Memories of Girlhood

This project began as a blog prompt for our Junior Girls: “Write about a moment in your life. Reflect on it. What did it mean then, vs. what does it mean now? How did it change your life or relationships with others? Is it something many girls experience, or not a lot?”

In 2023, we revived the prompt and opened it to community submissions. Realizing that very little oral history work was being done on girlhood, we aim to utilize our blog as a means to collect short histories – “Memories” – of girlhood worldwide. These memories showcase the unique experience of individual girls in our world today, while prompting us to wonder, are our experiences and concerns so different from one another? 

Button with text "Memories of Girlhood" and a purple diary next to an orange pen.
Memories of Girlhood: Difference and Conformity

Memories of Girlhood: Difference and Conformity

One vivid memory I have of my girlhood was when I was asked to play Mary, Mary quite contrary‚ in the harvest celebration. Now I wasn't the most natural child performer, but I did always enjoy being in performances, so I was utterly over the moon when I was chosen for...

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Memories of Girlhood: Moving to Scotland

Memories of Girlhood: Moving to Scotland

When I was six years old I boarded a flight destined for Edinburgh, Scotland. My family (all of whom are American) and I were moving there from New Jersey, where I was born. I went to school in the capital city, Edinburgh, but my family lived in a beautiful big old...

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Memories of Girlhood: Knit One, Girl One

Memories of Girlhood: Knit One, Girl One

My mother is and always was a fantastic knitter. My sister and I gallivanted around in colourful home-knitted cardigans from our infancy. The most exciting part of any of her projects was always when we went to the haberdashery to choose the buttons for our new...

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Memories of Girlhood: Anglesey Adventures

Memories of Girlhood: Anglesey Adventures

Over the Menai Bridge, through the winding Welsh lanes, down a bumpy track that barely qualifies as a road and under an archway of trees lies Cerig Mawr, my favourite place in the world. Located on the isle of Anglesey this old farmhouse has been a bastion of the...

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Memories of Girlhood: Association Football and Me

Memories of Girlhood: Association Football and Me

Football has been a part of my life since I was a baby. As with many things in life, its importance has waned and blossomed as I have grown, but has remained a constant part of me. My first link to football was through a photograph of me as a baby held by an...

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Memories of Girlhood: Jamaica

Memories of Girlhood: Jamaica

My most memorable memories of girlhood were being able to explore a bit further field. At the age of 12 we had our first family holiday abroad and it was to JAMAICA! What made this holiday even better was that we went with my best friend's family. As we journeyed up...

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Memories of Girlhood: Fuelling the Thirst for Adventure

Memories of Girlhood: Fuelling the Thirst for Adventure

I went to school next to a public library in the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland. Because my Mum worked later than school finished, my younger brother and I attended the After School Club. This was a magical place where there were all sorts of activities to do and games...

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Memories of Girlhood: Adventure is out there!

Memories of Girlhood: Adventure is out there!

Clinging to the fifth bar of the monkey bars I peered down at the ground below me; to my seven year old self it looked a long way down, even though in reality it was little more than five feet. It was my third try at the assault course that weekend and the monkey bars...

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Memories of Girlhood: Childhood‚ the First Draft of “Me”

Memories of Girlhood: Childhood‚ the First Draft of “Me”

Shy, reserved, quiet, timid… all words that describe my childhood self perfectly. I went to a mixed primary school so I was surrounded by boys and girls, but I was never that much of a socialite. I had my little group of friends, friends I still have to this day,...

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Memories of Girlhood: Girls can be menaces, too

Memories of Girlhood: Girls can be menaces, too

"Come on, let's go to the shop!" my Nan calls, "Put a coat on, you’ll catch a cold.” Eight years old, I refused to put a coat on. Dennis the Menace didn’t wear a coat. Dennis the Menace wore a striped top. Thirteen years later, still wearing striped tops, I...

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Memories of Girlhood: Different is Good

Memories of Girlhood: Different is Good

One of the most meaningful moments of my childhood happened on a trip to the library. On this specific visit I discovered a book that would go on to play a huge role in my life. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was the first book that I read that featured a...

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Memories of Girlhood: Visiting the Windy City

Memories of Girlhood: Visiting the Windy City

Chicago is known as the Windy City, a popular shopping destination, and a fun place to take a weekend trip. It is only a 6 hour train ride from where I grew up in Michigan, so I have been there many times over the years. My favorite memories of Chicago are from...

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Memories of Girlhood: Juggling Club

Memories of Girlhood: Juggling Club

Looking back as an adult, I can be perfectly honest and say that the main reason I joined the juggling club when I was in middle school was because of a boy. When I was in middle school I did lots of things for a boy (most of them didn't work out). Joining the...

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Memories of Girlhood: School Picture Day

Memories of Girlhood: School Picture Day

Back to school was always an exciting time of year for me. I loved picking out new pencils and notebooks and getting new school shoes. Going back to see all of my friends and meeting my new teacher was so much fun. I always looked forward to starting a fresh new...

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Memories of Girlhood: Back to School

Memories of Girlhood: Back to School

August and September have always been two of my favorite months. Why? Because it’s time to go back to school! It’s time to catch up with old friends, make new ones, learn new things, plan holidays and projects, and get new school supplies (yes, I love the smell of...

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Memories of Girlhood: The Toy Library

Memories of Girlhood: The Toy Library

Like most kids, I had an almost insatiable appetite for toys as a little girl. I have clear memories of our spare room, which doubled as a playroom for me and my sister - completely carpeted with scattered toys. We weren't hung up on having the newest and shiniest...

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Memories of Girlhood: Cinephilia Weekends

Memories of Girlhood: Cinephilia Weekends

As an avid film lover‚ but less moviegoer lately, due to the minimization of leisure time‚ I cannot help but acknowledge that it's a kind of bequest that stems straight from my childhood. My parents themselves were particularly fond of the big screen, so they...

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Memories of Girlhood: Summer Road Trips

Memories of Girlhood: Summer Road Trips

It's that wonderful time of year again...summer!!! (At least, in the northern hemisphere it is.) For me, summer is the season of freedom. Each summer when I was young, our family took a road trip: it was time to explore the world a little bit, to have fun, and to make...

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Memories of Girlhood: Flute Lessons

#200213917-001 / gettyimages.com It's a rite of passage that many of us go through as children: learning to play a musical instrument. Many parents love the idea of music lessons because they teach children the importance of discipline, of practicing and working...

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Memories of Girlhood: Clara Elizabeth Forrest

Memories of Girlhood: Clara Elizabeth Forrest

Clara Elizabeth Forrest was one of my first friends. Our mothers were best friends. There is an unofficial club for the children of teachers; Clara and I were amongst them. This automatically meant we had playdates after school and summers together. I moved away from...

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Memories of Girlhood: Dance Class

Memories of Girlhood: Dance Class

As a little girl, I dreamed of being a ballerina. I loved the fluffy pink tutus, sparkles, and the idea of gracefully leaping through the air. Even my favorite books were about ballet: Best Friends Wear Pink Tutus and All Tutus Should be Pink. Lucky for me, I got an...

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Memories of Girlhood: The Hunt for Pirate Treasure

Memories of Girlhood: The Hunt for Pirate Treasure

My days used to be spent on the York River, basking in the sun and swimming in the salty water. Virginia summers were free and glorious, full of potential. One morning, I found a book in my father's library called Pirates on the Chesapeake; from that morning on, my...

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Memories of Girlhood: Volunteering

Memories of Girlhood: Volunteering

I started volunteering when I was a young girl, and to this day, I love it. Volunteering your time and skills can bring so much joy to others and, in doing so, joy to you. My first volunteer job was with my Girl Scout troop: visiting senior citizens, caroling for...

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Memories of Girlhood: Life Lessons from Kato

Memories of Girlhood: Life Lessons from Kato

There is a stretch of road in my hometown that used to be a dense forest which is now lined with hideous townhouses. Whenever I go by there, I am transported back to being 6 years old. It was in this hundred acre wood that I discovered what it was to discover, to be...

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Memories of Girlhood: Getting Ready for Christmas

Memories of Girlhood: Getting Ready for Christmas

Christmas is my favorite holiday. It's more than Santa and presents and food, though: it's about coming together to share in something that makes everyone feel good. It's about charity and kindness, about making the world a little bit better of a place‚ even if just...

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