Don’t be fooled – she’s just Jenny from our block

Looking for Jennifer Lopez? No need to search the Caribbean for J. Lo and Ben sunbathing on a yacht. Jennifer Lopez is still “On the 6” – on the sixth floor of Travers Hall, that is.

Lopez, a freshman law and justice major from Burnfield, thinks her famous counterpart J. Lo is a good performer and dancer and has also enjoyed her movies.

“I thought ‘Enough’ was pretty good. But she can’t sing,” she quips. “When someone first told me in high school she was going to be a singer, I thought they were joking. Now I wish they were.” This Jennifer prefers to be called Jen. She sits atop her cheerfully clad bed, with long, wavy dark hair and a bright smile. Her room is adorned with posters, pictures of friends and magazine pages featuring male models and actors attractive enough to be next in line to marry the celebrity J. Lo, but conspicuously absent is Ben Affleck.

She does, however, agree that Ben Affleck is a catch.

“I think he’s cute, but they make such an odd couple,” she said. “She seems so urban and he seems so clean-cut.”

When asked whether she was enjoying her first year on campus she said she was having a great time.

“I chose TCNJ because it was a small community, like my high school,” she said. “I wanted to feel safe my first time away from home, and I really liked the friendly atmosphere here. It offered my major, and I also thought it was a beautiful campus.”

The construction was not here when Lopez first visited, but she still maintains that the campus is a nice place to live. She just looks forward to the day when the orange plastic fences and cavernous holes are gone.

Lopez says she’s happy with the law and justice department. As a high school senior, she felt pressured to pick a career, which is how she decided she wanted to be a lawyer. However, she now realizes it was the right decision because she thinks her major is satisfying and believes being a lawyer suits her personality.

In her spare time, Lopez likes to read and hang out with her friends. Like the famous Lopez, she loves to dance, but she hasn’t been able to join any clubs on campus yet. Lopez was also in the school choir and drama club in high school, and said that people always felt the need to compare her performances to those of the better-known singer and actress.

“They would always tell me, oh, you’re even better than the real Jennifer Lopez.”

But she will always be her own Jenny from the block.

“People first started calling me Selena, actually, since that was Jennifer Lopez’s first movie,” Lopez said.

“Now people call me J. Lo. I really don’t mind, since I never had a nickname other than Jen, which isn’t very exciting. People call me both. I think it’s funny. I even put J. Lo on the back of my Welcome Week t-shirt,” she added.

The name does have its benefits. “During Welcome Week when no one could remember anyone’s name, they always remembered mine. ‘Oh, you’re Jennifer Lopez.’ Teachers remember it easily, too, which is good since they only see you once or twice a week.”

She’s also a celebrity in her own right. “My little sister has J. Lo jeans and she thinks it’s cool to tell her friends about me. They always joke about wanting my autograph.”

The name is a good icebreaker, too, Lopez says. “People always have some comment when they first meet me. Sometimes they ask if I’m related to her or if I am named after her, and some people tell me, ‘Hey, did you know you have the same name as a famous actress?’ As if I didn’t know.”

However, fame comes with a price and Lopez if often accused of making up her John Hancock in social situations as well as in more serious manners, like signing her credit card bill.

Lopez has never tried to capitalize on its reputation to get better restaurant or hotel reservations, though. She said that when she feels like slipping by undetected, she’ll often includes her middle name, Sarah. “The information on my housing said Jennifer Sarah Lopez, and my roommate didn’t even realize it.”