header image, welcome graphic. youkoso which means welcome in japanese and anime version of me

Do you ever feel like everyone around you has their life together but you? Like you’re on the outside looking in wondering why you’re the only one? Maybe sometimes you think to yourself, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I figure out what I want to do? Why do I feel like such a fake? Such an impostor?”

I've been there, we've all been there. Life isn't linear. As much as people portray that their life is great on social media, it's not. I can assure you that the person behind that screen isn't completely positive if what they're doing now will be their "thing" for the rest of their life. I know because I've been there. And that's totally okay!

It happens. So, how do you change that? How do you figure out a way to go from this point in time to who or where you want to be? 

That's where I come in with this website. :)

So now you're wondering, "How does this really benefit me? What's in it for me? What promises can you keep, Diana?"

Well, I'm glad you asked. Honestly, I can always have a website for my own personal portfolio, but really, I get energized by inspiring others. Telling others my story, and finding ways I can help them. 

I really want dreamlikediana to grow into a resource to help others organize their life, empower themselves to take action, and have a helping hand in self-education. Majority of the things you learn that can be put into practice whether in your life or your career, will be learned outside of an educational institution. 

So what you'll find on this website:

Divergent Education Divergent Education is not an official term, yet, I'm coining it first even though there's bits and pieces about divergent learners on the web. Furthermore, it is something that I truly believe in.
  • What is divergent? Divergent is to be moving or extending in a different direction from a common point.
  • What is education? When we think about education we think about school, institutions, college, but education isn't just what's linear.
That's where Divergent Education comes in. It's any type of education that is not linear, but it is not constrained to just that. It's also about being a non-traditional student, it's eLearning, it's doing a trade skill, it's self-taught learning, it's doing a mentorship, it's taking a gap year, it's doing online or home school, it's a workshop, it's an experimental school like Ad Astra by Elon Musk, it's an online learning inclusive environment such as BumoBrain, it's learning from everything around us. For example, learning from experiences, feedback, other people's knowledge and experiences, etc.

Therefore, in regards to Divergent Education some of the things you may find here, but are not limited to:
  • The ins and outs of higher education, college life, and a college education
  • Life after college, and stories from real life people, like you, so you can see if college is in your future. I will ask them the hard questions like what they experienced, and what would they want you to know about college, so that way you won’t have to.
  • Free self-learning, to as much of an extent as possible. I don’t want to put a price tag on what I know. It’s not that I don’t value myself and what I know, it’s that I value education more. Education costs are at all time extreme as it is. The only time I’ll ever charge for something is if it’s a service or a physical product.
  • Quotes from mentors and highly successful people
  • Reviewing Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning, MasterClass, and many similar and current online learning websites
  • Breaking down workshops, tutorials, and more

Lifestyle Design When I talk about lifestyle design it directly correlates with personal development. Lifestyle design is being intentional on how you want to live your life, the habits you want, the person you want to be, etc. It is about creating a life you don't need to escape from.

What you won't see from me is becoming a life coach, promoting hustle culture, trying to teach you how to make money online, or anything similar to this. The truth is, the people who sell classes for hundreds of dollars to "teach you how to make money only" are pretty much doing what MLM's do. And that is, make money by preying on the people who desire that type of lifestyle, doing it from the beach or at home, thinking it doesn't take much work. When that's a false pretense.

In truth, I personally know a lot more than the average person because of many different circumstances, but I don't know everything. I'm only an expert in my field. What works for one person, won't work for the next.

Therefore, lifestyle design focuses on gratitude, current abundances, wins, happiness, while wanting and striving for more, aka personal growth and development. Therefore, I've come up with a few ways that have helped me navigate all of which it encompasses. Some of which are, but not limited to:
  • Free bullet journal spreads you can print or import into a digital app like GoodNotes, Notability, etc.
  • Worksheets on personal development and how to get from point A to point G
  • How I got my life together, and how you can too
  • Tips on mindsets and organization
  • and so much more

Life’s Simple Pleasures Life's simple pleasures adds to depth to the website. It is anything that is a hobby, an activity, a TV show, or something I've done that's absolutely crazy, etc. It's taking these simple pleasures and breaking it down in a way that let's you look at them through an educational lens. Therefore some of the things you will find in this category, but are not limited to:
  • Travel ins and outs. I am going to get deep and personal in telling you how much money things will cost, and how much money to have on hand. Why? Because no one would tell me those things. Almost as if it was a big secret. That worry and fear of, “Maybe I won’t have enough, maybe I’ll run out, where do I exchange my money, is it safe to travel solo, etc.” Well look no further I’m not going to put you through that same feeling. I want you to know, to go, to get out and enjoy experiencing the world! I’ve been traveling on my own, out of the country, since I was 16! I know a few things.
  • What I learned during my time in (country name here), beginner tips to (activity here), # of must know things about (insert crazy experience here)
  • Great animes to learn from, role models that you can't find in reality, why anime isn't just for children
  • What makes video games educational, what can one learn from video games
  • And so much more!

Still don't believe me?

If you won’t listen to me, maybe you’ll listen to some of the people closest to me, and what they have to say about me.

They had the choice of one question or all three:

  • What is it about me that you like the most?
  • In your opinion, what makes me, me? 
  • When you think about me or "dreamlikediana," what is the first thing that pops into your mind?

Whenever I'm on someone else's website and I see reviews for their service, I actually see reviews that felt like they were plucked from a stock website. Majority of the time it talks about the person behind the service, and not the service itself. To me, it feels fake, bragging, and inauthentic. Not trying to drag anyone, but...

That's where my peer reviews come in. I don't have a service to offer, just yet, but I do have some amazing friends I'm grateful for. Without a doubt, I can always ask them for their honesty, and if you want to what negative things they have to say about me, I'll ask them for you. Just let me know. 

And when I do have a service, I'll make sure the reviews are legit and solely about the service and not just bragging rights. I'm not that person. 

"If you want to identify someone's character, examine the friends he sits with." - Imam Ali (AS)

I hope this feels as personal to you, as it did to me. 

Lauren
Paula
Aneta

Also, be sure to check out my publications. There's one about my 5-year gap year... yeah that happened.

Can you believe I didn't want to take my SATs?!

"What?! Where did that come from?"

I mean from a 5 year gap year, it kind of makes sense...

But yeah, you read that right. I didn’t want to take my SATs. I was forced to take them at least once by my high school guidance counselors, and I did, and I never took them again. To this day I still don’t know what any of those scores meant. I didn’t study for them either. I just didn’t want to do more school.

I was exhausted, and I wanted a break! But my school guidance counselors at the time were like, “Nooooo, if you take a break you won’t go back.” 

Like, umm, what? If a person doesn’t go back it’s because they found something else that didn’t require student loan debt. In this day and age, you don’t need a college degree, you just need some type of certification just to show you completed something. Anything! Not everyone needs to go to college, was, and still is my mindset. It's not for everyone, and that's totally okay.

So what happened, you may be wondering? Did I go? Did I not go? Well, actually, considering I wrote an article about my 5-year gap year, I’m pretty sure you know the answer to it, but for those who don’t...

I attended a local community college. In my case, born to Polish immigrants whose highest educational level is high school, I was forced to go, but I took leave after attending two semesters. I just didn’t believe higher education was for me at the time. So I worked, and I traveled, I partied a lot, to be honest with you, and after five years I wanted to give it another shot, but somewhere else.

None of my classes would transfer though. It was a clean slate. A new beginning. Before entering though I decided to do my 4-year bachelor's degree within 2 years. I did the calculations and knew it was possible, but it was going to be hard.

Going back was tough, needless to say, and this longing to finish within 2-years was tougher. I actually failed a class in my first semester. I remember bawling my eyes out because I was struggling in that class but not failing. The teacher wasn’t that great, and the final exam was a joke. But through this, I learned that the things that don’t come naturally to me, I just have to work harder at them to make them work for me. It’s not that they’re, “not my thing,” anything can be my thing if I put my mind to it. And I learned that through failure.

I ended up retaking the class, with a much better professor and passing with flying colors--literally. It’s because I color coded everything. Asked questions, did the homework, I got a planner, I got organized. Failing that class, it taught me a lot about how much I needed to change. And yes, I changed. And because I changed so much more became available to me, so many more opportunities and experiences.

It’s funny, a lot of people doubted I’d be able to finish my degree in 2 years. They’ve seen 3, but not 2, I proved everyone wrong. I graduated with a GPA of 3.51, and in my last two semesters, I worked a 300-hour internship that turned into a part-time, and then eventually a contract job.

At some point, though, I realized, I am very passionate about my research, and that I want to do graduate school and get my doctorate degree one day. It’s funny how life works considering everything.

The definition of success is fluid. It doesn’t have to mean go to school, get your degree, get a job, get married, buy a house, have a family, anymore. You don’t have to check off society’s to-do list. You can literally be or do anything you want to do.

All it takes is the right mindset, staying on top of your shit, getting organized with a planner of choice, and working at it bit by bit every day.

So why dreamlikediana?

dreamlikediana was built on dreams and stories, legit. I started dreamlikediana to be a platform I can one day leap from. Plant the seeds now, sow and rake in my rewards later. My reward is you. 

Okay well, you're part of my reward, the other part of my reward is being able to say I have lived and am living a successful purposeful life. 

"Because success without purpose is a pretty meaningless life." - Zac Efron

dreamlikediana is about sharing the knowledge, stories, and inspiration I have to help others achieve their highest potential, just like I've been able to in the past and currently work towards every day. With that, I truly believe you can be anything you want to be just by honing in on who you really are. You may only know tidbits about yourself, but that's where it all starts. You roll with the punches and figure out the rest along the way.

Life isn't linear, it ebbs and flows, and on this journey, you will find many different paths leading to your true and most authentic self. My dream and hope is that you, too, go after what sets your soul on fire, experience and learn, and create a story to share. All stories are worth telling, and I'd love to hear yours.

We all see the same sky, but it’s what we see in the sky that makes us different.

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