Top from left: Kourtney and Kalea Dutton, Emma and Abby Cunningham Front, Grace and Faith Valega, Christine and Caitlyn Gardiner
Twins aren’t a new occurrence to Oklahoma State University’s campus but the four sets of freshman twins enrolled in the College of Human Sciences are unique.
The improbable happened when Abby and Emma Cunningham, Amarillo, Texas; Kalea and Kourtney Dutton, Edmond; Caitlyn and Christine Gardiner, Southlake, Texas; and Grace and Faith Valega, Perkins all selected majors in the College of Human Sciences this summer when they enrolled for their freshman year.
“We always grew up doing the same thing because we liked being together,” Faith said. “We were both interested in dance, cheer and showing livestock.
“It wasn’t our top priority to go to school together,” she said. “If we decided to go somewhere different it would have been fine, but it would have been hard.”
Not only did the Valega twins, Grace and Faith decide to go to OSU, but they are both nutritional sciences majors.
“I feel like it’s easier. Just because you have someone there who knows what you’re going through and experiences how hectic it can be with you,” Faith said.
Although the twins have grown up with similar interests, they aspire to various careers after completing their degrees at OSU.
“I want to go to nursing school and become a neonatal intensive care unit nurse,” Grace said. Her sister Faith would like to pursue a degree in sports psychology.
Abby and Emma Cunningham said it was always the plan to go to school together. They have taken it a step further as they are both early childhood education majors.
“We liked doing a lot of the same things and trying out the same sports,” Abby said.
“Now were here and do everything together,” Emma said. “We are taking the same classes this semester so we can hold each other accountable and on track.”
Both twins enjoy how OSU feels like home where everyone is friendly and welcoming.
“The College of Human Sciences puts on events that encourage student involvement and it becomes more enjoyable when it is shared between the twins,” Abby said.
Abby and Emma want to teach, but in different parts of the world.
“I want to go back to Amarillo and teach at the elementary school that I went to,” Abby said. “I’d really like to stay close to my parents and family. All my other siblings want to go out of the country.”
“I want to teach in third world countries,” Emma said.
“It breaks my heart,” Abby said.
While all of the twins found their way to OSU, there was a time for some of the twins when there was a possibility of them attending different universities. The College of Human Sciences’ degree options ultimately led to the twins’ decisions to attend OSU said Kalea Dutton, nutritional sciences major.
“I am in dietetics, but want to minor in exercise science so I can work with athletes’ nutrition and exercise,” Kalea said.
Her sister Kourtney Dutton chose interior design because she is interested in commercial design for the hospitality industry.
“Even though we live together in Kerr-Drummond, we don’t see each other all the time like in high school,” Kourtney said. “We are taking one class together so we can help each other with assignments. It’s different because we have to study some course material from other classes by ourselves.”
“At one point we weren’t going to both attend OSU. I wanted to go to Abilene Christian until we came to visit the campus for Christine,” Caitlyn Gardiner said. “After visiting, I liked the campus and the deciding factor was that my brother and sister were both going to be at OSU. I didn’t want to be so far away from them either.”
No matter how hard school is, the twins agree that it has been fun to have experiences together.
Christine Gardiner, a fashion merchandising major, said she and Caitlyn are active in some of the same clubs but are members of different greek houses.
Caitlyn Gardiner, human development and family sciences major, said Human Sciences has much to offer with an abundance of resources.
“Everyone here is so personable and wants to see you succeed,” she said. “All of the professors are so passionate about what they do.”
“I’m in fashion so I like how hands on the courses are and how you can take different classes to learn about information outside of your major,” Christine said. “You feel prepared for a potential career with the information you learn in class.”
Even though some people automatically compare twins, they are still individuals with different interests, Caitlyn Gardiner said.
“I want to be an occupational therapist. I’m starting to think about working with children somehow,” Caitlyn said.
“I either want to be a buyer with fashion merchandising or start my own fashion boutique,” Christine said.”
The twins’ experiences offer unique perspectives about their time at OSU, but they all share a unique bond with their sister.
“People always ask what it’s like being a twin,” Kalea Dutton said. “I always ask what is it like not being one?”