There are 44 Emilys currently on this campus.
Yep. Forty-four. Cuarenta y cuatro.
This includes an administrator or two, but still. Forty-four out of maybe – maybe – 2,000 students, and that’s without separating male from female.
My mother’s name is Nancy. You don’t hear of many Nancys walking around.
My academic (and life) adviser grumbles about how many Emilys he currently has in his life. I don’t like that. I don’t like that I am just one of the many.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore my name. I think it suits me. But how can a name – a label – suit me as well as millions of other girls and women? How is it that names are so flexible?
When teachers peruse their rosters, a name like Emily isn’t one that jumps out. It’s far too common. But names like Annabelle and Deidre; they stand out. How many Annabelles do you know? I know only one. And I don’t even know a single Deidre; I just remember hearing the name in one of my classes.
People given unique names automatically stick out. Me? I have to work for it. I have to possess an attitude that sets me apart. I have to do something to be sure I am noticed and remembered. She’s not just another Emily.
Of all the Emilys you will meet in your lifetime, I want to be the one that stands out. I want to be the Emily whose last name you fill in without even thinking. It won’t be “Emily… What’s-Her-Face.” You’ll know exactly what last name follows those first five letters.
Maybe that’s what makes names so flexible. Your label doesn’t necessarily signify the content.
Oh, and you know what I want, but I’m not gonna beg for it? A new nickname. My oldest brother has called me “Millie” for as long as I can remember. I wish it would have caught on with more people.