In 2011 I was introduced to the hit TV show New Girl thanks to being a rather big Zooey Deschanel fan, I was immediately drawn in by Jess and her infectious personality and I have been watching the show ever since. It’s ending next year (boo!) and I can honestly say, this is a show I’ve grown up with and I will very dearly miss.
If you’re not yet up to date with the latest season of New Girl then I suggest you have a miss on this post as it’s heavily filled with spoilers. You can read something else of mine instead!
As I’ve grown up with it, a few little things here and there have rubbed off on me probably, and I feel like the cast have taught me a few things. But today I’m going to be specifically talking about what Jessica Day, the main character on the show, has taught me.
Being unapologetically yourself is awesome
In the first season Nick gets a new girlfriend, Julia. She’s a cool lawyer who offers to help Jess get out of a parking ticket that she managed to get when stopping for birds. All seems well until Julia makes it pretty clear that she doesn’t like what Jess is about very much, and the entire episode escalates to Jess getting more and more irritated by Julias behaviour towards her, and then she finds out that Julia isn’t a dessert person. Criminal.
Well anyway, Jess ends up confronting Julia in a speech where she expresses that she’s happy with who she is. She likes arts and crafts, her bright coloured outfits, dessert and yes, she has touched glitter in that past 24 hours. Even though I couldn’t be more opposite to Jess in terms of my style and the fact that, no I have not touched glitter in the past 24 hours, this resonated with me. If Jess can be herself and be proud of who she is, then so can I.
It’s okay to leave someone if you’re not feeling the spark
A lot of movies teach you nowadays to work through your differences when you’re not really that into somebody anymore, and they always end with the couple who don’t have a thing in common and don’t like each other very much, working it out and deciding to be a couple or get married or whatever. Well, Jess is one of the first characters I’ve seen who has left a boyfriend, not because he cheated, not because he said something a bit arsey and no – not because he wasn’t giving enough romance! But because she just wasn’t feeling a spark. She didn’t feel it from the start. She just liked him a little and they got comfortable like old people really fast. She tells him later on that she wants a spark, she wants electricity with someone even if it hurts more.
After she left him I felt relieved because 1) My Nick + Jess ship was going to set sail and 2) I wanted a character to come out with this. Even though the break up ends with a bit of comic relief when Jess sets off the A/C in his car and it blows her hair and everything else all over the place, I felt like there was finally a woman in a show who was strong enough to leave her man because she wanted to. She wasn’t given a specific reason, there was no huge build up, she just wasn’t feeling it and that is okay.
You’re never too old to move forward in life
I think that we, as a society, have a bad habit of making it out like after you hit a certain age you can’t do anything anymore. Jess loses her job as a teacher and tries her hand at a few other things, from being a shot girl to helping CeCe with a modelling job (which she spectacularly fails at). Eventually Jess gets the opportunity to head back into teaching, and much later on becomes a head teacher in a high school. This just shows that there’s no time limit to achieve your dreams. I felt such a strong connection with Jess when she got back into teaching again because I was at a point in my life as well where I had no idea what I enjoyed doing and what I wanted to do as a forever career – I still don’t know really, but I’ll figure it out and I’m in no hurry.
You can’t change people, but you can grow with them
Jess has a bad habit to begin with of wanting to “fix” people. As the show goes on you watch her lose this habit, and she instead encourages her friends to do whatever it is they want to do, she stands by CeCe when she wants to go back to school, and she stands by Winston when he decides to become a cop and I think the best thing about her is that she herself, is willing to grow and change for the better with her friends.
You’re never too old to make new friends
Jess was in her thirties when she moved into the Loft with Schmidt, Winston and Nick. She ended up forming a great bond with her three roommates and didn’t care that she was past her teens and twenties, she was making new friends and she declared her love for them only two episodes in, so it’s pretty special and important message that she was able to convey. I’m approaching my twenties and I have no qualms with making new friends.
So… I’ll miss you New Girl
I really will. I’ve grown up with the loft mates and I’ve watched every episode of the show. I’ll genuinely be filled with sadness when the last episode premiers but I’ve gone through my teens and entered by twenties with this show having a very special place in my heart!