For starters, if you've read my previous articles, you're familiar with me ending almost every article with "Until next time, Salsa." If you're new, now you know. It might also shock you that "Salsa" actually isn't my full/real name. My real name is Salsabil, which my Muslim parents thought would be beautiful considering it's from the Quran. Which is great and all until we decided to move to the United States where the most popular names are Ashley, Kate, Jennifer and etc. So when most people see the name "Salsabil" it's kind of like "oh, well that's interesting." In short, this led me to rebrand myself as "Salsa" for those who can't necessarily say it easily. Understandable, and if you find yourself nodding in agreement to all of this - there's someone out there just like you, doing the same.
1. Substitute Teacher Or Any TeacherGiphy
Every kid at some point growing up really felt either the embarrassment or grueling process of trying to help a teacher pronounce their name correctly. If you're one of them, props to you because some of us don't have it in us to carry on with the explaining process. If you're like me, as soon as the person whose name gets called before yours, you mentally prepare yourself to say "Here" before the teacher can even say the first syllable of your name. If you've done this, trust me, you're not alone.
2. Nickname That's Not Really A NicknameGiphy
Every foreign person or someone with a very uniquely spelt name has thought of changing their name but like - not legally. Like for me for instance, Salsa from Salsabil. Or another example, Mo from Mohammad, Sam from Salaiyama, Jerry from Germinder. You get the trend. Sometimes though, it can get really confusing because then people know you by two completely different names and it can get really awkward trying to introduce yourself. Your mind blanks out for a quick second and you end up looking like an idiot because to the other person you look like you don't know what they're talking about.
This really can go for anyone with or without a complicated name. Starbucks hardly ever gets it right even if you spell it out to the barista. That's it, for this one because I'm sure most of you reading it know what this feels like. Cheers!
4. Play That Minority CardGiphy
This is honestly a pro. If you have at least some kind of hint in your name or background that you are a minority it can really help you in the long-run with college admissions or even interviews. Workplaces and universities have a certain quota they're always trying to make so I mean even if you might get a lot of shit for having a complicated yet unique name, it has it's perks. Might as well use it to your advantage and if you're smart, you've already done this in your applications.
5. Coming To Terms/Own ItGiphy
Honestly though at the end of the day, your name is a pretty big deal. It's your identity and you've had it all your life. You don't need to change it because other people might have a hard time spelling or pronouncing it. Educate them on how to say it or spell it right. If they can't, it's no big deal. Its in your roots, learn to own it.
Until next time,