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Running Out of Time

This is the last letter I will ever write to you. You walked in these doors unknowing, unimpressed, untouched. Four years was an eternity—an entire lifetime. Time, like a rather disagreeable cat, begged to be petted when you were busy, fled when you wanted her to linger and left thin scars in return for your love. And when you turned around, she escaped. She’ll never return quite the same as she was before. And now, here we are, watching the very last

grains of sand fall through. Unlike the hourglass, there’s no way to turn it back. There’s no way to flip it over and watch the sand flow back. Even if you remove the batteries of a clock, you won’t stop time. Time can’t be stopped, slowed or preserved. We have a short amount of time on Earth, an even shorter duration in these fluorescent halls, and we are always, always drying the limited well of time we have. We are always running out of time.

Find, follow and contact us at: | | @chsacumen



5.01 REPORTERS: Ellen Peng, Sriya Ravi, Naomi Reibold, Grant Smith, Kyle Walker, PHOTOGRAPHERS: Dara Levy, Sarah Liu, Nivedha Meyyappan, < COVER PHOTOS AND DESIGNS BY STEPHANIE ZHANG | PG 2-3 PHOTO AND DESIGN BY LAUREN LU

DESIGNERS: Kyle Crawford, Annika Wolff, Selena Qian, NON-STAFF CONTRIBUTORS:

Christine Fernando, Laxmi Palde, Sreeti Ravi, Brielle Saggese, Sitha Vallabhaneni, Sara Yung, Alice Zhu,

This is the last letter I will ever write to you. Perhaps, to you, these were throwaway papers or backpack stuffersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;insignificant things. But to me, these were collections of vast amounts of effort and hours well spent, trying to create something beautiful and wonderful for you to read, to have and to hold. Time is running out, so savor these last moments we have together. -Lauren Lu, editor in chief



10 16




Beating Your Time


The Next Move


The Show Wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Go On


An Empty Nest


The Bucket List


Game Time


My Other Half





Point A to point B. What does this distance entail? Saying goodbye to old friends. Making new ones. Staying. Leaving. Running out of time.




Staying Behind Several months ago, while sitting in a restaurant with her family for dinner, junior Alex Isler received important news from her parents: she and her family would be moving to Dallas. Isler said this news evoked a mix of emotions. Her parents, however, allowed her to stay in Carmel on the condition that she find a friend willing to host her during her senior year. Isler said, “Staying (depends on) whether or not a friend of mine can take me in for 10 months and, if not, then I will be moving to Dallas with my family.” She also talked with her counselor to find out what financial conditions staying would entail. “I talked to my counselor about my ability to go to Carmel High School and whether or not I would have to pay tuition or have to pay taxes here, and what would be the circumstances for which I could stay, and what he said was that I have senior rights (to attend local public schools without the payment of conditions, according to the Indiana General Assembly’s current 2014 code) so I can stay here,” she said. In March, she found out she could stay in Carmel; however, her family would still be moving to Dallas. Isler said she and her family have moved before, moving from Florida to Indiana in fifth grade, although this move presents a situation different from her experiences before. In spite of the impending separation between her family and herself, Isler said she feels there are a number of reasons this situation is for the best. For Isler, moving to Indiana provided both her family and herself with a more advantageous situation than before; however, if she were to move in the time right before her senior year, Isler said she is unsure whether doing so would help her. “My family moves about every seven years, so my previous moves have always put us in a better spot, and I’m just really hesitant about this move because I’m

not sure that, for me, it would be a better spot. Like, where we would be moving was ranked number one by MONEY magazine (in 2012), so it’s really similar to Carmel, but,” she said, pausing for a moment. “I don’t know—I’ve just grown really accustomed to everyone’s morals here, and I just fit in really well, like, I think I’ve found my home.” Another misgiving Isler said she had about moving was the thought that she would likely lose the academic environment of this school, which she has become familiar with. “There (are) actually a lot of reasons. It’s not just because I have a lot of friends here or because I feel like it’s my home, although those are big reasons for me,” Isler said. “It’s also because academics-wise, Carmel is a really strong school, and although the high school I would be moving to ranks higher nationally than Carmel (and its) sports program is strong, (its) performing arts program is really lacking, and (grades), GPA-wise, would be affected and I don’t know whether I would be in, like, their ‘Top 3 percent.’ “Their curriculum for graduation would also be different, so, say you need four years of gym to graduate, then I don’t know what my situation would be there. So, that might complicate things.” When Isler imagines what would happen if she actually had to move, she said she would lose more than just a physical presence at CHS; she would lose time. She said, “I mean, it is really stressful to think (about moving) because, as it is, we’re already running out of time, like, being a junior and going into your senior year anyways.” Moves of the Past Sitting in the family car. Staring out the car window. For senior Hannah Nordin, these actions have played out several times in her life beginning with the first move she remembers when she was 5 years old. “My earliest memory of moving is when I was

5.01 Senior Hannah Nordin has moved around her entire life. She said one of the most difficult aspects of moving is leaving close friends.

about 5, and my mom had just gotten remarried, so we moved into a new house with my stepdad,” Nordin said. “I’ve moved eight times that I can remember, but probably a few more when I was really little.” According to Nordin, she was born in Santa Barbara, CA; from that point on, she and her family continued to move. She said, “(We’ve) moved to a few different cities in California,



RUNNING OUT OF TIME | 13 out, and we won’t be ready in time.” Nordin’s most recent move took place last year as she transitioned from North Dakota to Indiana. Though this move brought challenges, she said the change allowed her to learn that “distance can’t break a friendship if you really care about each other.” Nordin said, “Moving here was the hardest for me because I was so close to my friends in North Dakota, but it also has made me realize how important it is to enjoy the good memories I make with my friends because in the future, I’m going to look back and think about the happiness of having them and not the sadness of leaving them.”

Junior Alex Isler walks her dog with her brother, an everyday activity that she will not be able to do with her family members when they move to Dallas while she stays in Carmel.


and then we moved to Louisiana, and then we moved to North Dakota. After going back to Louisiana and then back to North Dakota, we came here.” Leaving behind friends has been perhaps the hardest part about moving, according to Nordin. In her memory, her move from California to Louisiana was most difficult and saddening as she said she did not want to leave her friends. She continued, “The thing I miss the most after every time I move is my friends, and it’s hard to keep in touch with them when I live so far away. And every time we move, time doesn’t seem like a problem until about one week away when it feels like time is running


With the end of “Parks and Recreation,” sophomore Abby Frank reminisces about one of her favorite TV shows.



ne last ride for the ‘Parks and Recreation’ gang. Who’s in?” actress Amy Poehler asked in her last appearance as Leslie Knope, lead character on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” a comedy that ran on the network from 2009 to 2015. The series ended its seventh and final season on Feb. 24. Set in the fictional Pawnee, the critically acclaimed comedy followed the lives of local government employees as the unbridled enthusiasm of Knope, deputy director of the Parks and Recreation department, clashed with the droll apathy of the bureaucracy. The show, with its unique supporting cast and satirical “mockumentary” style, often struggled in the ratings but developed a cult following among fans and critics alike. One such fan is sophomore Abby Frank. “I’m a crazy fan. I love that show. I tweet about it, I Facebook about it. It’s a great show,” she said. Frank said she discovered “Parks and Recreation” by complete chance. She said, “One night my parents were watching it and I was just lying in bed with them and I thought it was a great show so I just kept on watching it.” Starting in the middle of the third season, Frank was so taken with the show that she went back and watched the first two seasons on Netflix. However, Frank said, it took her some time to become captivated by the show. “It took some time (to become a fan of the show) because you really have to get to know the characters to really enjoy and understand them,” she said. Like any other entertainment medium, a television series can often fit someone’s interests like a glove. Frank said she felt “Parks and Recreation” suited her perfectly. “I thought it was cool that it was set in Indiana; I felt kind of a connection to it,” Frank said. “A lot of the characters were really funny, and I felt it was my kind of humor.” This was a humor Frank described as “simple, basic but also very realistic.”

be generally antisocial, struck a chord with audiences. “I really loved Ron,” Frank said. “He did not have the typical humor, and he said very interesting things.” Another character who particularly spoke to Frank was April Ludgate (played by Aubrey Plaza), the apathetic intern who had almost no interest in government work, quoted once as saying, “I don’t want to do things; I want to not do things.” Ludgate had her own unique voice on the show, speaking to apathetic teens everywhere. “I really like April because she’s really salty and she’s kind of like me the most,” Frank said. Frank said she was especially a fan of the final season of the show and, more specifically, the last episode. “I like the last few seasons because a lot of the important characters become more important and a lot of the backup characters, like Donna and Ben, you kind of get to know them so that was nice,” she said. “I loved the last episode; it kind of showed the connections between all the characters and they don’t really need to have a reunion episode because it already was a reunion episode so that was cool to see.” Although the show just concluded on television, Frank said she already misses it. “I will miss it a lot. I’m going to miss watching it every

RUNNING OUT OF TIME | 15 Frank also said she found much of the show’s humor in the supporting cast of the show. “I liked the supporting characters better, especially by the end of the series,” Frank said. Many of the supporting characters that Frank enjoyed were often cited by fans and critics as the saving grace of the show. Often, Knope’s passion for local government was in conflict with the hugely popular character Ron Swanson (played by actor Nick Offerman) her direct superior as well as a staunch, detached loner who despised government. Swanson’s embodiment of freedom, including the freedom to

Tuesday night. It was a great time-filler, and it was really funny and it usually made my day,” she said. “I will probably rewatch some episodes.” Frank is planning a “Parks and Recreation” marathon with her friends already. However, she said she is ready to move on, preferably to a show with similar humor. Frank said, “I need to fill the void of humor on TV.”

AN E 5.01



Every moment is precious. As his two children leave for college, Dale Herr, physics teacher and father of twins, reflects on the passage of time as a father.




The Past

t 10:50 a.m. on June 26, 1997, over 20 doctors, nurses and technicians flooded into a 15-by-15-foot delivery room at St. Vincent Hospital Indianapolis, pushing father and physics teacher Dale Herr up against the wall. Amid the frenzy of doctors, Mr. Herr waited for the delivery of his twin sons, seniors Jake and Josh Herr. According to Mr. Herr, despite the chaos of his sons’ births, their situation only became more hectic as he began his early days of parenting. “Everything was busy, and we were always just caught up in the moment,” Mr. Herr said. “You were always taking care of one of them when they were sick or changing their diapers or cleaning up after them, just so caught up in the moment.” Mr. Herr said early parenthood was more fastpaced than he expected, especially because he was raising twins. “Everything moves so fast,” he said. “Time moves so quickly in those years, especially when you have two (children) at once. It’s not like having one kid or a few (kids) separated by a few years. When you have two kids together like that, and you’re still learning to be a parent, it all just kind of becomes a blur in those years. The first year especially is just a blur. It was wild. Time really goes by fast.”

5.01 The Present Today, Mr. Herr’s children are 17-year-old seniors and are a month away from “leaving the nest” to attend Purdue University. Life, according to Mr. Herr, is much calmer now, which he said has allowed him to reflect on himself as a father and take a step back to watch his children mature on their own.


“Over time, we’ve all changed, my kids and I,” Mr. Herr said. “I think and I hope I’ve become more patient. Yeah, I think that has been my biggest change as a dad. I am more patient now because things are a lot calmer, and I am more used to being a dad. Jake and Josh have changed even more. They’ve stayed on a steady course as they’ve grown up, but they’ve changed as they’ve gone along this course. I’ve watched them mature and develop as young men. I’ve watched them turn from kids to men over time and respond to challenges and grow from them.” Josh also said he and his brother have matured over time as his dad has begun to give them more freedom. “We’ve both become more mature,” Josh said. “We’ve become more independent, and we don’t argue as much. We’ve gotten a lot calmer, and (my dad) has, too. He’s kind of come off the gas pedal, and he gives us more freedom, which has helped with the whole maturing thing.” Now that his children are becoming men, Mr. Herr said he has been able to shift from the role of a disciplinarian to that of a mentor for his children. “My relationship with my children has changed from being more of a disciplinary role where you’re laying rules down and setting expectations. As you progress along over time, as your kids become more independent, I’ve found that you



Dale Herr, physics teacher and father of twins, throws a football to one of his sons, senior Jake Herr.


don’t have to be such a disciplinarian. I’ve been able to slowly change from disciplinarian to a mentor for my children. I tell them how I would handle situations, but I leave it up to them,” Mr. Herr said. “After all these years, I know they are independent and capable, so I can just be a mentor for them.”


Josh said he agrees that his dad has shifted from a disciplinarian to a mentor as they have gotten older. “I’ve started to understand how smart (my dad) is and how much information he can share with me,” Josh said. “Now, all he really does is provide us with all the information we need. When we were young, he was basically like telling us what to do. Now, he kind of just guides us, and if we screw up, he tells us how we screwed up and how to keep from screwing up in the future.” Now, as he spends his last few months with his children before they leave for college, Mr. Herr said he is holding on to memories and reflecting on moments that passed him by during the “craziness of early parenthood.” “All of a sudden you step back and realize, ‘Wow, those moments really went by in a hurry,’” Mr. Herr said. “A lot of those memories get left behind in the blur, and you catch up with them through photographs. You look back and think, ‘Oh, they look so cute’ or ‘I can’t believe it used to be like that.’ When you reflect on the memories, it’s like going back in time.” The Future Next school year, after dropping his children off at Purdue over the summer, Mr. Herr will drive to school alone, without his children, for the first time in several years. “Next fall, it’ll be weird driving to school without them on the first day,” Mr. Herr said. “You get pretty used to having them around, but of course that can’t last forever.” Josh said because of the dramatic changes the future holds, he has some concerns about how his parents will deal with their children’s absence after they leave for college. “I think it will be much quieter after we

them, especially in the first month or so; that will be hard for them.” However, Mr. Herr said, although he understands that it may take time to adjust to such a big change, he believes he will be okay after his children leave in the near future because he is satisfied by how time has passed. “I think we’ll be okay (when our children leave for college),” Mr. Herr said. “Things will change. We won’t be able to see them as often, but I’m satisfied with how we’ve spent the time we’ve had together. We’ll do athletic-type things together. We’ll golf. My sons and I like to shoot skeet and fish. We do a lot together, and just times that we’re not even doing anything, but we’re just close by, and we enjoy each other’s company. It’s been good. I’m happy even if we may not get to do that all the time in the future.” Mr. Herr also said he will be able to adjust after his children leave because he is excited for the future, instead of focusing on the past. “I’m excited,” Mr. Herr said. “I’m looking to the future. I want to see the boys develop even more. I want them to be independent men. I want to become their mentor, and we can communicate, and they (will be) close by, so we can drive down (to see them).

5.01 leave,” Josh said. “There’s probably going to be a lot of changes in my parents’ lives. There’ll probably be times when they won’t know what to do. I think there’ll probably be times for

We really don’t need to stop time or go back in time. I’m just excited to see where they’ll go in the future.” Senior Josh Herr plays football with his family. Josh said his family often do outdoor activities together, which he said he will miss in college.










enior Julia Mentz is not one for making quick decisions. She stresses daily about picking her meal in the lunch line. When asked, “How are you today?” she thinks long and hard before giving her answer. She refuses to pick just one thing to do on a Friday night, opting to make a list of five instead. But while Mentz is in no rush to make everyday choices, she promised herself to make 28 specific ones


Senior Julia Mentz has a list, and she said she’s using it to make sure she spends the time she has wisely.

for the future. From trying out beekeeping to driving cattle, Mentz has a bucket list of these 28 (and counting) goals that she said will keep her from wasting the life she has. “I think the measure of a life not wasted would be somebody who has learned how to live in the moment and learned how to constantly be aware of what they’re doing and the impact of their actions,” she said.



“For me,” Mentz said, “a successful life is going to be one where you pour everything into your passions and try to take every single day and make something important out of it. I think having it written down in a bucket list gives you hope. You’re forcing yourself to trust that something is going to happen.” These 28 choices, typed as a note on her iPhone, express the life she’d like to live: They take her

backpacking through the Rocky Mountains, swimming with a dozen horses, dancing in a ballroom class. While Mentz already said she prides herself in being the not-so-average 17-year-old, this list ensures she will be unique at every age. She said, “I don’t want to go through any season of life without having cool stories come up and being able to answer the question, ‘What’s the craziest thing you’ve done recently?’ or ‘What’s the biggest

impact you’ve made on the world?’ When I went to Tanzania I had no clue what I was doing. I just got online and signed up to go to Africa for a month with nobody that I knew. I thought to myself, ‘What the heck am I doing? This is ridiculous.’ And then when I was done with it, I have never been so happy that I faced a fear. I don’t want there to be any season of my life where I can’t answer what’s the craziest thing I’ve done like that.” Math teacher Wendy Bass may be at a different stage of life, but she said she also has a few checkboxes of her own to tick. She started her own bucket list 20 years ago with the simple desire to travel outside of the country. As she began to chip away at this goal, she added more. Now her list leads her right to the Equator, stepping one foot on either side. It takes her to Alaska, hiking the trails by day and gazing at the Northern Lights by night. Once it even pushed her out of a plane, granted with a parachute and an instructor at her side. “I’d wanted to sky dive,” Bass said. “I didn’t want to learn how to sky dive; I just wanted to experience that free-fall feeling. It was totally worth it. Best $150 I’ve ever spent. The one thing that was weird about

5.01 it was when you do a tandem jump, they don’t tell you how to land until you’re floating down. They only give the instructions for what to do until the chute opens, so there’s that little part of you freaking out. It was terrifying and amazing all at the same time.” Both women desire to complete their lists, but each has another item that she requires for a successful life. While African safaris and plane jumps may be the choices that will


make their time eventful, they said a bucket list cannot ensure their time isn’t wasted. As for Mentz, she said her life must be about savoring experiences just as much as it is about doing different activities. She said, “I think that when I look back at my life when I’m older, I’ll probably not be thinking about the normal things I’ve done as much as the crazy experiences that I’ve had. I don’t think that when I look back, I’ll be excited that I (made) honey or that I visited six continents. It’s not really about the actual thing that I wrote down so much as the experiences I know will surround it. I think I’ll just be thankful for the opportunity to do what I want to do and thankful that the life I pictured became a possibility.” With regard to her own life, Bass said she searches for a feeling of contentment. Depending on one’s definition, a bucket list cannot always fill this need. Instead, Bass said she finds contentment in the lives around her, in her family and in her job. Only after these things are in place does her list begin. “I’m going to be honest, I don’t think it would make a bit of a difference if I did the things on my list or not because I’m already

face a fear, you are doing something productive and you’re going to grow and you’re going to learn from it,” Mentz said. “Do something that you’re scared of. Do the thing that has been nagging you lately that you know somewhere inside of you, you kind of want to do it, but you’re scared.” Bass said she realizes many bucket lists total a high price, quickly making a goal seem impractical to achieve. To her, though, these costs are not discouraging; she said she has found that not all adventures need a plane ticket.

will continue to check off its items. Whether that may be delivering a foal or starting an urban legend, those 28 choices are simply waiting to be made. Mentz said, “We have just 80 years on this Earth and then who knows what happens after that? For people who believe that they just die, why wouldn’t you want to do everything you can to make a difference while you’re here? For people who believe in an afterlife, why wouldn’t you want to do

RUNNING OUT OF TIME | 25 content. When I think of my life and that list, the list is not the whole cake. Those little things that I want to do, they’re the sprinkles and the decorations on top.” But once they have this kind of foundation, Mentz and Bass said, a bucket list enhances the time they have left. For those looking for a similar kind of enrichment, according to Mentz and Bass, it doesn’t take much to find it. “I think any moment you can

“Start small. Go to a restaurant, pick two things and tell the waitress to surprise you. You live in America. Even if you hate it, two hours later you’ll have a better meal. How bad can it be? So you don’t have the money to travel the world. You do have the money to wake up one day with zero plans and get in your car and drive somewhere. Where does your head take you? That’s an adventure.” With these adventures, Mentz said she hopes her bucket list will continue its work in her life, and she

everything to make these moments better? So many people can’t tell you if they’re happy or not with where they’re at in life and that’s not an emotional thing; it’s more (a question of whether) you feel like you’re really living. A bucket list reminds you that you only have so many years on Earth, and the longer you spend being scared of spontaneity or talking to strangers or making new relationships is one more second that you have wasted.”

Beef Stroganoff and Shrimp Pasta





WORDS | LAXMI PALDE PHOTOS | SARAH LIU The clock is running down; the pressure is intense. In such situations like the last few seconds of a sports game, every moment can make a difference.

Maggie Jackson (left) and Anna Kitchen (right), women’s lacrosse players and seniors, practice after school. Kitchen said drills help the team play and transition faster.



HS women’s lacrosse players, panting, tired and nervous, huddled together for a time-out as their coach gave them one last pep talk—with only 19 seconds left in overtime. Their game against Park Tudor was not just any game. It was the State championship. Tied 7-7 at the end of the game, the two teams had begun playing the first overtime. Then, Park Tudor pulled ahead by one goal. High-stakes situations in the final seconds of a particularly important game, such as this one, are a common occurrence in varsity player and senior Anna Kitchen’s lacrosse career. Kitchen, who has been playing lacrosse since third grade, said she is also involved in a travel team and has committed to play in college. No matter where or with whom she is playing, she said the timed nature of the sport plays a crucial role in both practice and actual matches.

“Lacrosse is a game that is all about time and spatial awareness. It’s all about executing things in a quick manner without diminishing how well we do at that certain time,” she said. Katy Voor, Carmel Dad’s Club recreational soccer player and junior, said the restricted time is also important in soccer. “The aspect of time affects almost every facet. Time affects dribbling speed and lends to strategic plays in order to use time. The time remaining affects the plays you choose and your positioning,” she said. According to Kitchen, the lacrosse team practices four, sometimes five, times a week after school with a large clock staring down menacingly at them



throughout practice. The team focuses on three aspects of the game during practice through conditioning, drills and scrimmages. Kitchen said the team spends the most time in drills because that is the part of practice that teaches players specific techniques of different parts of the game and helps shave seconds off of transitions and plays. “Yes, the drills are not going to be cut and dry when you get into a game situation,” she said. “But they give you the tools to know what to do in certain types of situations when you are actually playing.” In fact, it was one such drill that moved the championship game last year in Carmel’s favor, according to Emma Ahlrichs, team captain and senior. The team had frequently practiced getting the ball down the field and scoring in precisely 20 seconds. And now, with 19 seconds left in overtime, one goal behind, Kitchen said that drill came into direct play, more influential than the players had previously imagined. The team was able to score the goal needed to tie once again, placing the team in a sudden death situation— meaning, the first team to score now would win. Voor, on the other hand, said in soccer, it’s often the scrimmages that prepare players for the timed nature of the sport more than the drills. She said, “Drills help with individual parts of the game and the scrimmages help with connecting all the parts in a game. The scrimmages I think prepare you the most for a game because drills can’t replicate a game scenario like (scrimmages) and don’t usually involve the same decision-making processes.” In the end, however, Voor said she believes it really comes down to the situation in the game, especially during the final seconds.

5.01 “There is no perfect way to replicate those intense last minutes in some games. Some scrimmages can come close, but the best way to prepare for those nerve wracking moments is simply to play and gain in-game experience,” she said. According to Ahlrichs, in particularly important moments, such as the sudden death situation in last year’s championship game, no matter how well the drills are


executed in the shortest amount of time possible, the team must also remember the mental attitude part of the game. Kitchen said, “I would say the mental part is a lot more important because in all actuality, physically you know you can do something, but you can only do it if you are mentally tough.” Kitchen said that during last year’s championship game, the importance of mental toughness in the last, crucial moments of the game “hit home” for her. Although she wasn’t playing, she saw her teammates assume a loss in the first overtime, unsure of being able to catch up. Kitchen said her coach’s pep talk allowed the team to regain composure, and the lacrosse team was able to score a goal in the sudden death situation to take home the trophy. “They had to get that composure so that they could go out there and score a goal in the 19 seconds. However many seconds are left in the game, you might as well play it out to the fullest and make good of every bad situation,” she said. Voor said she agrees that the mental state of the players matters just as much as the physical. “During the crucial moments, physical and mental aspects are both necessary. The mental aspect helps to stay focused and with team synergy. The physical part helps in execution in the final moments. You might not get the chance to execute if the team has weak mental strength and (is) disjointed.” Ahlrichs said, as captain and senior member, her attitude often influences the rest of the team, so she has to work on keeping calm under pressure. “I think especially this year as captain, my reaction to intense moments will have an impact on the younger girls, because they haven’t been in as many intense moments as I have,” she said. Ahlrichs, who said she believes she has matured in both physical and mental ability since her freshman year, has committed to

RUNNING OUT OF TIME | 29 Bryant University to play as a college freshman, while Kitchen has committed to LaSalle University. Kitchen said games in college are longer than in high school, but is offset by the more frequent use of “subbing”— rotating the players that actually play on the field. Kitchen said, “So my personal time on the field will go down, but I’m completely okay with that because the intensity of practice will be higher.”


O “

kay, are you Sriya or Sreeti?” Another person, same question. Before I realized it, my identity had become a mere guessing game. This one question has become such a large part of my life, bigger than I could have ever imagined. Up until high school, I never noticed or felt that being a twin affected me in any way. Growing up, we did everything together, from hanging out with the same friends to going to singing lessons. We had taken the same classes throughout middle school, never thinking we could do – or would do – separate things. To me, she was just like any other sibling. Being the same age just meant it was easier to do the same activities, take the same classes and work on homework together. High school was when I really saw how much being a twin had shaped my life. With my individual identity meshed with my sister’s, I had no way of distinguishing myself from her. When it came time to create a resume, we typed one together because we had done essentially everything together. Realizing I wanted to pursue a career in the business field and she in the medical field, we spent the summer of 2014 apart for quite a while. For the first time, I was on my own, surrounded by people who were oblivious to my identity as a twin. According to twin expert Dr. Joan A. Friedman, it can be hard for twins when they go their separate ways because when it comes to developing an identity amongst a new group of people, being a twin suddenly doesn’t matter as much. For me, it was weird to be asked about me, not us. My mom always told us that we’d miss each other a lot when we left for college, but we brushed it off nonchalantly, thinking it wouldn’t make a difference. I never thought that being away from each other would be hard, but I realized at the camp how much individuality I had lost over the years. Being a twin

because it’s different from being constantly asked about being a twin. I went from being asked “Are you Sreeti or Sriya?” to questions that were just about me. Now that it’s May and I know for sure my sister and I are going to different colleges—I, IU, and she, Case Western—I’m beginning to realize starting college on my own will be a struggle. There’s something comforting in knowing that my sister can take one look at me and know exactly how I’m feeling, and I can take one look at her and know how she’s feeling. As Friedman said, many twins find it hard to not have their twin around mainly for that reason and can get frustrated when they don’t seem to

have the same connection with a new friend they make. For the past 12 first days of school, I’ve been Sriya “the twin”, but now I’ll just be Sriya. It’ll definitely feel weird and take a while to get used to, but I know I’ll still have my sister by my side, just not literally. Being a twin will always be a part of my identity; it’s pretty impossible for it not to be. But I think it’s time we experience being just Sriya and just Sreeti. As individuals.

5.01 gave me a barrier to hide behind. Even if someone didn’t know me by my name, I was always “one of the Indian twins.” In my head, that meant people were talking about “the twins” and not actually me, giving me some reassurance. At the camp, I was forced to realize that being a twin had become my safety blanket. Unknowingly, I had thrown away a large part of my identity. Unfortunately, my time with this safety blanket is running out. At the camp, I was forced to step out of my comfort zone and experience being just me. Friedman said twins sometimes struggle when meeting new people on their own for the first time



riya.” I turned to the direction of the person calling out my sister’s name. He was a friend I had known since freshman year, and even though four years should be more than enough time, I guess I could see why he would get confused. He had G1 and B4 with my sister and G4 and B1 with me. To most people, determining my identity was like a game with a

fifty-fifty chance of winning, and that’s how I reassured most people who found telling my sister and I apart a difficult task. I have two names: one was given to me at birth and the other was pushed upon me in what some would call an inevitable way. But I’m used to responding to both Sreeti and Sriya. It’s just something I do. As a twin, I am used to sharing. I have shared just about anything and everything I have: clothes, jewelry, toys, friends and most importantly, my identity. I am usually not considered a single individual, but rather, half of a pair.

I will admit we made it rather easy to combine our identities; we took the same classes, did the same volunteering activities, played the same instrument and took lessons together, to name a few. With that came even more names resulting from the combination of our two names – Sriyati, Sreetiya, the Ravis, SriSri and anything else that people could come up with. Earlier this year, someone pointed out to me that I unknowingly start most of my sentences with “we,” even when only referring to myself. As I made a conscious effort to speak only for myself and about myself, I struggled to refrain from using “we.” Our two separate lives have essentially merged into one and now we’re heading our separate ways for college. My twin sister and I are similar in many ways, but, believe it or not, we are different in even more ways. We are two different and separate individuals. Individuality is an idea that is strongly emphasized at school, but how can I be me, with my own identity, when for nearly 17 years I have been mistaken for my sister? Do I have my own identity or am I just one piece of a two-part special? With only 29 days left until graduation, I recognize that I still do not completely know who I am as an individual. For the past 17 years, I have hid behind the identity of a twin, and now it’s suddenly being taken away. Do I dig through the last 17 years and try to figure out who I was or do I move forward and try to figure out who I am through college? I have thought about college numerous times, and it’s strange to not picture the person I’ve spent almost every moment with until now there with me. I will be on my own next year, and my identity as a twin will be nonexistent, which is why I intend to make the most of these 29 days and as much of summer with my twin sister. While we will be miles away from each other and our identity as twins will become much less relevant, I know that our bond will stay just as strong, and we will always be there for each other. There will always be




more comfort in the presence of my sister, but it’s time for the both of us to rediscover ourselves as individuals. Even with so many unanswered questions, I wouldn’t change anything. I have no doubt that most people will remember us as “the Indian twins” or just twins in general. It has played a much bigger role in my life than I ever imagined it would throughout high school, but in the end, I don’t think I mind. Being a twin has gifted me with the relationship I now have with my sister, and the few things I had to give up were worth it. I may have lost the ability to define “me” as an individual, but in the process, I was able to clearly define a part of who I always will be — a twin.



Even if you take the batteries out of a clock, you cannot stop time. MAY 1, 2015

ACUMEN May 1, 2015: Running Out of Time  
ACUMEN May 1, 2015: Running Out of Time