Ed, Kate, and Tori Knab—Arcadia Triplets
Not only are Ed, Kate, and Tori Knab all members of the Arcadia Class of 2020, but they are triplets and roommates. Here they discuss what it’s like navigating higher ed with that unique perspective.
Who chose Arcadia first? Did your other siblings’ interest in Arcadia deter you from choosing it or cause you to be more interested?
Ed: I can’t remember exactly, but I am pretty sure Kate decided to take a look at Arcadia. We all visited colleges together, so me and Tori went to the visit as well. I don’t think their interest deterred me from choosing Arcadia.
Kate: I chose to look at Arcadia because many of my English teachers received their degrees here. I think I was set on going here first, but the fact that Tori and Eddie also wanted to come helped me realize I made the right choice. We’re so different, and because they felt like this was their school as well, I knew I would be surrounding myself with a variety of people, and that’s important to me.
Tori: Kate picked the school to visit, but she did pick most of the schools we went to look at. If anything, having my brother and sister go here was a plus because I knew that there would be someone here who would always have to talk to me.
How did your parents react to all of you choosing the same school?
Ed: I think they were pretty relieved. It made dealing with financial stuff and move-ins a lot easier.
Kate: Amen to that. I don’t think they would’ve known what to do on move-in day if we had flung ourselves to the far corners of Pennsylvania, let alone other states.
Tori: Relief. They liked how relatively close it was and that we would all move in at the same time and same place.
When you chose Arcadia did you always plan to live with each other?
Ed: Living together wasn’t out of the question, but at least for me I never actively tried to live with my sisters.
Kate: Why does he make himself sound like a victim in all of this? Tori and I are lovely people to live with. In all seriousness though, I’ve been living with my siblings my entire life, so it just seemed like the natural step to keep on living together here. We get along relatively well, and it’s nice to have someone who knows you inside and out close by.
Tori: It wasn’t really planned but ended up working out well. It’s nice to know who you are living with going into a new housing situation and it’s easier to work out conflicts because you’re not really worried about how your housemates will react.
How does your living situation function?
Ed: I think it functions pretty much the same way as any other apartment would. We take turns making dinner throughout the week, and each week we rotate who buys groceries. Other than that, we pretty much do our own thing.
Kate: I would like to give a shout-out to our roommate Sean who does have to put up with living with siblings. He’s a great guy, and he puts many of our “sibling qualms” into perspective.
Tori: I am the coordinator of the grocery rotation. We do often tend to solve disputes like siblings. Don’t worry, Sean. Just stand back and let the strongest come out on top.
What are some purely unique situations that only arise from living with family?
Ed: I guess some situations that usually pop up from living with others like sharing things, doing chores aren’t necessarily as “sensitive” for us. If someone isn’t doing chores, cleaning up after themselves, or being annoying, we don’t hesitate to call each other out because we’re family.
Kate: He pretty much covered it.
Tori: Calling your mom on your roommates is also more effective and a little less weird.
What are some positives that come from attending college with family?
Ed: It’s nice to know that there are two people who’ll have my back no matter what, in case stuff goes wrong or if I’m having a bad day.
Kate: I agree with Eddie, but I’d like to add that it’s also really nice to be able to share the entire experience with them. At the end of the day, I can sit down and ask them about Blitz or Woodstock or any other campus event, and they’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. We understand each other’s sense of humor, and that just makes everything better.
Tori: It’s nice to have someone to share an inhaler with me when I can’t find mine or to meet me in a bathroom stall when I’ve had a bad day.
Ed: I get called little brother in public sometimes, but other than that can’t complain.
Kate: I don’t really see any negatives attending with family in general, because our younger sister is a freshman here, and that has been fine. When people find out that we’re triplets, that’s when things get a little weird. Everyone wants to know how alike we are, and they’re not necessarily interested in how we’re our own person. I don’t hold that against anybody; I’m sure if I wasn’t a triplet and met one, I’d be curious, too. But at this point, 21 years into it, it’s not even something we think about unless we need a fun fact off the cuff.
Tori: I can’t really think of any major negatives. The only annoying thing is being asked to do so many of these triplet interviews—this is the third one. It makes me feel like less of an individual when I keep being asked for interviews based solely on who my siblings are.
Many people leave their family for the first time when they go away to college. How (if at all) has your relationship with your siblings changed by this shared experience?
Ed: Because we mostly do our own thing—like hang out with our own friends, work at different places on campus—we are getting used to being self-reliant. We don’t need to constantly check on one another. But of course that doesn’t mean we won’t be there if one of us is having a hard time or needs help.
Kate: I guess it put more of an adult perspective on our lives. We know that we’ll always have each other to rely on, but I think we’ve all learned how to function independently within the same spheres.
Tori: We are definitely closer then we would have been had we gone to different schools. There’s something to be said for shared experience.
What are some things/activities that you do on campus that is solely your own thing?
Ed: Literally anything involving the Chemistry Department (work study, classes, labs, studying, research). Tori and Kate don’t like going to the third floor of Boyer unless they have to. Also, I am the only tutor among us. Kate works at the Writing Center, so technically she is a tutor in that sense, but she doesn’t work at the LRN.
Kate: Well, like Eddie said, I work in the Writing Center and I also spend most of my time in Taylor Hall. The math and science part of my brain doesn’t work like theirs (or maybe just doesn’t work), so I spend most of my time with language. For me that includes working with Quiddity and the Compass, and both experiences have been fun and enlightening in the sense that I know I’ve chosen the right path for myself.
Tori: I’m a supervisor at the Landman Library so I tend to work more hours than my brother and sister. Also as a Biology major I’ve never had a class with them, which is kinda sad because I think it would be neat. I also do research within my department in the dendrochronology lab.
Do you sometimes feel like part of a multiplicity than your own individual? Or what are some misconceptions about being a triplet?
Ed: Not at all. Sometimes I get referred to as “one of the triplets,” but because our majors are all different, I feel like me being a triplet is an after thought for a lot of friends and professors. They know me as Ed, not one of the triplets.
Kate: I agree. I only feel like part of trio when I have to fill out questionnaires based solely on that fact (just kidding!). One of my favorite misconceptions about being a triplet is that we have twin telepathy, but it’s called twin telepathy for a reason. Sometimes I can’t stand my own voice in my head. If I had to deal with both Eddie and Tori in there as well, I’d go crazy. People are also shocked when they see all three of us together and we don’t look alike, as if I pulled these people off the street to embark on the longest practical joke ever. We’re related, I promise.
Tori: How rude, Kate. My voice is lovely. You would be lucky to hear it in your head. We definitely get asked a lot of dumb questions, like if we all have the same birthday or if we are identical when we are standing next to each other. But I have never felt like I am less than my own person.