After a lifetime of living in the same home, and two years together at Kankakee Community College, twin sisters Kriston and Kayla Love of St. Anne will soon take separate career paths.
“Some people think that because we are twins we have the same career and educational goals,” said Kriston. “People tend to forget that we are two completely different people and want different things out of our educational careers.”
The sisters will graduate in May, Kriston with an Associate in Arts, and Kayla with an Associate in Science. They will transfer to Illinois State University in Normal in the fall.
“The decision for us both to attend the same four-year university is completely coincidental,” said Kriston. “We both fell in love with ISU, but even if we did choose different universities, we would be just fine on our own.
It can seem that we depend on each other a lot, but we are actually extremely independent. I don’t think I’d want to have things be any other way, though, because I enjoy having Kayla with me.”
Kriston is pursuing a degree in nutritional science and dietetics, and plans to also get a master’s degree with an eye toward specializing in sports nutrition. Inspired by her love for basketball, she hopes to work with NBA athletes. “I would love to make meal plans for athletes and help them have an adequate diet so they can always perform their best,” she said.
Kayla will major in psychology and is working toward a doctorate. She shares her sister’s interest in sports. “During my educational journey, I plan to gain experience in the field of sports psychology,” she said. “I would like to work with athletes to help them overcome any mental issues so that they can (perform) their best.”
KCC was the first choice for both sisters, who chose KCC primarily because it fit their budgets and they wanted more time to consider different career directions.
“KCC provides an affordable education and opportunities for those in the community,” said Kayla. “The college has given me a good foundation to start my college educational journey. I have been challenged academically by the professors to work hard and be dedicated.”
“KCC is also close to home, which I liked because I could still live at home and go to work, which also saved money,” Kriston added.
One memorable experience, Kriston said, was building supportive relationships as a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.
“Being surrounded by other students who work just as hard and who take their education just as seriously as I do helped motivate me to become a better student and helped me feel like I belong,” she said. “The comradeship that we all have with each other is a key component to my education. We are always asking each other questions if we don’t understand a certain topic in class and everyone is always willing to help explain or teach each other.”
Kayla, too, said her most memorable experiences were related to Phi Theta Kappa. She served as Honors In Action co-chair of KCC’s chapter.
She also noted her capstone project for the Adulthood and Aging psychology class as a highlight.
“I had to create a proposal, develop an experiment, and write a research paper,” said Kayla. “This whole experience has been very formative because I will have to present another capstone undergraduate project as a psychology major at ISU in the fall.”
The sisters also have appreciated the support of their parents. Their mother, Delithia, is a coordinator of the TRIO Student Support Services program at KCC.
Kriston explained that their parents always stressed the importance of having an education, which has been part of a life “blueprint” for her and her siblings.
“Attending KCC for the past two years has immensely impacted my life and my future,” said Kriston. “I believe that KCC has prepared me for the next chapter of my educational journey and that there is true meaning behind our school motto. It is absolutely true that you can ‘start here, finish anywhere.’ I would not have wanted to spend my first two years of college any other way.”