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12 Lessons To Be Learned From Amy Poehler

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Utah chapter.

Celebrities write books about themselves all of the time. I can’t even count the number of times I have rolled my eyes and thought about how that book was about 300 pages of nothing. (My own memoir is in the works just in case my singing career takes off and I become Madonna-huge within the next year.) But when Amy Poehler released her own book, Yes Please, my sarcastic humor didn’t spring up like always.

Amy Poehler is super cool. She’s one of the few women comedians that truly own their art, makes us laugh on the reg as Leaslie Knope from Parks and Recreation and crushed SNL back in the day. Not only is her book laugh out loud funny, it imparts wisdom.

1.  Never Doubt Who You Could Be. Ever. Even when you’re 10. 

Page 8:  “A lot of people ask me if I always knew I was going to be on Saturday Night Live. My answer is simple: yes.” 

Amy never doubted where she could be and what she could do. She followed her passions and never let anyone tell her where she could end up, she crafted the pathway for herself. 

2.  You’ll Never Be Happy With How You Look. Let The Demon Sleep and Find What You Love.

Page 19:   “I wish I were taller or had leaner hands and a less crazy smile. I don’t like my legs especially. I used to have a terrific flat stomach…my nose is great. My tits are better then ever. I like my giant eyes but they can get crazy. My ass is pretty sweet.”

Amy is on the cover of magazines, she showcases herself in a thousand different bodies from being a Mexican man in a sombrero to being Hillary Clinton in one night on SNL. Despite everyone loving her and thinking she is gorge, she still has her own issues but she finds the parts she loves and owns that.


3.  Don’t Snoop in Your Friends or Boyfriends Stuff. And If You Do, Be Prepped for the Worse. 

Page 20:   “The bad part about snooping is you can find stuff you don’t want to. Diaries are for bad things! I found an entry from a model man that basically said he was kind of proud of himself for dating someone like me. He thought I was ‘funny but not that pretty which was kind of like cool.’”

Seriously, just don’t do it. If you feel that you have, have. have to go through your boyfriends phone or your best friends diary, you probably should have the courage to just talk to them. But if you do end up going through that, be prepared for a lot of heartbreak and feeling bad about yourself.

4.  Don’t Say Sorry For What You’re Not Sorry For, Say Sorry For What You Are.

Page 65:  “It takes years as a women to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for. It takes years to find your voice and seize your real estate.”

Girls say sorry for everything. When the person in front of you drops their latte, you apologize. Someone, somewhere stubs their toe, we apologize. We need to stop saying sorry for who we are and what we believe in, and only apologize when we have something that we actually need forgiveness for. 

5.  Find Friends And Have Real Conversations.

Page 101:  “I am interested in people who swim in the deep end. I want to have conversations about real things with people who have experienced real things. Life is crunch and complicated, and all the more delicious.”

Surround yourself with people who inspire you and challenge you. Find friends who won’t just gossip with you about that guy who asked you to his fraternity date night, but ones who will tell you when you’re doing amazing and when you need help.

6.  Sometimes When You’re Young, You Have To Be Foolish. 

Page 117:  “My only job was to surround myself with people who respected and supported my choice. Being foolish was the smartest thing to do.”

Amy teaches us that sometimes you need to just put your head to the sun and do the crazy things you need to accomplish so that in twenty years, you can have crazy stories. And you’ll find yourself. 

7.  Sleep Is Vital. 

Page 177:  “Sleep helps you win at life.”

Just go take a nap. Enough said. 

8.  You Might Have To Up and Leave Everything. And IT WILL BE SCARY. Find Friends.

Page 196:  “New York can be a lonely place. We stuck together during hard times and provided a home for people to find less alone.”

Amy moved to scary and big places to accomplish her biggest and scariest dreams. When she was lonely she found people who would ease that burden. Be someone who can help out the solo’s and you won’t be alone either.

9.  Treat People Well When You’re At the Bottom and the Top. 

Page 211:  “I learned that how a person treats their waitress is a great indication of their character.”

Chances are that as a college student you’re at the bottom. You’re a waitress or working at an internship for no pay. Remember how much it sucks when your customers yell at you and basically blame you for the Great Depression in the 1930’s? Don’t do that to others. Be kind. 

10.  Your Job Won’t Keep You Warm At Night. 

Page 222:  “Your career won’t take care of you. It won’t call you back or introduce you to it’s parents. You career will openly flirt with other people while you are around. It will forget your birthday and wreck your car. Your career will blow you off if you call it too much. Your career will never marry you.”

Right now, love might seem to be found in acing a test or dreaming about the office you will one day have. But never forget that you are still a person and you still need other people. Your career isn’t your whole life, it’s only part of it.

11.  Love Everyone Always.

Page 309:  “People are very bad and very good. A little love goes a long way.”

You don’t know everyones background or future and they don’t know yours. Show love to everyone and accept them for who they are. 

12.  Put Your Phone Down and Enjoy.

Page 317-324:  “My phone does not want me to finish [my] book or do any work in general. My phone does not want me to have friends. My phone wants me to feel bad about how I look. My phone wants to show me things I shouldn’t see. My phone wants me to love it more than my children. People text and drive and die. My phone won’t let me go.”

Your phone is just a device. Let it go. Spend time with your friends. And do not text and drive. Ever. Ever. Ever. 

Julianne serves in the role of Community Development Associate, directly working with chapters and expansion. She graduated from the University of Utah in 2018 with a triple major in Political Science, Film & Media Art, and Communications with minors in Health and Theater. Julianne served as a Campus Correspondent for Utah for 3 years, as a Chapter Advisor for 2 years, a Campus Expansion Assistant for 2 years, and as a High School Ambassador Advisor. New to Boston, Julianne can't wait to eat as much seafood as was deprived of her after living in the mountains for most of her life. In her spare time, she loves to ski, watch an unreasonable amount of movies, and write!
Her Campus Utah Chapter Contributor