The J List of J Lists

The J List of J Lists

June Hill

It is the end of an era. Since February of 2019, I have managed to produce a J List for nearly every single issue of the Spartana. This column has allowed me to write freely about whatever I had been obsessing over each month. From music recommendations to ranking peanut butter brands, I have covered a LOT of topics. This being the last Spartana of the year, and quite possibly the last J List ever printed, I thought I would use this month’s column as an opportunity to reflect on how The J List has grown over the years, and highlight some of my favorite installments in this series.

Surprisingly, a lot of my favorites were from 2019, in the early days of this column. Then most of 2020 was spent in lockdown and I was not feeling the most inspired while writing J List columns, but 2021 has had some favorites.

It has been a lot of fun writing The J List for you and I hope you enjoy this last column!

February 2019

The very first J List was meant to be a teenager’s interpretation of Oprah’s O list, and I think I did a pretty good job. Although the page is a bit crowded, I am still impressed by my burgeoning design skills, and the products I chose to feature were fun and out of the ordinary. I remember being so nervous that people wouldn’t like the column but it felt so good getting positive feedback for the first time. I felt so proud!

April 2019

The Book Nook edition! I remember having a lot of fun with this one. I still absolutely adore all of these books, except maybe The Catcher in the Rye. I can not remember if I put that in there because I actually liked it or if I was just being a pretentious little sophomore. But, seriously, you should go check out these books if you need something new to read.

August 2019

This one was a heartbreaker! I somehow managed to export it too large so when it printed you could only see the left hand page. I was so proud of this theme and it was perfect for back to school, and look at how well laid out everything is! But I totally messed it up in the export process. Oh well, at least it is making it into the Spartana now!

November 2019

Honestly? This one is iconic. I loved watching trashy sitcom episodes for this column. I had to eliminate a bunch of episodes because I could not have possibly fit them all on the page! It was a lot of fun designing it too. The vertical layout as well as the fonts and the colors work so perfectly on the page. Also, Thanksgiving is the best. Thanksgiving TV is even better!

February 2020

Wow February of 2020, a month before disaster. Luckily, I had the chance to explore some Chicago schools before the world ended. In this J list, I shared some college visit tips that no one would get to use for another year, but I like the look of this spread anyway.

February 2021 

This column was inspired by quarantine when my family was doing our best to support local restaurants. We had a lot of favorites and I decided to share mine in this February J List. This one is a favorite because I still love these restaurants and now I really want to order food.

March 2021

Okay, this is my favorite J List ever. Peanut butter was so fun to write about! It was an excuse to buy entirely too much of it and then bake entirely too many peanut buttery things. I figured out how to make all the graphics too, which was fun and artsy.

Originally Published in the Spartana Issue 8 (May 2021)