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10 Questions with…Elizabeth Heneger

What is it like to be an identical twin?
Nicole Dong

Senior Elizabeth Henegar is a top ten senior scholar, in the marching band, girls’ basketball, in NHS, and has an identical twin sister. Jennifer Henegar is the older twin by 11 minutes and similarly to Elizabeth she is also a top ten senior scholar, partakes in girls’ basketball, and is a part of NHS. Ever since they were young and attended Yake Elementary, the twins have been an iconic duo, but despite looking identical, they also enjoy being their own individual. Being identical twins caters to a unique living experience due to their alike appearance. When encountering twins, many people are surprised and curious and a lot of questions arise. What is it like to look identical to someone else? Is there an identity crisis? Is there always competition between the two siblings, or maybe it’s a lot simpler than people tend to perceive? To answer these questions, here are 10 questions with Elizabeth Henegar on what it’s like to be an identical twin.

What was the best reaction you got when someone realized you guys were twins?

“I don’t know, a lot of the time we like to play around with people and say things like, “Oh no we’re just cousins,” and they’ll be like, “Are you guys twins?” And we’re like, “No no,” and then my sister will sometimes be like, “I picked her up at a Walmart parking lot, ” and then people will be like “What?” and then we’re like, we’re joking bro, obviously we’re twins. That’s about (it).”

How close are you to your sister? Do you guys do everything together? 

“I’d say we are very close, I would be absolutely devastated if anything ever happened to her. We don’t do everything together, but we’re trying to grow more into separate lives, individual people, and not just the Henegar twins. We do a lot together, but I think this year we started growing more apart, not in a bad way, in a healthy way.” 

Do you often compete with each other? Like grades, who’s more athletic, etc.

“Yeah, definitely. We try not to and sometimes it makes me upset when people are like, well who’s better this, who’s better this? Cause I’m like, we don’t have to be better, we could both be good. But, it definitely makes me feel good when I get a higher calc score or I’ve scored more points in basketball this year, that made me feel good. But, also at the same time, it’s like well now, she has to live with, she didn’t score as many points, so it’s a win-lose situation.”

Besides looks, what are some things that you guys have in common? What are some differences? 

Henegar: “Well we’re both very athletic and smart”

Interviewer: “Yes, both in the top ten” [laughing]

Henegar: “Yeah [laughing] differences I would say Jenny is more sarcastic and witty and funny and I’m more calm and caring for people. We both like video games, (and) reading, (and) both really like pasta and mac and cheese and ramen as much as we can. Might not be the healthiest choice, but we do it.”

What are some pet peeves about being a twin?

Henegar: “Definitely the competing thing, where people are like, well who’s better? I really hate (it) when they ask that. Probably also people mixing up our names, ’cause it’s like, especially my mom, you’ve known me for 18 years, how do you not know my name yet.” [laughing]

Interviewer: “That was actually the next question, can your parents tell you guys apart?”

Can your parents easily tell you guys apart? 

“Most of the time, yes. But sometimes I don’t know if they are having a bad day or something, but they just like can’t tell us apart. But, like my best friend can tell us apart even without looking at us like she can hear our voice and be like, oh yeah that’s Beth.”

Have you guys ever swapped places for a day?

“One time, back when we were like eight years old, we were at like a, I think it was a family get-together or something at Chuck E Cheese. And then it was April Fool’s day and my dad took us aside. We went out into the car and put on each other’s clothes and then we went back to our grandparent’s house and we were pretending to be each other, but I messed it up because my mom asked, “Beth what do you want?” and I forgot I was supposed to be Jenny. So that was the only time.”

What is the best part about being a twin and do you like being a twin?

“I definitely like being a twin because it’s like having a built-in best friend. And there is always someone who can always understand you, understand what you are going through. Not all the time, but sometimes she’ll be like, “Yeah do you want to talk about what’s going on? Like, I’m here for you.” Her being the funny sarcastic twin, me being the caring one, she doesn’t really like to sit down and talk about feelings, but it’s really like a built-in best friend that our relationship is going to last forever.”

As you get older, is it easier for people to tell you and your sister apart?

“I definitely think so. I think we’ve grown and like the environment changes your DNA or something so that we look more separate. Plus, with us getting glasses, we have two different glasses and she is a little taller, our faces grew a bit…I think when I look back at old pictures like when we were seven, I wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference, now I can definitely tell the difference. Like our smiles, hair, and everything.” 

When you look at each other, do you see a different person or does it look like you’re looking at a mirror?

“I see a different person and it’s more for me, like I think in my mind, yeah, she looks exactly like me so most of the time I’m looking at her throughout the day and then I go to the bathroom at night and I look at myself in the mirror and I’m like, “huh, I don’t look like Jenny.” I don’t know if it’s the same for her, but I picture myself as her and then I look in the mirror and I’m like, “Yeah I’m not her,” which is sometimes weird.”

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