National Sisters Day is the first Sunday in August, so we decided to get in touch with two sisters — identical twins, actually — who recently graduated from the Cumberlands. Miranda “Randy” (Feltner) Phelps, ’21, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and youth ministry. Mishaela “Mish” Feltner, ’21, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology and youth ministry. Here is what they shared about their relationship before, during, and after their time at Cumberlands:
Q: How would you describe your twin?
Randy: Compared to me, she is quiet and more subtle in personality. But in style, she's much more bold; she likes a lot more color than I do. But I would describe her as kind and intelligent and funny and all of the nicest things.
Mish: She's much more outgoing. She can make friends with anyone in two seconds. She's very caring. She's the kind of person who will do anything you need; she'll drop what she's doing to help you. And she’s very empathetic and kind. Fun to be around.
Q: Have you always had a pretty good relationship?
Randy: Um, I would say that we've always been best friends, but there was a period of time where we were best friends who fought a lot. That was in middle school, high school.
Q: How did you stay so close while you were going through that period?
Randy: Well, we shared a room, so we didn't really have much choice.
Mish: Usually, the fighting was just like little bickers, not anything that was detrimental to our friendship. So, at the end of the day, it was stuff that we could just kind of get over.
Q: Was going to the same college always the plan?
Randy: Yes and no. We toured all the same schools, and I think that we wanted to go to the same school, but if it had worked out that we went to different ones, it would've been okay. But we both chose Cumberlands and then also chose it because the other one was choosing it. I think it played a factor, for sure.
Mish: Yeah, I agree with that.
Q: What kind of feelings or anticipations did you have when you made the decision to go to the same school?
Mish: I was glad that she was coming because I was really scared to go to college. I was very nervous about it, where she was just all excited, and I was more on the nervous side about moving away and stuff. It was nice for me to have her there with me, you know?
Randy: For me, it was a comfort to know that she was gonna be there, even though we weren't going to be rooming together. Neither of us knew anyone else who was going to Cumberlands, so it was good to have my best friend there.
Q: So, since you didn't room together, what did your interaction look like during your college years?
Randy: Well, our freshman year, we cheered together, and our rooms were right down the hall from each other. So, we were still basically living together and were together for long periods of time every day. But after that, I wasn't cheering anymore, and she was, so we had to be more intentional with our time. But it wasn't necessarily a scheduled time for each other every day. It was just, when we had free time, we'd hang out. And for the most part, we still had similar friend groups. So, it was just kind of natural.
Mish: Miranda didn’t have her driver’s license until junior year, so any time she needed to go somewhere, that made us hang out because I had to drive her.
Randy: I never liked to ask anyone else, so, yeah, she was always the one to do it.
Q: Your first year at Cumberlands, would you say there was somewhat of a culture shock? Or was it pretty smooth sailing as soon as you got here?
Randy: The only thing that I've ever confidently said that I am good at is change. So, I was very ready for college. In high school, I had a lot of friends, but I didn't really fit into any one group. And I just felt like college was gonna be the place where that would happen. So, I was pumped for college. It was a very easy transition for me.
Mish: I got a little more homesick than Miranda did. I was always wanting to go home on the weekends, whereas she always wanted to stay, and I had to kind of talk her into going home with me sometimes. I think it took me a little longer to get adjusted than it did Miranda, but I didn't really struggle that much. I would get homesick if I hadn't been home in a while, but that's pretty much it. I was pretty comfortable within a month or two.
Q: Do you feel like your college years together changed your dynamic at all?
Mish: I'm personally very glad we went to the same college. I think it would've been hard if we were apart. Especially for me, where I did get homesick quite a bit, having someone who was from home right here on campus helped with that. And I worry that, if we had gone to colleges that were far away from each other, we would've grown apart. So, I'm really glad that we had that experience together for four years, and I think it made us grow closer. When we were growing up, we were always together 24/7, and being with the same person all day every day contributed to our arguing. But in college, we weren't roommates, so we got to get away from each other, but we were still able to spend a good amount of time together. I think it was a really good in-between that we’d never had before.
Randy: Yeah, that was exactly what I was gonna say. Having that time where we were still able to see each other every day, but we had to work for it instead of it being forced on us, made us realize that we actually like each other and want to spend time together.
Q: What would you say to sisters considering attending the same college?
Randy: Don’t room together. If you're going into college as best friends and you room together and are each other's only friend, then you're not going to reach out and meet new people, which is the best part of college.
Mish: If you're debating on going to the same college, I would recommend going together because, like I said, I really enjoyed it, and I really liked having her here. But if you have the option to room with other people, I think that was a really good experience for both of us.
Randy: Going to college with your sister is better than going alone.
Mish: It really helped us both to get broken in because we would go different places and individually make friends, but then we would get to meet those other friends through our sister. So, it kinda opened us up to other people too.
Randy now lives in Florence, KY, with her husband, Noah. She is currently nannying and plans to substitute teach and begin her master’s in teaching Fall 22. Mish is living in Williamsburg and is a physician assistant student at Cumberlands on track to graduate in 2024.
It was lovely getting to know these Cumberlands sisters. We hope this helps you or someone you know decide whether to go to college with their sibling – and, evidently, how important it is to get separate rooms!