New graduates Maisie and Caroline Smith have always been inseparable. They are twins, after all, so that bond started at birth. At Walker's, they both joined the squash team, founded the debate club, and have shared a common group of close friends. They are even going to college together at Haverford in September.
But just seeing them as "the twins" misses their uniqueness as individuals, and both Caroline and Maisie are grateful to their friends and teachers at Walker's who recognized them as separate people.
"Walker's has seen us as individuals," says Maisie, the older of the two. "Caroline and I are different personalities; we are very different. Walker's let us be ourselves."
The two are often seen together on campus, so the differences aren't always apparent. But it starts with the subjects that have captivated them most. Maisie says she's someone interested in lots of subjects, from history to science to English, but her favorite class was biochemistry, where she had the opportunity to learn to research. "It was very hands-on," says Maisie, "and we got to isolate bacteria to source new antibiotics."
On the other hand, Caroline says U.S. history is where she thrived. Digging herself into research papers, she enjoyed the opportunity to focus on one topic and go into it deeply.
On Being Day Students
Finding comfort at Walker's might have had something to do with the school being nearly in their backyard. The Smiths grew up just five minutes away and followed in their older sister, Tricia's, footsteps. They were all day students, but felt fully integrated and part of the community. In fact, Maisie says it was the best of both worlds. "Being a day student was really nice. My family is important to me, and I got to see my mom and dad, but I spent so much time on campus that Walkers' was always a home for me."
In addition to the debate club, the sisters both played squash, practicing for hours together. Caroline says she was reluctant to join her freshman year after her mother suggested it might be a good option. "I was being a bit rebellious," she admits, "but I ended up loving it. I was able to catch on pretty quickly."
Maisie says it's been a boon to have Caroline as a practice partner, along with everything else. "With Caroline, we're always able to play with one another and have some competition. It's good to have someone you can always rely on. Wherever we go, I always have a best friend in her."
The sisters will also play in college next year, which Caroline says is a "little surreal" — making it to a level she never expected to be at.
That determination seems to pervade everything the sisters do. Caroline says that came from trying to be very focused on the task at hand. "Whenever I was working, I would try to stay away from everything that was distracting and focus solely on what I was doing. I tried not to multitask." She says she also tried to maximize the use of every available minute, including working on English homework on sports bus trips.
The sisters are ready to take all their hard work to the next stage and are excited for what's to come. They are also grateful for their time at Walker's. When asked what they'll miss the most, Caroline says, "I think I will miss the people the most. I know that I will definitely stay in touch and miss the teachers and different people I've met. I don't know if there's a community quite like Walker's."