Shakesphere wrote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.” Whether be your name a product of rivaling families or a name passed down from your great grandmother or simply a result of Hollywood’s influence on pop culture, a name is often the first thing people will judge you by. It’s a contributing factor in what defines you, though it can also be a defining factor affecting the jobs you have and people you interact with.
On Saturday, September 29th, just before he made his debut on NBC’s popular late night show, Saturday Night Live, Kanye announced via twitter that he will now be formally known as ‘Ye’ instead of his more well-known name Kanye West. His latest name has brought up the question of how names can affect a person’s future in terms of careers and social acceptance.
Names have an immense effect on peoples’ lives. It’s a key characteristic of any individual, being one of the first things you hear when meeting someone new. According to English teacher, Christina Wiegand, whether your name be ‘normal’ like John or Sarah or an ‘unusual’ name such as North or Apple, it’s something people should be pleased with and want to share with others.
“I do think names are a powerful thing and I do believe that some people think they have a name that they feel holds them back, but in reality, they should take pride in their name and not be weakened or shy because of it because they were obviously given that name for a reason. They should find their own pride in it, because if they don’t take pride in it, no one else will,” Wiegand said.
Names may be the result of a countless number of reasons. They could be a product of a mother’s favorite TV show as a kid or the outcome of tradition passed down throughout a family. Whatever the reason, they almost always have a meaning behind them. For Mia Hernandez, sophomore, her name is a spin off of her late sister.
“I’m named after my sister who passed away. My mom actually had a miscarriage and she was going to name her Día. She was going to name me that, but she felt like it was her name and not mine. So she changed my name to Mia,” Hernandez said.
Some names, however, can negatively affect the future of an individual. In a 2015 Business Insider article, “13 Surprising Ways Your Name can Affect Your Success,” it explained how the more common the name, you are more likely you are to get hired over someone with an abnormal name. Sophomore, Carlwell Redmon, strongly disagrees with the article’s claim.
“I do not necessarily believe that my name has any sort of negative impact on me or my life. I believe that my name is and always will be very unique. I’ve never met anyone with the same name. I feel like having a unique name gives me a path to having an even more unique personality. I do not believe having a basic name gives anyone a certain advantage,” Redmon said.
Counselor, Kimberley Wilson, however, agrees with the study. She thinks that society can be guilty of prejudice when it comes to introducing themselves to someone with a non-basic name.
“Unfortunately, names can have an effect on a student’s future as people are guilty of stereotyping based on a person’s name. But, I think people with abstract names could have an appreciation for their name,” Wilson said.
No matter what your name is, and whether it really does have an affect on your future career, it is something to take pride in and be grateful for. While it is one of the defining factors for a person, it isn’t the definition of you.