Meet Your Penn State Triplets: A Family Tradition On A New Level
It often seems as if everyone you meet in Happy Valley has Penn State alumni in their family. As big as the Penn State network is, there’s always someone you know personally throwing a tailgate or apartment party.
For Gabby, Izzy, and Sam Rovito, attending Penn State became more than just an extended-family tradition when they all decided to attend the same university as part of the same class. The Rovitos were born July 10, 1998, and these triplets all decided to head to Happy Valley together for their freshman year.
President Barron first introduced the Rovito siblings to the Penn State community at convocation in August. Barron usually mentions some of the notable achievements or quirky fun facts about the new freshman class at each convocation ceremony. This year, the Rovitos were some of the few students to get a shout-out.
“When President Barron mentioned us at the convocation, I stopped for a second and was like, ‘Is he talking about us?'” Izzy said. “And then everyone started texting me saying ‘Oh that’s you he’s talking about!’ It was crazy.”
“My initial reaction was, ‘Who are the triplets?’ You just don’t think he’s talking about you,” Gabby said.
For the Rovito trio, being triplets isn’t exactly a huge deal — it’s all they’ve ever known. Throughout their lives, the group learned to grow together as a team. By now, they’re experts at it.
“It’s kind of funny to me that people are making a big deal about it because it’s just part of our normal lives,” Izzy said.
The siblings know they wouldn’t trade the triplet life for the world. They’ve learned to appreciate how their unique family dynamic gives them a special bond that most people don’t experience. However, the three don’t appreciate being compared to each other as people are often apt to do.
“Everyone doesn’t initially think that we’re triplets, but once they find out, they assume that we’re so similar, except for our looks of course,” Izzy said. “They’ll label us, too — like one person’s this, one person’s that, and one person’s this. So that isn’t always the greatest, but overall I do love it.”
Comparisons were always a part of the siblings’ daily lives. Throughout their childhood, their parents would even coordinate their clothes — the girls would match, while Sam would color coordinate with the outfit. And if you’ve ever wondered if twin or triplet telepathy is real, they’re here to put that rumor to rest.
“People often wonder whether or not triplets can communicate telepathically, but the answer’s no,” Gabby said. “Sam and I were in the same science class in eighth grade and we were taking a test. I was struggling like big time, it was physics, and I had never tried this before, but I wanted to see if triplet telepathy would work. I sat there with my head in my hands and tried to talk to him. At the end of class I went up to him and told him what I’d tried to do and he was just like, ‘That’s the fakest thing I’ve ever heard.'”
Like many freshmen, the trio lives East Halls this year. Though they’ve had to get used to dorm food and some pretty lengthy walks to class, they’re adjusting well. Having each other so close by provides a sense of comfort they wouldn’t have had if they had gone to different schools. They also have the opportunity to meet additional friends through each other on a daily basis.
“I think having each other has made the transition to living on our own easier,” Gabby said. “We do try to see each other at least once a week even if it’s not the three of us together…It’s nice having a piece of home at school.”
So why did each sibling choose Penn State in the first place? For Sam, his desired career path made the decision pretty simple.
“My major’s kind of obscure and hard to find at a lot of schools,” Sam, who’s studying immunology and infections disease, said. “When I got my acceptance, Penn State was the only school I had applied to by that point, so it was an easy decision for me.”
Gabby and Izzy waited until April to accept their offers. They were each waiting on decisions from other schools, still weighing the benefits and drawbacks of each. In the end, both sisters decided Happy Valley was the place they wanted to spend the next four years.
Just like many other Penn Staters, attending the university is a family tradition. They’re the 19th, 20th, and 21st members of their family to attend Penn State. They grew up attending football games and tailgates, and the soft spot they had for State College helped sway their decision.
Now that the trio has gotten the first few weeks of school under their belts, they appreciate being close to each other more than ever before. Now matter how busy they get, the Rovitos know they’ll have a constant support system by their sides whenever they need it.
“Because it’s not just like we’re siblings, we’re triplets,” Izzy said. “We were born together, so it’s nice that we’ll have each other there throughout all of our lives, not just college. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.”