Jen F., 34
I was never the only “Jennifer” in a class. One year there were 4 of us, so we couldn’t even work out who would be the “Jen, Jenny or Jennifer” that year… there was still an overlap! I can name off 10 Jennifer’s that I grew up with (just off the top of my head). It was crazy.
We moved to a new house when I was in 3rd grade. The next-door neighbor girl was also named Jennifer. That could be seriously confusing. There were times I would run into the house thinking I had been called in for dinner or homework… when it was the other mom calling the other Jennifer.
I wouldn’t change my name. I like being a “Jen”. It’s fun to meet other people with the same name and the shared experience of growing up with such a popular name. I wasn’t so fond of it when I was little, but it grew on me.
I thought about using my middle name for a while, but it seemed too formal and didn’t fit. I have friends that call me by my last name, and others that call me by my initials… but even though I don’t mind, I wouldn’t choose those for myself.
My grandfather still calls me “Jenny” but he is the ONLY person allowed to call me that… I’m definitely a “Jen”! Every once in a while I get a last initial tagged on. There are two other Jen’s in my (smallish) town with very similar last names, so I think we are just careful about nicely forwarding each other’s email (yes, that happens a LOT). Also we all have such different personalities that we are easy to tell apart, even though we all have the same name!
I’m comfortable with Jennifer, and it fits me.