It wasn't really their priority. It just kind of happened.
Twins Skylar "Rae" Bynum (valedictorian) and Megan Bynum (salutatorian) topped their Class of 2020 at Early High School despite never really pushing each other hard.
They're believed to be the first set of twins to accomplish the feat in the Early Independent School District.
But they said there was no cutthroat competition or expectation of greatness between them, just self-drive and a healthy push her and there from each other.
"When we realized the possibility that it could happen, we got excited," Megan Bynum said.
"I just cared about doing my best," Rae Bynum added. "It just turns out my best was the best."
Rae and Megan finished the year, which ended early in Early — and everywhere else — concerned over the COVID-19 pandemic. It left the twins with a different feeling than what would be expected of those topping their class.
Numb, Rae said. Shock, Megan said.
Not angry, though.
"I feel no emotion. It's a numbness," Rae said. "It's very strange."
There were supposed to be plenty of opportunities for goodbyes. A final dance. A final day of school.
It all started normal. They prepared to finish out their final semesters of high school, to hang out with their friends. They toured prospective colleges for their next steps.
Then the novel coronavirus hit and everything came to a screeching halt.
"This year has been kind of weird," Megan said. "We expected a lot of lasts, but that didn't happen. It was just an abrupt stop. That was the shocking aspect of it that I didn't expect."
So, like the rest of the Class of 2020, they're preparing for any number of scenarios as they move forward with their lives.
They'll do it together, just like they have all along. They're both set to attend Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches this fall, assuming the campus is able to accept in-person students.
Rae will study English, focusing on creative writing.
"I think it's just my way of making sense of my life in this world around me," Rae said.
Megan, meanwhile, is pursuing studio art, with an emphasis on sculpture. And she's taking on a theater minor.
There was a moment Megan considered going out of state for school, touring Nazareth College in Rochester, New York. She said she seriously considered the journey but ultimately settled, with her sister, on SFAU after conversations with their respective departments.
Aside from their selected school, Rae was also considering Abilene Christian University.
That they ended up together in their next step, while putting the finishing touches on their final moments of high school, was something they didn't set out to do, either.
Just like leading their class in grade point average.
But it happened. And it all speaks to their love for each other and their passions.
"It's not easy to get to Nos. 1 and 2," Rae Bynum said. "But we both love learning and had passion and ambition for ourselves, so that definitely helped a lot. Our class was very competitive."
Those competitive students, including the Bynum twins, will be able to celebrate at an in-person graduation ceremony at 8 p.m. Friday at Longhorn Stadium, 115 Sudderth Drive, Early.
They previously celebrated with a virtual graduation, recorded earlier in May, this past weekend.