What You Can Learn from Watching Reality T.V.

Whether people deny it or not, everyone secretly loves a good dose of reality t.v. Every time I come home from school on breaks, I always find myself next to my mom on the couch indulging in an episode of The Bachelor while snuggled up in pajamas and eating spoonfuls of Halo Top ice cream. My dad always walks by during the most climactic moments of the show, saying things like “why do you two watch this trash?” while my mom responds, “I know, I know, but it’s like watching a car accident-- you can’t take your eyes off of it!” While it is important to know that “reality” shows are often very scripted and are usually not an accurate representation of life, there are a few things one can take away from this genre that aims to depict the real world.

When I was younger, I used to tag along when my two older sisters binge watched episodes of The Hills; I can still remember belting out the words to the theme song, Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten.” I remember becoming *obsessed* with Lauren Conrad (I still am…) and thinking to myself, “this is what life will be like when I am in my 20s! Being an adult looks like so much fun.” Many years later here I am, at 20, still binging on the decade-old California based show. However, now that I am a little older, I can take away more serious, realistic life lessons from the plots of each episode. Here is a breakdown of what I learned from re-watching all 6 seasons. If you would like to enjoy them for yourself, here you go: http://www.mtv.com/episodes/ebw3xz/the-hills-new-city-new-drama-season-1-ep-101

You Should Really Kick Your Habit of Dating “Bad Boys”

Okay, everyone loves a bad boy, but Audrina’s four years of being on-and-off with the motorcyclist-meets-Jack-Sparrow hunk Justin Bobby just kept dragging on. Because Audrina couldn’t let go of the good memories, she brought a lot of pain on herself and even her friends too. If a guy shows that he doesn’t want to be there for you when he should be, don’t keep making excuses for him. It’s time for you to move on to bigger and better things!

Be Able to Let Go of People Who Don’t Want the Best For You

This goes for friends and guys, but oftentimes we have some kind of relationship in our life that is “toxic,” that is, we dread spending time with the person, they aren’t the person they used to be, they don’t treat you well, and the effort that you put into the relationship is not at all reciprocated back to you. Do yourself a favor and just cut the ties.

Your 20s Will Be Some of the Best--and Worst--Times Of Your Life

This one is pretty obvious, but just like reality t.v, there will be tons of ups and downs. Especially in college, there will be weeks that you feel so great and on top of the world, while during others you literally feel like everything around you is in absolute shambles (cue: exam week). Just keep in mind that everything comes in cycles, so appreciate the good times and work hard to get through (and minimize as best as you can) the bad times.

It’s All A Balancing Act: Making Time For Work, Friends, Yourself, and Boys

Every college girl knows this one extremely well, and sometimes it seems as though we should start adding a twenty-fifth hour to the day. However, you should remember that you can’t be everywhere or do everything all at once. Sometimes you will need to compromise, whether that be to miss a night out with friends so you can catch up on studying, or say ‘no’ to an extra work shift in order to get some time to yourself. While we are not one of those clowns in the circus who balances ten spinning plates all at once, when we take on too much it can often seem that way. Remember to do what you can and try to strike a balance that works the best for you.

It’s Okay to Revisit the Past Sometimes

Every time a character from a previous season came onto the show, Lauren was always the one to do a little reminiscing (think: Jason from her high school days on Laguna Beach). While there may be some memories that you wish to leave alone, it is okay to look back and see how far you’ve come! I get a lot of enjoyment out of looking at pictures from middle and high school, and I think about how much has changed in so few years and how much will change in the next few. Just remember to focus on what is next, rather than dwelling on anything that may have happened in the past.

Never Climb on Others to Get Ahead

Whether this be in the social sphere, at your job, or in the classroom, it is never a good idea. I am a firm believer that what you put out into the world will come back to you, so only act kindly towards others.

Make a Friend in the Workspace

In your internship or your first job, it is always nice to have a friendly face around to connect with outside of office work. I always loved Whitney and Lauren’s work-life friendship, but just remember that they sometimes got screwed over for being too buddy-buddy in the workplace.

Never Sacrifice a Girlfriend for a Boyfriend

As everyone saw with the evolution of Heidi’s relationship with Spencer in the first few seasons, it is never a good idea to give up a friendship (especially one that had lasted for so many years like Heidi and Lauren) for a guy. Always put your life and your girlfriends first and you will never look back to regret it (also never forget how Jen Bunny hooked up with Brody behind Lauren’s back, and Lauren cut her out of her life...yeah, you don’t want to be a Jen Bunny.)

Girls Will Always Get Blamed for Drama, Even When It Is a Guy’s Fault

Enough said...


You Don’t Need To Have It All Figured Out

On a less serious note, Kristin Cavallari was like Lauren’s evil alter-ego. She may have been a little extra sometimes, but she always said exactly what she was thinking whether or not it was in her best interest to do so. I admired Kristin because she was always for the girls (#FTG) and never let guys get in the way of her friendships. The thing I liked best about her, though, was her badass, ruthless attitude and how she never took any BS from other people.

(Gifs: mtv, Giphy, Buzzfeed)