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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Youngstown chapter.

No, none of us asked to be here and we didn’t get to choose our names either. Some of us got names from our ancestors, some of us are named after famous people or cars. There are even names where random letters were chosen and became this beautiful thing. For me, I was named after Mariah Carey. Now, while I love her, and I will always sing Emotions off-key when I hear it playing – it’s not me.

As I said, we didn’t get to choose our names. It’s a bit unfair that we even have to pay to change it, but it’s okay. I will give the amount needed so I can feel like me. No, it’s not that I don’t feel comfortable with my birth name or anything, but it’s a different person to me. The person associated with that name isn’t who I am anymore and so I will change my name.

If you are wondering how my parents feel about it, they couldn’t care less. My friends? Same thing. For the confusing matters of it all, legally I will be by my new name – obviously. When it comes to memberships and subscriptions, it will be the same thing. As for what people call me, I do it like this:

     – if you knew me before the name change, you can call me whatever you’re more comfortable with (so far its mostly by my birthname and that’s perfectly fine!)

     – if you met me during the choosing of my name and I’ve changed it a few times, it can be confusing. In this case, I will answer to whichever one you call me, but I will also, honestly, answer to “Hey, yeah you, the one with the green shirt on”

     – if you meet me after the legal change then you’ll know me by that one specifically, and I’m fine with that one too – obviously

This has been a year in the making and it hasn’t been easy or fun. Understanding who you are as an individual is a bit scary. When naming a child, you just choose one. You’re either influenced by family or how the child looks, but what about personality? Likes and dislikes? Being so self-aware and trying to decide how other people call me was hard.

Sort of reminds me of the riddle: What is something you own, but everyone uses it? Your name. I have to own this name, hear it every day, maybe get it engraved or written on something that shows my life achievements like MY COLLEGE DIPLOMA! It’s made me a bit anxious here and there, but overall – however – it is pretty amazing. The experience, the ideas, the feeling of relief and absolute awe. Naming myself? You have to admit, it’s pretty cool.

So… Hi, I’m me. And you are?

Camden Spann

Youngstown '24

I am a Senior at Youngstown State University achieving a degree in Merchandising: Fashion & Interiors with a double minor in Journalism and Creative Writing.