Don’t worry, I’m surprised that I’m writing this post also. And if you’d told me in 7th grade that someday I’d be recommending Julia Morgan to someone else — I’d have told you that you were batshit insane.
At the time (and for a year or two after), Julia Morgan felt like nothing but a sick joke. Stick 60 girls together in a school for 3 years and hope they all don’t hate each other by 8th grade. Sounds pretty awful. It’s one of those facts of life though: girls are mean. And girls are especially mean when they are deprived from testosterone.
But really, when I think about all my memories from middle school, the ones that stick out the most are the positive ones. And I hate admitting it, but admittedly the awful ones were pretty much always self-inflicted. Yeah. I said it. Truthfully, my experience at JMSG changed my life and made me a stronger individual that I believe I would have been without it. Inadvertently, JMSG taught me how to have a thick skin — yeah I’m still a tremendously emotional person — but the experience taught me how to compartmentalize for my own benefit.
JMSG also, whether I saw it or not at the time, encouraged individuality in the most positive way I have seen to this day. Not that BBYO and Berkeley High don’t encourage being different — but Julia Morgan presented originality in a way that made it less exciting, but more natural. Being different wasn’t a trend or a statement, it was a fact. It was taught that it’s normal for everyone to be different and unique, and that that is natural. What I wouldn’t give today to be back in a place where everyone was different because that’s who they were, not because that’s what they were told to do. Or even worse, forced to do. Cause honey if you wanna go to college and you ain’t Native American, you better have something else going for ya.
Most importantly, Julia Morgan provided me with the most developed, lasting friendships that I have today. Not to say that I haven’t met countless people since JMSG that I trust and will always love, but I know the girls I’m friends with today from Julia Morgan will be there for me forever. They were the first ones there for me when everything started falling apart, and they’re still there to put everything back together. I could never ask for more.
If I could go back and tell my 8th grade self to appreciate it more, I would, but I know it wouldn’t have worked. Maybe that’s Julia Morgan’s beauty — that you’ll never appreciate it at the time and you’ll always want to go back. I guess it makes sense why people send their daughters there. I would.