The Transition Generation

What’s in a name?

May 9, 2011

My name is Mehvish (pronounced mav-ish).  Call me Mehv.  That’s really where my story starts: my name.  It is not your typical American name (if there even is such a thing anymore), but in the 80’s it stood out more than a Flock of Seagulls haircut.  I have also been told by elementary school teachers what a masculine sounding name it is – I should point out here that I am a woman, not a man, so you can imagine what that comment did to my fragile, pre-adolescent female mind.

With my name, or most likely any name, we’re seemingly judged right from the get-go.  In school, teachers see your name before they ever see you, unless you’re slightly tanner than the rest of the class – then they know you’re the odd name out.  But I can’t tell you the number of times I have been judged by my name alone.  Rest assured, reader (if there is anyone reading this blog), that the majority of my teachers were kind and good people and never treated me differently. I was always extremely shy and introverted as a kid, really until college, but still I was judged until they realized I was hard-working and studious.

But before you think I dislike my name, reader, let assure you that I love it, unconditionally.  I believe that people grow into their names and I cannot imagine the person I would be had I grown up with a different name. 

So what does a name have to do with the purpose of this blog? Well, I am a member of what I call the Transition Generation: the children of American immigrants who learn the ins-and-outs of American life and culture and must help their parents, and eventually their own children, transition to an American way of life. My parents, indeed many of the parents of the Transition Generation, came to America in search of a better life for me and my brother.  The life here was and is different from the life they knew, but my brother and I are better for it.  The course of our lives were changed when they made the brave decision to come here, and now I and a plethora of aunts, uncles, cousins and more have benefited from the strength of their parents. 

But we, as the Transition Generation, have faced experiences our parents have not, such as a unique and foreign name in comparison to those around us, and it is those experiences which have set us apart.  A long time ago I realized writing was a good outlet for a shy girl, such as myself, and I have wanted to share my experiences with others.  I also want others to share their experiences with me; what challenges have you faced as a member of the Transition Generation, or what challenges have you seen others face?

On a regular basis I’ll be posting blogs about my experiences and, even if you are not a member of the Transition Generation, I hope you can join me and share in the conversation.

Thanks for reading



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    First generation born and raised American, and member of the Transition Generation © (aka Generation T ©). Join me as I discuss the struggles and joys I have faced as an American. What's your story?


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