Imagine: You walk into a Seelye
classroom the first day of classes. Your eyes dart around,
searching for a friendly face—an ally, perhaps, for the duration
of the semester. After a moment’s perusal, you spot someone
remarkably familiar. You’ve seen this person before—and often.
Twin sophomores Lucy (on
left) and Myrna Stevenot.
For more than two dozen Smithies
this scenario is a reality. Fourteen pairs of sisters call
Smith their temporary home. Some are twins, others are separated
by class years, but all came here after growing up in the
For some, the prospect of having
a sister on campus played a significant role in the decision
to come to Smith.
“Knowing my sister would be there made the transition much easier,” says Lucy
Stevenot ’13, who transferred to Smith this year from the College of Marin to
join her twin sister Myrna Stevenot ’13. They are from the San Francisco area. “I
knew I would be happier here because it was a place that made my sister happy,
and so far I love Smith.”
After a couple years at Smith,
Darcy Dwyer ’11 recalls advising her younger sister,
Emily Dwyer ’13, both of whom grew up in Winchester, Mass. “I was the one who
encouraged her to consider Smith,” says Darcy. “One of the main reasons I believe
she ended up here is because of all the opportunities I have had at Smith.”
Emily Dwyer ’13
(on left) and her sister Darcy Dwyer
Though they’re born of the same parents and raised under the same roof, sisters
on campus often have divergent interests, academic and otherwise.
a biology major, and her sister Myrna, a Russian civilization
major, have no mutual classes this semester. Finding time
to spend together is a conscious effort. So next semester,
the Stevenots plan to take a scuba diving class together,
and the two sisters regularly connect outside of class, notes
Myrna, eating meals, doing homework, and spending the weekends
together whenever possible.
Having a sister on campus can
have numerous practical benefits. The Dwyer sisters share
a car, for example, exchange advice concerning classes and
professors, and act as each other’s personal tutor.
Perhaps most importantly, having
a sister on campus can be a kind of lifeline, a source of
The Jimenez sisters,
Mayra ’13 (on left) and Anna Laura
“When I have a bad day or miss home, I just go visit her or meet up for lunch,” says
Anna Laura Jimenez ’14 about her sister Mayra Jimenez ’13, from Los Angeles. “Having
my sister at Smith makes it feel more like home and not just a school. I feel
While college years are an opportunity
for forging new connections, these Smithies are engaged in
both building new friendships and maintaining a much older
one: a sisterhood. Home has followed them to school, and
each individual must reconcile her overlapping identities.
“While college is a time to grow and find yourself, I've learned that I will
always seem to be ‘Darcy's little sister,’” Emily Dwyer reflects.
sisters at Smith, there is a balance between individual growth
and loyalty to the comfort of sisterhood. Some, at least,
seem to have found it.
“We can understand each other without having all the sibling rivalry,” says Anna
Laura Jimenez of her relationship with her sister. “We admire each other for
our achievements. But I believe that we have grown into independent adults who
make their own decisions. I am just happy to have her here.”