For most of us, going to college means leaving our family behind. But what about students with siblings at Penn? I sat down with three sets of siblings to see how coming to Penn with a sibling affects the college experience.
Dani Lozano (E ‘19) and Sebastian Lozano (E ‘17)
More than just siblings, Dani and Sebastian Lozano, were each others’ failsafes.
The duo, raised in Miami, was reunited in 2015 when Dani joined her older brother at Penn. Dani explained that Sebastian was instrumental in making her transition to college smooth.
“He made every aspect of coming to Penn a lot easier,” Dani said. “Socially, he introduced me to so many great people and academically, we had the same major, so he was really helpful telling me what to take…When I failed an exam, he said, ‘I did too’ and it made me feel better.”
While Sebastian was always quick to help his younger sister, who he described as “a cooler and smarter version” of himself, the support was definitely reciprocated. When asked about funny incidents involving inebriation, Sebastian let Dani explain one of his particularly challenging collegiate moments.
“Basically, his girlfriend was calling me saying he was not answering his phone, so I wanted to make sure he wasn’t dead,” Dani laughed. “I spent 30 minutes trying to break into his apartment before his roommate came and let me in. When I got to his room, he was lying on his bare mattress.”
Naturally, Dani began hitting Sebastian, who protested his sister’s quick thinking in a somewhat intelligible fashion. As he regained consciousness, Dani passed Sebastian his pajamas in exchange for his jeans—which Dani noticed were (fascinatingly enough) soaking wet.
“I asked him why they were wet,” Dani said. But Sebastian had already fallen asleep again, and did not answer.
Sebastian was adamant. "It was not piss," he later said.
Dani would eventually concur.
“I first assumed it was pee,” Dani said. “But on closer inspection, I realized it was beer.”
Looking back on their shared college experience, both agreed that it was really special having a sibling with them.
“We were the realest people with each other,” said Sebastian. “Even with best friends, it’s a different relationship.”
Emily Hancin (C, W ‘19) and Katie Hancin (C ‘21)
Coming from the faraway lands of North Philly, Emily and Katie Hancin don’t have the tightest relationship of siblings at Penn, but enjoy having each other around.
“I don’t think we thought much about both wanting to come to the same school,” said Emily. “We kind of just independently liked it here. I guess our parents thought it would be awesome to have us at the same school because it would make things more convenient.”
The two haven’t spent much time with each other on campus, although Katie remembers seeing Emily through her dorm room window on the first day of classes.
“We don’t really take any of the same classes, so other than just bumping into each other randomly, we don’t really see each other,” said Katie. I can only think of two times where we hung out, but I know that if I ever have any questions about classes or anything, she’s always there.”
When asked what their favorite thing about having each other at college, both agreed that it made getting home easier as their Dad now drives to pick them up instead of making them take the train, as Emily had to do before Katie came to Penn.
Sunny Roy (C ‘19) and Sue Roy (C, W ‘19)
Hailing from Cleveland Ohio, Sunny and Sue Roy are twins who have managed to stick very close together. They’ve gone to school together since kindergarten, so attending the same college seemed only natural. The first in their family to attend college in America, they relied on each other when their parents did not understand the ins and outs of the application process.
“We didn’t necessarily think that we had to go to college together, but we were looking at schools together and Penn was both of our favorites. We always came in a package of two, so I guess it makes sense we ended up both wanting to go to the same school,” Sue said. “When we told our parents we wanted to apply to Penn early decision, they really didn’t know what that meant. It took a little convincing.”
Sunny explained that while they were mildly competitive with each other in high school, they have relied heavily on one another for support both academically and socially since coming to college.
“I honestly couldn’t even imagine coming to Penn not knowing anyone,” said Sunny. “Especially during NSO when everyone is going around meeting so many people, but not really getting to know anyone that well, it was really helpful to have someone who really knew me.”
Sunny and Sue only planned to room together freshman year, but have continued living with each other ever since. While their friend group was identical freshman year, they explained that having a sibling at school with them gave them the confidence to branch out and make new friends individually, knowing that they can always turn to one another for support.
“The best thing about having my sister here, is that I always have someone who actually knows me really, really well. When I’m off, she knows and checks in,” said Sue. “As much as I love my friends, no one else is going to know me like she does.”
While Sunny and Sue insisted that coming to Penn as twins made the transition to college much easier, they admitted it has its drawbacks.
“As much as we have tried to individualize, people still manage to group us together, which gets kind of frustrating at times,” said Sunny. “People assume we are really similar. We are, but we have been able to separate and become our own people while staying separate individuals.”