It is hard enough to make a name for yourself in college. Now imagine having your look-alike in the same grade at the same university.
Veronica and Fatima Grupico are fraternal twins and first-year grad students at Seton Hall. They both finished their undergraduate work at SHU in May. Veronica is pursuing a master’s degree in english; Fatima is pursuing hers in European history.
“We were stuck together. That was our deal,” Veronica said. They decided in high school that they would go to the same college.
Fatima said that “not knowing anyone was very hard. It was nice to have her there.”
When together on campus during their undergraduate years, Fatima and Veronica spent a lot of time together on Sundays with a ritual of 6 p.m. Mass, dinner and catching up, Fatima said.
During their sophomore year they were suitemates, which Fatima said did not go so well, but it did not change how close they are. Veronica was also Fatima’s Resident Assistant for a year.
“It was fun going to the same school as her,” Fatima said.
Fatima said people have gotten them mixed up “plenty of times.” She said she has gotten hugs from people and had full conversations with peers who thought she was Veronica. Veronica said similar situations happened to her often as well, but she would play along to not embarrass anyone.
The two girls are starting their job hunt and have spoken about whether or not they will live together. According to Fatima, who lives with the girls’ parents, Veronica has applied for a job far enough away to keep them separated.
According to Veronica, the girls have “always been competitive.” They took one history class together at SHU, and Fatima ended up with a better grade. “She beat me by like two points, and I was really upset,” Veronica said with a laugh.
Freshman Leo Bertoldi was born on Sept. 3, 1994. His sister Adrianna and brother Anthony came along just minutes later. The fraternal triplets from Roseland, N.J., made the decision to come to SHU on their own terms, Anthony being the most reluctant.
Leo and Anthony live together in Boland Hall. Adrianna lives one floor below them. Anthony wanted to live in the same dorm room as Leo, but it took some convincing.
The triplets said they do not look very much alike, and that often people think that the boys’ friends are one of the triplets.
Nursing major Adrianna decided on SHU first. “I fell in love, I felt like I was at home,” she said.
They are all fans of different sports teams, but they all said they still enjoy having a sibling around to talk to and ask for help. Anthony said that the triplets were taken to a triplet convention in Pennsylvania when they were about 2 years old, and that their family still spends time with a family that has triplets that they met at the convention.
Adrianna recalled that a teacher in their high school made them test their “twin telepathy,” and that it actually worked.
Sophomores Meagan and Samantha Reed are roommates in Xavier on the third floor, both with bright pink and orange bed sets. Besides having the same color scheme in mind, they share the same look: the pair are identical twins.
According to Meagan, they applied to all the same universities in the Northeast and always planned on coming to college together and she said it is “just easier” for them to live together. “I always have someone to talk to,” Meagan said. According to Meagan, she and Samantha always shared friend groups. She said that the strangest thing about being a twin was growing up and trying to understand the concept of having an identical sister only four minutes younger than she is.
Meagan said she can tell if Samantha is upset, so they have a type of “twin sense.” They are very alike and “often finish each other’s sentences,” Meagan added.
Nick and Brent Ciccarino from Montville, N.J., are also identical twins in the sophomore class. They live together off campus.
One advantage of being twins, Nick said, is sharing friends and interests. He said the only disadvantages are sharing a room and a car.
“We’ve always had each other’s back. We know everything about each other,” Nick said.
There is no shortage of multiples in SHU athletics. Identical twin juniors Stacey and Shelbey Manthorpe are key players on the SHU volleyball team.
According to the girls, they have the same friends and have taken many classes together since they are both sports marketing majors.
“It’s like having a built in best friend,” Stacey said. Juniors John and Kevin Walsh are twins on the men’s cross country team, and juniors Casey and Jordan Moses are twins on the softball team.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were 131,269 twin births in the U.S. in 2011, and just 5,137 triplet births, and these numbers are usually increasing.
Charlotte Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.