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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

Triple Trouble: What it’s like to be uniquely one in three

Triplets+juniors+Noah+Wu%2C+Eleanor+Wu+and+Abigail+Wu+smile+together+on+a+rainy+day+before+school+in+first+grade.
Provided by Abigail Wu
Triplets juniors Noah Wu, Eleanor Wu and Abigail Wu smile together on a rainy day before school in first grade.

How different are fraternal triplets?

Even after junior Abigail Wu dyed her short hair red, she recalls somehow being mistaken for her sister, Eleanor Wu, who wore her brown hair long. 

The two girls and their brother, junior Noah Wu, are fraternal triplets who grew up with one another, creating memories like going to a different park almost every day as kids, playing video games together and appearing together on NTV.

“Eleanor has always been the more outgoing, social one, talking and smiling, and she has always seen the best in people when I cannot see it myself,” Abigail Wu said. “When I was young and figuring stuff out, her personality was a lot stronger than mine. I was more of the mature and quiet one, and Noah is always super nice.”

Although the three share the same amount of DNA with each other as any other set of siblings, growing up all in the same space as triplets has challenged them to develop their own uniquely distinct characters as they navigate both challenges and joys. Whether adapting to a new school or exploring various activities like coding, martial arts and soccer, they learned how to grow with one another.

“We are very different in ways, but this is what makes us learn from each other,” Eleanor Wu said. “I don’t think I would be as patient if it wasn’t for Noah because it’s honestly a really unique situation. And Abigail has taught me to expand my perspective. Just because I think something doesn’t mean someone else does.”

As fraternal triplets, Eleanor Wu and Abigail Wu never got to pull the same pranks that identical twins might have, though they once nearly tried. Although the girls now share with each other and often borrow one another’s clothes, they also refused to match growing up. 

The siblings remained in separate classes during elementary, but despite this, Abigail Wu remembers a time she and her sister somehow wrote the exact same answer on an open ended question.

“I think our parents intentionally did not want my sister and I to be in the same classes, so people wouldn’t associate us as ‘Eleanor Abigail’ and or ‘Abigail Eleanor’ all the time,” Abigail Wu said. “They would think of us more as individuals than a package deal.”

While the sisters have occasionally been mistaken for one another, most people who learn they are triplets don’t realize the two girls have a brother rather than a sister. 

Although it was harder to connect with Noah, Eleanor came to cherish their bond later on during middle school. Now, they continue to spend time together and help each other get ready for martial arts events.

“I love my two sisters and it’s never lonely,” Noah Wu said. “Sometimes, though, I have to let my sisters borrow a lot of things, like my earpods or charger.”

During their teenage years, the triplets settled into their own personalities, classes and friend groups. Amidst the chaos of moving homes together, attending various elementary schools, sharing a room (for the sisters) and visiting their dad in Long Beach on the weekends, they grew closer through the change. 

“You could basically see our personalities just from our room when we had to share a bathroom,” Abigail Wu said. “Now, I definitely feel like it’s a lot more peaceful and calm because I’m not with my siblings.”

Now, Abigail Wu lives with her dad close by while Eleanor Wu and Noah Wu reside with their mom, along with two dogs, two cats and a bunny. While the triplets don’t share classes at Northwood, they still hang out and even catch rides with each other.

“They’re similar, but there’s some clash that happens because they are in different surroundings,” junior Olivia Kesler said. “Abigail has different friends than Eleanor, and the way they were brought up differently in their circumstances makes it a bit different.”

While Noah Wu aspires to become a librarian and Eleanor Wu hopes to pursue neurology in the future, inspired by her brother’s journey with special needs, Abigail Wu is graduating this year with hopes to travel the world. 

But no matter where they are headed next, the siblings have promised that they will visit each other, support one another and continue to meet up during holidays and celebrations as a family.

“One thing I will definitely say about my sister is that she always has my back,” Eleanor Wu said. “My siblings can both tell when I’m upset. And if I ask for a favor, she’ll help me out.”

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About the Contributor
Hannah Liu, Staff Writer
Hannah was taken into custody for the destruction of her sleep schedule and now writes articles for the Howler to pay off the damages. When she's not sneaking off to Narnia or getting lost in a book, you can probably find her playing with her German Shepherd, drinking boba and thinking about everything. Or searching for her many lost water bottles.

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