One of the people I met on my floor during my sophomore year was Jer Stout. One of the things about meeting Jer is that he was just a regular first-year student coming to Calvin. What I did not know is that he had a twin, who is considerably identical. After knowing that Jer has a twin, most people (including myself) wanted to meet Jacob. I wanted to see the differences and similarities for the twins. It would just be a cool experience to know Jer’s twin brother.
- Junior graduating 2018
- Studying Spanish and philosophy with a pre-med track
- Some of the things that Jer is involved with: Track, basketball, honors student council, tutoring job and he volunteers at Exalta Health
Twin: What is it like having a twin?
Jer loves having a twin. I mean he does not know anything else because he ALWAYS had one from the beginning of his lifetime. He has an appreciation for having a twin.
As he reflects on the past couple years at Calvin, having a twin did not make much of a difference into his experience. Coming in as a first-year students, Jer and Jacob decided to not live together. They wanted to create their own Calvin College for the both. It does not mean they would not cross paths again, but living in a different room, floor or dorm dictates what their lives will be like. Jer ended up on the same floor I was on (2nd Huizenga). The separation for the two of them pushed for the both of them to be independent and to create new friendships that don't just define the two of them as the STOUT TWINS. Jer is able to create his own image rather than just an established twin image. He is able to be himself.
Jer and Jacob commented on how being a twin can be frustrating. People do not always know which one is which when they actually mean to say "Hi" to the other person. Some people even think or believe they are ONE person! People do get confused.
What activities do BOTH twins do?
Jer and Jacob have an athletic background and currently still do sports. During their first two years, Jer and Jacob were part of the basketball team. Basketball was one of the sports they played growing up. After basketball season is over, the both of them move on to participating in track and field. Track is usually in spring. Besides those two DIII sports, Jer and Jacob love playing volleyball. The two of them are usually playing on the same team, which is pretty exciting.
The both of them do not only play sports together, but they make time to do other things. Because they are both students first, they make the time to help each other out with their studies. I remember last year the both of them would study together for their organic chemistry tests. It is pretty incredible that they still find the time to study even with the busyness of their lives.
Calvin College offers awesome opportunities to go abroad. Some of the trips are directed towards a specific major, but does not limit for other majors to go on the semester abroad. Jer is a Spanish and philosophy double major, and part of his Spanish major requirement is to go abroad. Jer decided to go to Peru.
What is the culture like in Peru?
Jer's experience does not define the whole perspective on what the country or the culture is like, but his experience has some validity into a description of Peru. Peru's expectation deals with a formal setting when it comes to its people. It was important that people around Jer were addressed in a correct manner. One of the examples he gave was addressing the professors in a respectful and formal way using sir or ma'am. The formality doesn't stop within the school system; it is also part of the social hierarchy. His host dad was a judge in which many people respected him and would address him in a different tone in comparison to other people. Even with the formality, people still had a welcoming presence. Everyone assured that you still have a place in their own home.
- Food was amazing
- Memory: getting the chance to travel through the Amazon and go to the beach
Any advice to prospective Calvin students?
This is a true story on how I met Jacob, which is embarrassing but really funny now, looking back.
I do not fully remember if I knew that Jer had a twin in the beginning of my sophomore year. I just remember that he possibly had a twin, but it was not sure. One morning I was having breakfast with my RA, Will, in Commons. I saw "Jer" looking for a spot to sit. I yelled "Jer" at least three times, then all of a sudden he turned around looking very confused. With this confusion, I turned to my RA. I said "I think that's Jacob, Jer's twin." Jacob came to the table and the first thing he said: "I'm actually Jacob, I get Jer a lot." After this embarrassing moment, I studied their faces to not yell Jer or Jacob's name and be wrong.
Little Facts about Jacob:
- Junior majoring in psychology and minor in Spanish
- Graduating 2018
- Loves sports: pole vault on the track and team, plays intramural volleyball
- from San Diego, CA
What was the transition like? What is it like having your twin?
Jacob loves his time being here at Calvin. He has built up his own image outside his brothers or family coming to Calvin. He believes he has found his friends that can be considered as family. Calvin is a place where he can experience Calvin fully, but not forget to succeed academically. Jacob does this by playing sports and doing activities and remaining dedicated as a student. He believes that the professors at Calvin bring a personal aspect to his learning: "They care about their students as individuals and show interest in talking with them about topics besides just class," Jacob says.