Seeing Double: The Twins of Lawrenceville

Angel Xin ’26 and Stephanie Schloss ’26 in Features | November 4, 2022

Are twins naturally drawn to Lawrenceville? It may seem so, as there are more than 10 pairs on campus. Twins do a lot of sharing, bringing up some interesting questions: Do they have the same personality? Do they have twin-telepathy? Going to a boarding school where social networks expand easily, how does a twin deal with having mutual friends with his or her biological counterpart? Can people genuinely connect with another twin without having preconceived impressions from the other one they know? Is it true that all twins are the same? We sat down with three sets of twins to clear up some of these questions. Here’s what we learned:
Frances Brooks ’25 and Matthew Brooks ’25 agree it is fantastic having a twin on campus. As they adjusted to life at Lawrenceville, having a built-in best friend made navigating boarding school more comfortable. They don’t mention being a twin often, so many people are surprised to find out they are. Just being a twin has become their inside joke that adds spice to their daily life here. Since they no longer see each other all the time, their go to hangout spot is Wildflower, an excellent gluten-free Main Street option for the celiac duo. Both have quickly involved themselves in campus life, with Frances pursuing squash and guitar and Matt performing in Impulse. When asked who the better twin was, they were surprisingly, in agreement: Frances wins. 
Alex Noviello ’23 and Andrew Noviello ’23 have both grown as individuals and as a pair. From co-founding climate organizations to working together on research projects, they regard their relationship as being like built in co-workers. They believe that their experience at Lawrenceville has changed their relationship with each other, for the better. They have grown to be more cooperative than competitive and attributed this development to being members of separate Houses. The Noviellos, or affectionately referred to as the ‘Novis’, are aware that those who aren’t familiar with them have difficulties at telling them apart, and that this nickname is an excuse to avoid a name mistake. For anyone looking to go above and beyond, they tell us that Alex’s wardrobe includes cooler colors, while Andrew typically opts for warmer tones. 
Nico Montecourt ’26 and Sofia Montecourt ’26, an international pair from Russia, are excited to pave their own paths at Lawrenceville. Sofia swims, while Nico plays football. Both of them agreed that being a twin means that peers often identify them as having a singular identity, despite Sofia saying their personalities are “polar opposite.” Part of coming to Lawrneceville is having a clean start; nobody knows your background and personality—which is much harder as a twin—but this new environment is bringing positivity to their relationship. In their respective Houses, their twin identity acts as a quick conversation starter, which in turn evolves into conversations about themselves. The distance has given them the opportunity to find their own identity separate from each other. An interesting fact about this pair is that although they have spent their entire lives living in Russia, they were both born in the United States due to the fact that the U.S. makes it easier to register twins at birth.
Obviously—at least according to the pairs we interviewed—twins do not have the same personality, nor do they communicate telepathically. However, having a twin does give you someone to rely on. All three pairs of twins share different relationships; some are strengthened by their differences, while others are enhanced by their similarities. But their time at Lawrenceville is allowing all three pairs to grow. In the Brooks’ case, they are continuing to maintain their close bond through regular visits to the Wildflower bakery; in the Noviellos’ case, they have used their time at Lawrenceville to transform their relationship from competitive to collaborative; and in the Montecourts’ case, they are using the distance that Lawrenceville provides to find their independent identities. In short, Lawrenceville is an ideal location for twins to thrive.