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Life Lessons I Learned From “Parks and Rec”

As an avid sitcom enthusiast, I’ve ended up binge-watching most popular TV shows. One of my all-time favorites, though, is NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.” As hilarious as it is, after rewatching it many times, I feel like there is a lot to be learned from the characters in the show. I’ve listed out three of the quotes that have resonated with me in my own life from the show! 

Treat Yo’ Self! 

One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was learn to put myself first and occasionally take a day to just pamper myself. Before college, I had a jam-packed daily schedule. I would have a full day of classes at school and then have after-school clubs. I’d go to this meeting and that rehearsal and honestly, by the end of high school, I was exhausted. I entered college with a new mindset that I learned from “Parks and Rec:” it’s good to occasionally treat yourself, no matter what else may be going on around you.

In “Parks and Rec,” throughout the show, we’d see two of the characters (Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford) treating themselves to things they’ve always wanted one day a year. There is an episode later into the show where one of the more uptight and pragmatic characters, Ben Wyatt, is taken on a “treat yo’ self” shopping spree with Donna and Tom in order for him to feel more relaxed and happy. This goes to show the importance of taking breaks and pampering yourself once in a while to avoid burnout and too much stress.  

Never Half A** Two Things, Whole A** One Thing!

In one of the final episodes of “Parks and Rec,” Ron Swanson (a stern, “manly man”) is seen giving advice to the show’s protagonist, Leslie Knope (ambitious and passionate municipal employee), when she is at a crossroads. He tells her to “never half a** two things. Whole a** one thing.” This quote is important and translates to basically everything in life. It’s really important to just focus on the things that matter. You shouldn’t just do things superficially. Instead, you should do things with purpose and passion in order for them to be worth it.

H**s Before Bros! Uteruses Before Duderuses! Ovaries Before Brovaries!

One of the greatest things about this show is the supportive female friendships. It is so great to see girls supporting each other and helping each other reach their full potential. Oftentimes in TV shows, we see women constantly in competition with each other over love interests or in toxic friendships full of gossip, manipulation and dramatic arguments. “Parks and Rec” is one of my favorite shows for this reason—the female friendships are empowering and loving. This goes to show that by surrounding yourself with genuine friends, you can achieve your goals and a lifetime of happiness. 

All in all, watching “Parks and Rec” has done more than offer me a comedic escape from the stressors of daily life. It’s also taught me some of the most important life lessons that I believe we should all learn!

Rishitha is a senior at VCU majoring in Bioinformatics, while on the pre-medical track. When she isn't in classes, she loves to binge-watch sitcoms, cook, bake, and spend time with her friends and family! In her future, she hopes to become a physician and make meaningful impacts on patients' lives!