My name is Kajsa, and for those of you who aren't familiar with the Swedish language, it’s pronounced Ky-Suh. Growing up with a unique name has given me some struggles, and apparently, the internet would agree. I saw a post from Buzzfeed titled “Useful skills everyone with a unique name has mastered” which made me laugh. I often see articles similar to this and get a kick out of how relatable they are, but I see far too many posts about the struggles, problems or the worst parts of having a unique name.
I personally love my name, and I think there are many benefits to having a name unlike anyone else; therefore, I have come up with a list of eight perks to having a unique, foreign, or uncommon name.
1. It’s a conversation starter
Ordering a drink at Starbucks, a new teacher taking attendance, or meeting someone for the first time are all times when a conversation has naturally and comfortably taken off because someone was curious about my name. This curiosity leads to connections that someone with a common name might not get.
2. Getting something with your name on it becomes extra special
All I have ever wanted was to walk in a store and find my name on a key chain or on a Coke bottle. While this has never happened, I have gone into IKEA and found my name on multiple things. How cool is that?! I have also had friends take the time to get me personalized items with my name on them (which totally beats a Coke bottle).
3. You’re rememberable
Teachers and employers have a better chance of remembering who I am because they had to take a few extra minutes to learn my name and how to say it. It also stands out from other names when written.
4. The giggles from all the different pronunciations
People never (and I do mean never) pronounce my name correctly the first time. Some of the ways people have said my name have gotten pretty out there and often bring a smile to my face or a chuckle or two, and getting Siri to say my name correctly was a lot funnier than it should have been.
5. You're different from anyone else you know
I have never met another Kajsa, and I like that. I’ve never had to worry about someone with my name being in one of my classes or getting work or mail mixed up with anyone. However, I would like to meet another Kajsa someday.
6. Usernames and email addresses
I am (usually) free to choose any username or email address I want. Thankfully, I’ve never had to resort to using Kajsa118459 as my only option.
7. The nicknames
I have had more nicknames than I can even remember, because something about unique names just allow for even better options and word combinations. My favorite nickname is definitely Queso, which happens to be one of those giggle worthy pronunciations I mentioned earlier.
8. The meaning behind it
My favorite thing about my name is the thought and time that my parents put into it. With a unique name you know that it meant something to your parents and that they took the time to research and think it over. With foreign names, you also feel a connection to your heritage and where you came from.
I love my unique name, along with all the perks and struggles that come with it. I wouldn't change it to anything else.