Carly Rheman, junior ocean engineering major, came to college with a missing half. She and her twin sister, Jamie, decided to follow their dreams and career goals at separate universities. After two and a half years they are finally getting used to not sharing everything including; cars, clothes, friends and birthday celebrations.
Growing up in Katy, Texas, Carly and Jamie were a packaged deal, wherever one went so did the other. But when it came to choosing where to attend school there was no expectation of sending the Rheman package to the same college address. “Even though we were best friends growing up it was weird when we made our college choices. We both understood that we needed to go our separate ways without much discussion,” said Carly.
Carly chose to take her love of soccer to Sam Houston State University where she studied biology before transferring to Texas A&M her sophomore year. Jamie, on the other hand, joined the soccer team at the University of Texas at Dallas where she is majoring in interdisciplinary studies. Being three hours away from one another took its toll on the Rhemans their freshmen year. “Our freshman year was a complete shock, after growing up for 18 years together and not spending more than a week a part I know I at least had a really rough couple of months. We talked constantly but visiting made it extremely difficult because we both had soccer on the weekends during the fall,” said Carly.
The toughest time for the duo came in November when the idea of spending their first birthday apart in 18 years became a reality. “Every year it seemed like I always wanted it to be just my birthday. And of course there is the theory that when there are two of you the present is half as good, but when I finally had my own birthday the only person I wanted there was my twin,” said Carly. Although they had missed each other’s birthday Carly and Jamie were finally settling into their college routines.
Once getting to College Station, Carly found her niche in sophomore leadership organizations. She joined S.A.I.L. her sophomore year and helped found S.L.A.M her junior year. Carly is also heavily involved in club soccer through her participation on the team as well as her executive position on the sport club committee.
“I am extremely thankful I came here my sophomore year because I had already been doing my own thing for a year and [that] allowed me to enjoy A&M even more. That year I made the club soccer team (I still couldn’t completely give up soccer), and I joined a sophomore leadership organization, S.A.I.L. where I met most of my friends. This year I became even more involved by starting a new sophomore leadership organization, S.L.A.M. and joining the executive sport club committee where I oversee all the TAMU rec sports,” said Carly.
Transitioning from high school to college is never easy, especially when you’re separated from your best friend and constant companion for 18 years. While the Rhemans felt the growing pains of their distance they were able to overcome it and become successful colligates. As for Carly, she plans to pursue an engineering career in Houston after graduation, while Jamie wants to teach in Dallas.
Being apart from each other has not only strengthened the Rhemans relations but has allowed Carly to branch out and try things as an individual instead of being a part of a packaged deal. “Back in High school we shared a car, friends, clothes and plans. So when I finally adjusted to college life without my twin as a constant companion I broke out and did all the things I wanted to do without the validation or agreement of another. Up until college having a twin was all I had known, but during the [past] year[s] I finally realized what it [is] like to be on my own,” said Carly.
Contact: Chrystina Rago, email@example.com