Year 12

Year 12 counts as a big year in everyone’s life – but how different is it when you’re a twin?

In 2021 eight pairs of twins graced our Year 12 classrooms – seven pairs at The Ridgeway Campus and one at Plenty Campus. That’s one in every 18 students on those two campuses! In Australia, the usual ratio demonstrates that one in every 40 Australians is a twin, with one delivery in every 80 births.

We managed to catch up with seven of the eight pairs of twins recently after they finished exams, and some returned from Schoolies or a break away with friends.

When asked if there is a special or magical quality of being a twin, they shared their own wisdom and experience.

‘The best thing is having someone who understands you and the way you think better than anyone else. Getting guidance and support from a twin is something that can’t be beaten‘. Chris Ross, 2021 IB student

‘Sharing this year means I have always known I can rely on my brother to understand the challenges and exciting experiences of Year 12 and life in general’. Ben Ross, 2021 IB student

‘Basically, having your best mate with you all the time is definitely special. We’ve had to share literally everything we own, but it’s honestly worth it when you’ve got your best mate there with you’. Henry and Eli Worsam, 2021 VCE students

‘We can honestly say we’ve never been jealous of each other. Being friends at school then having that same friend at home was reassuring. We spent time together in the kitchen preparing meals when we could. In the subjects we did together, we would sometimes sit very late at night and talk through our revision. And the morning of our Psychology exam, we were yelling out important study facts to each other from our rooms and it really helped us’. Lucy and Carla Civitella, 2021 IB Students

‘We are best friends. During 2021, we had each other to relate to during this tricky year. We motivated each other because our study spaces were close. We shared ideas, compared our different SAC questions for example, and overall, helped build confidence in each other for the exams. We developed resilience and before the exams we reassured each other that ‘we know what we know now and are ready’. And now we are blissfully relaxing together’. Lauren and Courtney Black, 2021 VCE students

‘I think being a twin allows me a best friend who understands me really well. I don’t know if it’s just my sister, in particular, but there’s no-one I trust more in my life’. Patrick Suiter, 2021 IB student

‘Whether it was doing exams at the same time or making sure we weren’t getting distracted when we were meant to be studying, we definitely helped each other out a lot. Pat knows more about me than the majority of people and I can trust him with the world. Having someone who knows you that well is awesome and I really really appreciate having him especially during Year 12’.  Sara Suiter 2021 IB student

Some in the group say people are often surprised when they discover the twins are not ‘just siblings’. They agree that new starts during their school lives were made easier by having their twin in the same situation, but they enjoy individual pursuits.

‘It was great when we were new to the school to arrive with someone I’d known all my life. It made school easier’. Karine Fahmi, 2021 VCE student

‘You always have someone there. We helped each other with Maths this year but we stayed very quiet while studying. I surprised myself by being calmer during exams than I expected’. Alexander Fahmi, 2021 VCE student

‘We had separate friendship groups at school. We both did soccer and really liked being in separate teams. We joke that apart from seeing each in home room once a week, the only time we saw each other was when Mum delivered a late lunch one day’. Desiree and Kosta Mandritis, 2021 VCE students

All agreed that lockdown was their greatest challenge during 2021. Missing the rituals of social life when you’re 16, 17 and 18; missing being able to pop into a favourite teacher’s office and having to rely on determination and discipline, was hard at times. Some confessed to the occasional competitive moments at home. But optimism reigns supreme among the group.

Patrick Suiter summed up the poignant mixture of reward vs challenge when he described the end of secondary school life. ‘Being able to return for a week at the end of Year 12 to celebrate our year level was very special and rewarding. The most difficult part of 2021 for me to do, was hours of exam revision while locked down in the holidays and I’m very proud that I made it through – even though I haven’t actually got the results yet’.

Each and every student in the group talked of favourite subjects, their love of co-curricular activities especially at the beginning of the year, the one-on-one support they received from teachers while at home, and how much they missed it all during lockdown. Their increased resilience sometimes came as a surprise.

Five of the eight sets of twins will be up early tomorrow morning to open their VCE results. The remaining three sets of twins will receive their IB results on 3 January.

Congratulations to you all, and well done on your amazing years at Ivanhoe.