New Member Profile: Julianna Gonzalez

Name: Julianna Gonzalez

Year: Sophomore

Major: English/MAT

Other Involvement: Take Note

My fingers were literally frozen to my keyboard, but I couldn’t stop typing. Jules talks forever, but it’s not annoying. You don’t want her to stop. As an English major, Julianna has a way with words. She speaks with passion and hilarity, a combination that often captures the attention of our members during meetings.

I don’t often like to highlight that I have bias towards members of my team. But, considering the two of us are rooming together next year, it would be a lie to say that I don’t enjoy the time I spend with Julianna. Whether it’s in class or at meetings, she’s always a joy to be around.

There was a brief time where it was difficult for Julianna to be has happy and carefree as she is now. Her freshman year of high school, she and her parents moved from Kentucky to Northern Virginia, leaving her brother behind at university. “For a while, all I had was just a mattress, a three-cart plastic drawer, and books.” That time was one of the major factors into her love of English. “I would sit for hours and hours reading and then school finally started and because I didn’t really have many friends I’d just read and then I figured out the connection I had with the characters were the kinds of things the teachers were looking for you to do. I was good at it, too. My senior year, when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, my mom mentioned English and it was like a lightbulb went off inside my head. I’m not the best writer, but catch me reading a Jane Austen novel and then we can talk.”

Jules has always been close with her parents. Their move brought them closer together, but it also brought her closer to her brother. “He’s three and a half years older than me,” she says, dipping a paintbrush into bright pink paint, dabbing it against the side of a plastic cup. We’re painting a bench in the JR Courts, and she had instructed me to take a break from painting to ask her questions. I, of course, hadn’t hesitated. “Which, if you ask me, is the perfect distance because we’re still close enough in age that we’re experiencing life together but he’s still older and I can learn things from his experiences.” Her brother chose to study in Kentucky for his undergraduate degree, and they went from a period of not being super close to being in constant contact. “He’s the one I call when I don’t want my parents to know something -- I eventually tell them, though. But I tell him first.” She pauses. “He’s always able to find the humor in everything, making me laugh, even when I don’t want to. I sometimes yell at him that he never takes things seriously, but then he reminds me that it’s his job to teach me that there’s humor even in the places we don’t think it exists.”

“Oh, can I talk about my fister?” she asks suddenly while she waits for me to finish typing. I laugh, remembering meeting her “fister” (short for fake sister) a week before Spring Break at an admissions event. “She’s literally my favorite person.” Simone and Julianna met their junior year of high school, and they became inseparable. “My grandparents ask about her when they call. We just sort of adopted her, and even though she goes to Cornell, we still talk all the time.” It isn’t easy, though. Friends and family can have pretty bad arguments, but Jules says that their relationship is so strong that it’s hard to break that bond. “It’s not just ‘oh, we’re not friends anymore, let’s move on.’ There’s an obligation to fix it there because we’re family.”

Fun fact about Jules? She knows all the words to Schoolhouse Rock songs. “My parents were literally so confused when the show was on one day over break and I knew every word. They asked me where I learned it from and I was like, ‘Remember, you used to go in and change the channel whenever we [the kids] would be in the room to Schoolhouse Rock?’ I actually used one of them in Physics last year, so it was a good investment of my time.”

She also knows a lot about musicals and shows; she was in Theater and choir in high school. Last night, we went and saw Beauty and the Beast (author's note: GO SEE IT IT IS WONDERFUL), and it has become one of her favorite movies of 2017 so far. “There are so many nuances in it that are found in English and literature. They did such a great job of combining the cartoon and the musical and incorporating new things that I just loved it. It was so original, the soundtrack included songs from the musical version, and I just really want to go see it again.” She pauses. “I also really loved the intelligence level they included for the Beast. He literally quotes Shakespeare and knows all these things; it wasn’t like that in the cartoon.” So, naturally, Belle is one of her favorite Disney Princesses. “Well, Rapunzel, too. They’re both eternal dreamers and never stop moving or finding things to do. Their choice in love doesn’t define them; it doesn’t make them any less of characters when they do fall in love.”

Julianna is one of our Digital Arts Team Directors, specializing in Videography. “Okay, so the one thing I really want people to know about this is that it’s taking longer than expected to get things moving, but it’s not because I don’t want it to move. I’m a perfectionist and I want the things we produce to be good. It’s definitely personal and passionate work; it’s so similar to writing in that aspect. If you’re not interested in the things you’re filming, then you’re not going to want to do it. I just want everyone to have an idea, tell me that’s what you’re doing, and then go do it! It’s something that still needs to be explored, and I’m so excited for the future and the team and I can’t wait to see what comes next!”

So are we, Jules! So are we.