I have somewhat of a dilemma, and I'm interested in opinions.
Okay, so: my full name is Cherokee Summer *****. From the time I was born, my parents called me Summer. I didn't even know my first name was Cherokee until I was at least in kindergarten.
I've been "Summer" for 25 years--except that I also answer almost as automatically to "Cherokee" because my grandmother (who has lived with my parents since I was in 9th grade), my oldest cousin, and all of my grandmother's friends call me by my first name.
Here's the thing: if you happen to go by your middle name, then you'll understand my pain--everything you fill out wants your legal first name, which of course for me is Cherokee. All through school and college, I'd correct the professor on the first day of class and ask to be called Summer. It usually was no big deal.
Well, tomorrow is my Orientation for nursing school. All my paperwork is for Cherokee. My ID tag that I'll be wearing to the hospitals is for Cherokee, not to mention my file that the hospitals will have is for Cherokee.
So I'm thinking, should I just embrace Cherokee as my "professional" name? (Not to be confused with my stripper name, Spooky McKinney.) I wouldn't have to deal with constantly correcting people to Summer, or explaining to hospital staff why I want to be called something different than my ID tag says, not to mention patients. And what if my classmates are trying to tell the hospital staff about "Summer," but they don't know who they're talking about, because to them I'm Cherokee?
Honestly, I'd be fine with people calling me Cherokee--like I said, I do identify it as my name. I've never actually introduced myself as Cherokee. That would be odd. And I'm not used to lots of people calling me by that name, but I'm sure I'd get used to it.