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Sunday, December 10, 2023

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Twins Antonia and Victoria Cannella are graduating after taking every class in their major together at SDSU. Twins Antonia and Victoria Cannella are graduating after taking every class in their major together at SDSU.

(Almost) Inseparable

Twin sisters are graduating after completing every class in their major together at SDSU.
By Tobin Vaughn

Antonia dates a guy with dark hair while Victoria goes for "tall, skinny blonds." They dress differently, but swap clothes.
Differences between them exist, but anyone other than family or close friends would be hard-pressed to tell them apart. San Diego State University’s Cannella sisters are identical twins possessing many of the same traits beyond physical appearance.

“We like all the same food, the same activities, same sports, same TV shows—not much is different,” admitted Antonia, the younger of the 21-year-old sisters by about one minute.

“We finish each other‘s sentences,” added Victoria, “and sometimes, just by the look on her face, I know exactly what she’s thinking about something.”

In Sync

“They are very in sync,” said their mother, Lucille, who remembers the twins as children always thinking alike and dressing alike. In their entire lives, they have been apart only a few times – briefly during separate hospital stays in their younger years and more recently on individual visits with their respective boyfriends.

When they decided to attend SDSU, Lucille recalled, the twins insisted they would live apart with other roommates. “And I asked them a million times, ‘Are you sure?’

“They said, ‘Yep. Definitely.’ Then, guess what happened. The first day they were like, ‘We don’t want to be in separate rooms,’ so we had to convince the other two roommates to room together so they could be together.”

The twins have stayed together since, sharing much more than living space at SDSU. The Cannellas have the same major in the Fowler College of Business (marketing), the same minor (management), and maintain high grade point averages only .03 of a percentage point apart.

A Rare Accomplishment

But perhaps the twins’ most astonishing doubling is their having completed every class together in the Fowler College’s most popular major. Odds are against any two students being able to register for all the same classes, gaining admittance, and completing the courses with high marks.

“This is the first time I’ve seen it,” said Jason Tan (’04), a peer coordinator and academic advisor for the Fowler College of Business. 

“It’s pretty rare. It’s amazing, too, because classes do get filled up here at times, so it’s just kind of extraordinary how they were able to do it.” The twins even studied abroad together in Italy.

Sisterly Competition

The sisters have always studied together, but their grades are not always identical. “It depends on the class,” Antonia explained with regard to test scores. She is better in finance while Victoria excels in accounting.

Both admit there is an element of competition between them. “Not like extreme competition,” Antonia clarified, “but if she did a little better than me I would definitely, like, beat myself up.”

“Sometimes if I study more, Antonia will still end up doing better,” Victoria conceded, “which makes me really mad because I thought I deserved it more, but it just happens that way. She’s more organized.”

Neither twin has definite career plans, but Victoria envisions working in digital media or social media marketing while Antonia thinks she might like to find a position combining graphic design with her love of photography. Both intend to seek summer internships and explore possibilities.

A Break From Each Other

Along with career uncertainty, the sisters share excitement about their upcoming graduation and a bit of apprehension about what comes afterward. Antonia intends to stay in San Diego while Victoria plans to return home to Colorado.

“I don’t want to leave yet,” Victoria said. “I love the people here, the teachers, the sports, the academics—everything. This has been a great experience.

“I’m kind of nervous for what the next step is. It is kind of stressing me out it’s coming so soon, but I am excited to actually get out there and find what I love to do and just to do it.”

Antonia describes their upcoming commencement as “bittersweet.” She is not yet ready to leave San Diego, which is why she plans to stay without Victoria.

For the first time in their lives, the twins would be separated for an extended period of time. “I think it will be harder for me,” Antonia said, “because she is going back home and will be with the rest of our family.

“But I still have friends here and when I get a job I will be busy, so I won’t really think about it too much.  Maybe we need a break from each other.”

Lucille isn’t so sure. After all, she heard a similar separation story at the beginning of her daughters’ SDSU experience four years ago.

A mother knows: “My take is it won’t last very long.”