I’ll be blogging about travel & learning, as those are two of my biggest passions. I’ll share my travel stories (including cultural mishaps) and tips – how to pack for different kinds of trips, creating itineraries to make the most out of your travel time, and guides to cities I’ve explored. I’ll share what I’m learning through life and studies, as well as study & organization tips – how to create a plan that works for you, how to organize your planner so that you use it regularly, and the best places to study in different cities. I’ll also focus specifically on how to learn with dyslexia – alternative study techniques, how to tackle tough academic readings, and ways to make lecture note-taking easier!
For now, please enjoy a small introduction about me:
- 8 is my favorite number
That’s why this list has 8 things in it, and that’s going to be a theme throughout this blog – lists of 8 mixed with long-form posts. I like patterns and symmetry, and I like it when things are neat and organized. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always let me get away with that, but I try to as much as possible.
- I go by the nickname Kat
The nickname comes from Katrina Karamakov, one of the main characters in Dance Academy. It’s an Australian dance school tv series that my best friend and I started watching on Netflix during junior year of college. My best friend said “you are Kat, Kat is you” not even 10 minutes into the pilot episode and the nickname stuck. In turn, her nickname is Tara, after the lead character on the same show with which she shares many personality traits.
- Dyslexia sometimes makes it difficult, but I still love to write
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with writing for as long as I can remember. I’ve always had something to write, but have struggled with how to get the words out of my head and down onto paper. I remember crying about it in the 3rd grade because we had to do ‘creative writing’ pretty regularly, and I felt like I just couldn’t. My teacher suggested writing out one adjective per letter of the alphabet that explained what was going on in my mind instead of writing a story. It worked pretty well for a while. In college, I was formally diagnosed with dyslexia and was able to find resources and helpful tools to cope with it. I still struggle to find the right word, use the wrong one without realizing, or make a mess of letters, but writing makes me happy!
- I am privileged to have a pretty international background
I was born in Europe and grew up there and in the Middle East, then moved to the US for college and am now in the process of moving back to Europe. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel to and explore many countries, and I’m incredibly grateful for it. I’m always missing another ‘home,’ another country’s culture or quirks, and never quite done learning what makes each country so uniquely special. I love exploring new places – whether that’s setting foot in a country I haven’t been to yet or walking around my hometown and finding a coffee shop I haven’t tried yet.
- Personality assessments are the outlines and blueprints I use as a way to understand people
I love seeing how every individual’s personality plays out through various personality assessments and how they intersect. Although something like the MBTI test, or a Hogwarts House Sorting, or even StrengthsFinder, do not give concrete boxed-in results, I still love hearing personality assessments people have taken. They can never tell us everything there is to know about a person, but I believe that they are great tools for learning who a person is and how they think and act. I view personality assessments (outside of Zodiac Signs) as rough guidelines of how a person might act in certain situations, and as a way of understanding what makes each human different from the next.
- I am an unapologetic nerd
I enjoy ‘nerding out’ about things, whether it’s a tv show (currently Quantico), a sport I enjoy watching (ice hockey, soccer, and swimming amongst others), or the theories of life. I love asking whys and what ifs and reading deeper into a topic that fascinates me. I love discussions and hypotheticals and realizations. I enjoy watching TED Talks just as much as Netflix. I will happily sit back and listen to someone who’s on a roll passionately talking about one of their favorite things, even if it’s not a passion I share.
- There are life lessons in everything, and I try to always notice them
Whether I’m listening to Small World by Idina Menzel, to my best friend’s roommate babbling about their new match on Tinder, or to the many voices on Grey’s Anatomy, there is always something to be learned. Not the obvious life lessons that are presented neatly in episode voiceovers (life is unfair, talent will only take you so far, always wear a seatbelt). Not the things I was taught in school (calculus, literary devices, don’t eat the mystery meat). The smaller life lessons that go unnoticed unless I’m truly paying attention – the power of word choice, the importance of storytelling, the silences in between someone’s words. I believe that looking for them, and finding new perspectives through them, is important.
- I love human connection
Whether it’s offline or online, I love meeting new people and learning about them. I like hearing what things make them happy, and what makes their day feel longer. I enjoy hearing all their favorites, and least favorites. Hearing someone speak about their passions is the best though, I think. I love finding points of connection and similarities between myself and whoever my new friend is, too. So if you’re reading this, please talk to me – on any social media platform or via email – I’d love to talk to you!
Facebook page – www.facebook.com/sunflowersandstickynotes
Instagram – @sunflowersandstickynotes
Twitter – @sunflower_notes
Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/sunflowersandstickynotes
Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/sunflowersandstickynotes
Thanks for reading!