Growing up with a very common name is a tough one. You were never the only Emily or Ashley or Matt or Michael in any of your classes, clubs, or sports teams. You became used to being very confused as to whether or not people were actually talking to you or someone else. Well, as someone who’s name has been on the top 10 most popular names list for the last 20 years (it was in the number one spot for 12 straight years, from 1996 to 2007), I understand this problem very well. Below I’ve listed some struggles everyone with a very common name has faced.
There was always at least one other kid with the same name on your sports teams.
Have you ever experienced running down the field and hearing people yelling at you from the sidelines, and then realized that they weren’t talking to you? We have. It’s very confusing.
In elementary, middle and high school, the first few weeks of classes were always very stressful because during roll call you were never sure if they were calling you or another kid with the same name.
Or the worst was when the teacher would say your name and the other kid with the same name would also say “here” and you never really knew whose turn it actually was.
Image Credit: Imgur
Never being sure if it’s your drink that is ready at Starbucks.
Whenever they call out your name at Starbucks, you instinctually pause for a second to see if someone else pounces on your drink, if no one does then you assume it’s yours. Because you can never be too careful, and you never know how many other Emily’s have also ordered a Grande Mocha Frappuccino Light!
You have learned to never turn around when your name is called out in public.
Unless you’re meeting up with someone, you have learned that if you hear your name called out while in public, it’s usually not someone trying to get your attention. Then on the off chance that someone you know is trying to get your attention, they think that you’re straight up ignoring them!
In school you never knew if people were gossiping about you or not.
If you heard other kids in your class or on the bus mention your name, you could never be certain if they were talking about you or one of the other 5-to-10 people in your grade with the same name.
Image Credit: Scholastic
You have at least three friends with the same name as you.
When talk about these friends they all have to be referred to by some nickname or their last name, to avoid confusion.
If you're wondering how common your name is, check out the Social Security Administration's data.