They came into the world together, started primary school on the same day and went through almost every class together.
Now three sisters from Cayman Brac are celebrating a unique achievement after becoming the first set of triplets ever to graduate from their American university.
Staci, Kristi and Suzanne Scott, all 21, graduated from Elon University in North Carolina last week.
Kristi studied elementary education and will return to Cayman to look for work as a teacher. Her sisters majored in accounting and have already lined up jobs with rival firms KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The girls, who roomed together through their four years at college, say they have shared almost all their major life experiences and couldn’t imagine going through school without each other.
Staci said graduation day last Saturday had been an emotional experience for all of them.
She said: “It was just this amazing feeling knowing that not only was this one of the most important days of my life, but I also had my best friends, sisters, the people who have known me for as long as I have known myself right there next to me. Who gets that lucky in life?”
For their parents, Roger and Dana Scott, the time has flown by fast.
Mrs. Scott said: “I remember distinctly the girls’ first day of school at West End Primary at age three years and eight months. They were very excited and eager to go to the ‘big school’. They were all happy to arrive at their classroom, but Kristi had a vice-like grip around her dad’s legs when the time came for us to leave.”
They say they are proud of their girls and looking forward to having them back in Grand Cayman.
There was a lot for the sisters to get used to when they first went to university – not least the change in scenery from the panoramic ocean views of their home island to snowy North Carolina winters.
“We were so excited when we saw snow for the first time during our freshman year. We hated winter, but the times that we saw snow made it worth it,” Kristi said.
The girls are not identical, though they look similar enough for classmates and teachers who don’t know them well to get them confused at times. They have had to get used to answering to each other’s names.
Though physically similar, they say they have distinct personalities and no one who knows them well would get them confused. Kristi is the “free spirit” of the three, Staci describes herself as the “doer” and the leader of the group while Suzanne is the “mother figure”.
“We’re at our best when we’re interacting with each other and we always manage to make each other laugh and have fun no matter what we’re doing,” Staci said.
The girls did spend a few weeks apart during a three-week study abroad programme in 2012.
Kristi travelled to Italy, Staci to Greece and Suzanne to Ireland.
Kristi said: “That was the longest period of time that we had spent apart, but it was a great experience for us. When we were reunited with one another, we each got to share our experiences and photos from our travels and that almost made me feel as if I had visited three countries instead of just one.”
“That experience made me realise how much I take my sisters for granted because I had never been in a situation where I didn’t have them with me or couldn’t talk to them.”
Suzanne and Staci will stay in North Carolina for the summer to study for and sit the Certified Public Accountants exam. All three girls say they have loved the college experience, but will be happy to settle back in the Cayman Islands.
“Cayman is home for us and we’re blessed to be able to return to such a beautiful place and the most supportive family and community we could ever hope for,” Staci said.