For most students, college is a time to experiment with identity and find out who you really are (the answer is usually "a drunk"). So what happens when you happen to share a name with one of the most famous and controversial figures in American politics? You get a lot of emails, that's what.
In 2006, then 16-year-old in Texan Sarah Palin googled herself and learned that the governor of Alaska had the same name as her. Cool! She got a bumper sticker for her birthday and that was that. Then the conservative/maverick governor joined John McCain on the presidential campaign trail and a high school senior received a mountain of confusing text messages and emails congratulating her on the nomination.
So what's it like to be the other Sarah Palin? Obviously everyone keeps making the same joke about her running for president next year, which damn tired. "I'm like, Wow, that's really original. I definitely haven't heard that one before," said Sarah, who's now 20, in an interview with Time. Sometimes store clerks and receptionists think she's just being a smartass when she fills out forms, and she gets 6 or 7 misguided friend request on Facebook every day.
Beyond those nuisances, Sarah also faces the new possibility of her name being trademarked. The elder Sarah Palin's application to trademark her name for speaking engagements and educational/entertainment services is due for approval in a matter of weeks. But the two should be able to co-exist without too much professional conflict: Sarah in Texas is majoring in nutrition and has no plans to enter politics, and it's assumed that the former governor does not intend to focus on food science any time soon.
Texas Sarah comes from a bipartisan household (a mom who reviles the politician and a dad who adores her) and does not have strong feelings toward the politician either way. "She seems like a good and decent person, and she's enthusiastic about what she does. But she doesn't always sound very smart."