A Day in the Life of Identical Twins

Examining what it is like to be an identical twin in high school.


Madelyn Hellwig

Ethan Goodrich ’22 and Avery Goodrich ’22 pose for a weekly football photoshoot.

Victoria Weckmann, Marketing Editor

According to Very Well Family, 0.45 percent of all pregnancies are identical twins, or about one in every 250 births.

“Most people are really shocked and a lot of people don’t even realize [that I’m a twin] in the beginning,” said Savanna Josephson ‘21. “[People we know] will feel bad and say ‘I just thought the two of you were one person,’ and that’s a typical response.” 

The Josephson twins also get varied responses from the people in their lives, including their teachers at City High School.

“It’s different [with] people who you see everyday than random strangers,” said Sierra Josephson ‘21, the identical twin of Savanna. “For example, my precalculus teacher just realized at parent teacher conferences [that Savanna is my twin] because we had the same parents. She sees us everyday, but just never realized it.”

However the reaction that the Josephson twins receive from strangers is a little different.

“Usually when we go up to a cashier they will comment ‘oh, are you guys twins?’ They always sound super surprised and happy about it which is great to hear I guess,” Savanna said.

Ethan Goodrich ‘22 has also experienced similar things with the teachers at City High School.

“[My twin’s] math teacher would always wave at me and I had no idea who she was,” said Ethan Goodrich ‘22. “Then she talked to Avery and finally figured out I was his twin, and that was why I was giving her weird looks.” 

Some other things that being an identical twin entails is never having people be able to tell you apart.

“[Being an identical twin means] a lot of people mix up your name, including your own mother when she is not caffeinated properly, so that can be kind of annoying,” Ethan said.

The Josephson twins have reported having the same problems.

“It definitely gets annoying sometimes because it can be really hard for people to tell us apart,” Savanna said. “It’s fine if people ask me once, but when they constantly ask me if I’m Savanna or Sierra, that is one of my biggest pet peeves. They rely on their ability to ask me instead of actually trying to learn my name.”

When it comes to the things that annoys her, Sierra thinks a little differently.

“My biggest pet peeve is when people come to me and asked me ‘are you a twin or do you just change clothes every day, halfway through class,’” Sierra said.

Beyond just looking similar, the Josephson twins struggle with being labeled as the same.

“People always think of us as a unit, they don’t think of us as separate people,” Savanna said. “They think we are one unit that has one set of feelings and one personality for both of us, like we share the same characteristics, which is not true at all.”

Savanna has struggled with the idea that people think she is the same person as her twin, which has helped her build her identity.

“Having a person that’s identical to you and that does the same things as you can be annoying because you lack individuality,” Savanna said. “You’re not your own person and your identity is just the fact that you’re a twin.”

When it comes to the idea of lacking individuality, the Josephson twins both have similar ideas.

“The worst thing is probably not when people mix up my name, because I’m used to that by now,” Sierra said. “It’s not being thought of as my own individual person. People think of me as the same person as Savanna. Especially people that I don’t know well, they really just focus on the label [of being a twin].”

The Goodrich twins have faced similar challenges as the Josephson twins.

“I’m definitely a little more independent and outgoing, and that’s the thing, we have two different personality types. We have different traits and different quirks. People associate us as being the same person but we’re not,” said Ethan.

Avery Goodrich ‘22, Ethan’s identical twin chimed in.

“Once you get to know us, it’s not that hard to tell us apart,” Avery said.

However despite the struggles that Sierra and Savanna face being a twin, they still have a level of closeness with one another.

“We always know exactly what one of us is trying to say to the other,” Sierra said. 

Savanna agreed with her statement, even adding her own twist to it.

“Sometimes we have twin telepathy moments. It’s kind of creepy because we even finish each other’s sentences,” said Savanna.

The Josephsons feel that their current relationship was partially built on the Disney show Liv and Maddy, which was about two identical twins.

“We watched the show ‘Liv and Maddy’ so much as kids,” Savanna said. 

Sierra added her own significance of this television show to her own life. 

“It was inspirational and motivational. The twins on the show were very similar to us. One of the twins was sporty and one was more girly and that really reflected us. It was good to have representation,” said Sierra. 

Savanna also shared how the the show’s filming methods had hurt her and the representation it had built for her.

“I was devastated when I figured out that it was the same actor playing both twins. I cried,” Savanna said.

Similar to something that happened on the show, the Josephson twins have also “switched places” with each other.

“We used to switch places a lot more when we were kids,” Savanna said. “Especially to our first grade teachers. We would always go to each other’s classrooms and pretend that we were the other person. They never figured it out and we never got in trouble for it.” 

Sierra chimed in with one of the reasons it was so easy for them to get away with switching places. 

“That was when we used to dress exactly the same. We would wear the exact same outfits, I would always wear it in purple and Savanna would always wear it in pink, my mother did that,” Sierra said.

Beyond elementary school, the Josephsons have also switched places at City High. 

“In high school we’ve done it a couple of times just to see if anybody would notice, but only for one period,” Savanna said. “When we did it we even switched our IDs, Chromebooks, and phones. It was just so hard not to laugh out in the middle of the period.”

The Goodrich twins have also used their similar features to try and switch places with each other.

“We had the same class a couple of years ago. We switched places and actually had to take a test but I got a higher score than he did,” Avery said.

After switching places on the day of a test, Avery was forced to keep the lower score that Ethan earned acting like him, which has prevented future switching among them.

“We have switched seats in classes we have together but we have never full on switched schedules,” Avery said. “I don’t trust Ethan in my classes.”

However, Ethan has tried switching places without Avery’s knowledge.

“One time for Halloween we dressed up as each other. I wore Avery’s favorite outfit and he wore mine,” Ethan said. “Then I walked into Avery’s class and sat down. I was minding my own business and then Avery had to walk in. He called me an imposter and kicked me out.”

Between their antics, Ethan and Avery do sometimes find it difficult to get along.

“We bicker constantly which everyone thinks is really funny, but Avery and I can just get so annoyed at each other,” Ethan said.

Ethan especially enjoys annoying Avery when he is driving.

“We have to share a car so I’ve got a habit of making Mario sound effects whenever Avery is driving and makes a turn,” Ethan said. “It drives him nuts.”

One of the ways that arguments are provoked among the Goodrich twins is through their competitive nature with one another.

“We are extremely competitive with each other,” Avery said. “Everything we do is a competition.”

People have even been known to push them to compete harder.

“When we were taking driver’s education and parallel parking, our instructor would egg on competition between us and we would spend the next 30 minutes bickering. He thought it was hilarious,” Ethan said.

Beyond annoying each other, the Goodrich twins can also annoy their family.

“Our mom will have a conversation or tell one of us something. A while later she’ll say something about it and expect us to understand, but she will be telling the other one of us,” Ethan said. “They’ll have no idea what she is talking about and she always gets super annoyed.” 

Despite everything, Ethan and Avery feel they have a strong connection with each other.

“We have a little bit of twin telepathy,” Avery said. “When Ethan is mad I get kind of mad, or when he is upset then I get upset.”

Ethan agreed with what Avery said.

“It is like telepathic empathetic connection. You can call it telepathic but I just think it is a lot of twin empathy,” Ethan said.

The Josephson twins also understand having an empathetic connection.

“I think part of being a twin is learning how to be empathetic because it means having someone who always needs to talk to you and always needs you to understand their point of view,” Savanna said. “Being empathetic is part of being a twin, you just have to have it.”