Before starting this off, let me say that I do not believe that carrying any one name or salutation is a bad thing. I just believe whatever name or salutation a person carries should be their choice--not that of the rest of society--and it can be independent from or dependent on marital status. I know couples who have hyphenated their last names. I know many that go by the traditional Mr. and Mrs. and take the husband's name. I know married couples that have not changed their last names or their salutations, nor should they have to if they don't want to. I even know of a couple that created an entirely new last name upon getting married, which I believe is super romantic. I am simply stating what my choice would be and why.

I have had a dream since I was a little kid of being a well-established woman. I told my mother I could be an author, a police officer, a firefighter, a ballerina, a teacher, a scientist, and a chef at the same time. However, I grew to realize I had to choose only one or two of these things, so I chose author and scientist, which were the most prominent of all of these dreams for me. In order to achieve both of those, I'm attending a liberal arts college where I get to conduct research as a freshman and I have the opportunity to write for you all every week.

The reason I write this is because the above response was one to a question my mother asked me in high school. She asked, "If you don't want to be Mrs., then what do you want to be?" As stated in the title, I told her I would want myself to eventually have the salutation of Dr.--I want to continue to go to school and eventually earn that title. I want to be a scholar, a researcher, and a mentor to those who need me. My family knows that I am driven to get exactly what I want out of life. They also know that I'm an extremely opinionated feminist and assert that more often than they do, but it's just about my personal goals, and I'd be the first in my family to do it. I would be the first in my family for at least five generations to have a degree higher than a Master's, and my aunt and cousin having Master's degrees (with my cousin having two) is amazing in itself. I just want every part of my name to be self-expression--a projection of my achievements and my dreams, an effort to distinguish myself even more and go on to help others distinguish and assert themselves.

All in all, this is what I want for my own reasons, and I hate it when people are either attacked for their reasons behind their names or those names aren't even used by others. No matter what you want in life, no matter what you want to be known for, please don't let an outdated society decide that for you. Make it yours and make yourself happy. Anyone who doesn't agree with such a choice that is inherently yours is no person you should listen to.