Finding strength of a wolf in my first name

A student explains the significance of his first name which means “strong wolf.”


Considering my common last name “Smith,” having the unique first name “Conall” makes my identity unique. I always tell people who seem a bit skeptical of my first name, “complicated first name, easy last name.” 

To me, my name signifies who I am. A stranger more than likely won’t be able to pronounce or spell my name correctly (you get used to it) or know its meaning. In Gaelic, the name Conall means “strong wolf.”

I believe I was given the name Conall because I have the strength of a wolf to lead and carry on the duties of myself and those who are close to me regardless of the circumstances. 

The meaning of my name is a huge part of my character. During my life, I’ve gone through situations where I wasn’t sure how to handle them or how I would escape them. In May 2017, my father passed away after a long battle with depression and anxiety. 

After his passing, I became “the man of the house.” And as a 19-year-old college student, this was not how I envisioned my master plan of life. It’s been a long and difficult road to get where I am now since his passing.

Throughout my life, I have been able to embody the meaning of my name. From the passing of my father to making a monumental decision to leave my comfortable nest at Bloomsburg University and transfer to bustling Temple University, I’ve taken on huge challenges. 

A strong wolf is who I am and who I always hope I can be. 

I know at times life isn’t going to be kind to me. To quote the great Rocky Balboa, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows …It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.” 

Anxiety and depression are common in my family. And in a world where mental health is tragically misunderstood, strength may sound cliche. But it takes massive strength for a person to deal with that type of burden on a day-to-day basis. 

Names play a huge role in the development of a person’s character, and I’m proud of my character and the significance of my name.

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