Up until now, identical twins Ben and Will Essex have led nearly identical lives.
The 17-year-olds have taken similar high school classes and have participated on the same sports teams. They both studied Spanish and played JV and Varsity football. They love sports, are hard workers with a competitive spirit, and are active and engaged learners in the classroom. Excited and bit uncertain about the future, when they head off to college it will be the first time their paths diverge. For at least the next four years, being 300 miles apart will have to be close enough— Ben heads south to the University of Georgia while Will is northbound to Elon University in North Carolina.
Ben applied to The University of South Carolina, Clemson University, and Washington and Lee, but according to him, the University of Georgia met all of his wants, from academics (he’s on a Business track) to good sports teams and a great social atmosphere. Will also applied to The University of South Carolina and The University of Georgia as well as Auburn University and Butler University, but it was Elon that checked all of Will’s boxes and after an enjoyable campus visit, Will said yes to joining the Elon family.
The twins are the youngest of four children (with Ben technically being the youngest) and the Essex family moved to South Carolina from California when Ben and Will were in eighth grade. Suffice it to say, CCES sports has not been the same since! Both boys are talented athletes who have contributed much to CCES athletics, particularly the JV and Varsity football teams they have been a crucial part of. Ben also played JV Baseball and contributed to our track and lacrosse teams. He has sought volunteer opportunities, helping to build a house in the Dominican Republic, and has participated in several CCES clubs, including Investment Club and Sports Debate Club, all while maintaining High Honor and Honor Roll throughout high school.
Will, an avid recreational sports player, also contributed to our JV Baseball team, was nominated by the CCES Athletic Department to represent the CCES football team in the Cavalier Leadership Institute, and started a club for other offensive line players, including younger JV and “B” team players, all while (you guessed it) maintaining High Honor and Honor Roll throughout high school.
The twins may be devoted to sports, but they have never been saddled with the stereotype of being “jocks.” Their peers and teachers describe them both as nice, polite, well liked and well respected. At CCES, students wear all sorts of hats and the boys are known as much for their academic pursuits as their athletic ones. Ben is enrolled in both Physics and AP Psychology this year. “As I’ve gotten to know Ben,” says Bartley Sides, Associate Director of College Counseling, “I’ve been struck by his desire to excel. He isn’t afraid of a challenge and is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his goals.” Will’s favorite class is AP European History, and in his Spanish III class, he was chosen by his classmates to present a poem in Spanish for the school-wide foreign language declamation showcase. “Serious and studious, Will is a conscientious young man who works hard and stays positive,” said Lindsey Waters, Associate Director of College Counseling. “His maturity and introspective nature is reflected in his curriculum choices and in his approach to learning.”
For Ben and Will, the college admission process was doubly complex. After 18 years of togetherness, the boys agree it will definitely be strange going to different schools, but they are also very ready to forge their own paths.
JUST FOR FUN!
What is your favorite CCES memory?
Ben: Getting a 100 on Mrs. Daniels’ exam and only taking 7 minutes
Will: Prom 2019
What is one of the things you would put on your bucket list?
Ben: Playing golf at Augusta National
Will: Living in Europe
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor
Both: Mr. Burford!
Ben, what are you most proud of about Will? That he has made it this far!
Will, what are you most proud of about Ben? That he got into UGA, go dawgs!