Don't you wish you had a twin at Calvin? Well I have friends that are twins, which is the closest thing I can get to having a twin! I decided it would be incredible to look at their perspective of being a twin at Calvin. I think it is interesting to know that even though they have similarities, their experiences differ from each other.
Megumu (Meg) Jansen
- Sophomore, Class of 2019
- Home: Japan
- Major: Environmental Science
It is amazing that Meg is an environmental science major for various reasons. As humans (most importantly, as Christians), we have a responsibility to take care of the planet that we live on and what God has given us. It is ultimately a gift from God. He mentioned a few points regarding why it is important to study environmental science: “I have interest in the issue to help solve issues like oil depletion. The world depends on oil and the use of the nonrenewable sources that impact the future of humanity.” With Meg’s comment, I felt convicted about the way we use our resources. Yes, we have a big dependence on these resources and we do have a responsibility to find a way to take care of the earth.
As of the moment, Meg is taking an introductory class that deals with his major. The class is an introduction to human impact on the environment. The class is about the laws that deal with major pollution and its history.
In a school of 4,000 students, Meg has a unique experience. He is a twin at Calvin College. Both him and his twin are currently attending Calvin, which I think adds a layer to his life at Calvin.
Meg grew up as a missionary kid, mostly in Japan. Meg’s family would come back to America every once in a while. As kids, Meg and his twin would do everything together until elementary school.
Meg has an appreciation for having Manato (his twin) at Calvin. From the first year experience of having his twin around, it helped him transition with the change of coming from a different country. Transitions can be hard with adjusting to a new place, a new school and a new country. Even though there is some knowledge regarding the new place, it still differs from being able to experience and live in it.
Even with having his twin around, Meg still found it hard to adjust to the Calvin culture. It took him a while to transition to Calvin. And now, Meg and Manato are sophomores and see each other once in a while, now that both of them have adjusted to their own experiences at Calvin.
After all the hardships in the beginning of his time at Calvin, Meg now owns his experience his sophomore year. He's able to have a much better experience. He finally is able to own up to his experience through friendships, social life, a job and, of course, academics. Meg has his own group of friends that he can hang out with and be able to do fun activities with. He saw Ingrid Michaelson in person. He thought that Ingrid was funny and a good entertainer.
As many college students are, Meg is a student worker. He has two jobs that he works. He work for Johnny's and as a Teacher’s Assistant (TA). He loves working for both because it is easy and fun.
After being able to see the different perspective of Meg’s life at Calvin, I’ve asked questions about what he thinks of Calvin. Meg grew up around the church, knowing that he somehow would end up in a Christian college. Calvin always seemed familiar for him as his church and school has some connection to Calvin as well. He ended the interview with, “it is the perfect size.”
- Sophomore, Class of 2019
- Home: Japan
- Major: Sociology with a minor in International Development Studies
“There was definitely a transition that I had to go through. I'm half American, and I thought I would be ready for life in the States because of my dad, but it turns out he gradually became more culturally Japanese over his 30 years in Japan. My main challenges in transitioning were getting used to the food, American small talk and just the general casual aspect of the culture, as opposed to Japanese culture, which has a lot more distinctions between formal and informal situations. I'd say having my twin brother at Calvin helped me in this transition, because I knew that there was always someone who understood my cultural context and the struggles that come with transitioning to the U.S. from where I grew up.”
Manato mentioned that being a twin is pretty cool. He stated that one of the coolest parts about having a twin is having the twin telepathy, that for them is mainly about music. Even with the telepathy, it isn’t enough for other to differentiate him and his twin. The funny part about twins is how people confuse the twins from each other. I find this confusing, because I think Manato and Meg do not look like each other at all. Confusion from other people isn’t the only thing they share. Manato believes that Meg is the only one who understands him best.
Being twins at small college does not always mean that they are together all the time. In fact, they do not see each other as much this year. Manato lives in KE apartments while Meg lives in the dorms (BHT). They see each other when Manato decides to cook Japanese food for the both of them. I think it is pretty cool that they are able to do that, because being away from home can be really hard.
Who is Manato?
Twins are not the SAME people. Just like any other siblings, they have similarities—more similarities that others—but Manato differs from Meg in many ways. Manato loves to travel, listen to music and loves geography. He finds maps interesting and looks at maps for hours when he gets the chance. Both of them are musically talented, but Manato plays the trombone and the guitar.