"Glee" was a musical comedy/drama that aired on the Fox local station for about six years, and focused on the lives of high school students who were all members of the Glee Club or Show Choir at William McKinley High School. The show subtly focused on a lot of social issues and preached a message of accepting differences. All of the characters in "Glee" were kids who faced a lot of pressure to fit in when they naturally stood out. "Glee", unfortunately for it's wide range of fans, ran its last season in 2015 after the tragic and unexpected death of beloved cast member, Cory Monteith who played football star and male lead in the Glee Club, Finn Hudson. Though one could watch an episode of Glee and just enjoy the music, there were a ton of lessons that viewers could also learn when they were tuning in to the show. Here are eleven of my favorites.
1. Everyone has their own story.
Sue Sylvester, coach of the Cheerio's and possibly the Glee Club's biggest hater is often viewed as a villain, especially in the first few episodes of the show. Sue allows a girl with Downs Syndrome to be a part of the Cheerios, and many question her motive, especially when she is just as hard on her as she is the other cheerleaders. It isn't until Sue loses her older sister who lived with Downs Syndrome, that many realized that her life was not perfect and that she was surrounded by a lot of sadness.
2. Always be the very best version of yourself.
Kurt Hummel, amazing talent and the show's first openly gay character, faced a lot of bullying and lack of acceptance/understanding, especially in the first few episodes of the show. Kurt tried many times to change himself to gain the approval of his father, his fellow Glee Club members, or even himself. After he tried just about everything in the book, including joining the football team and dating girls, Kurt discovered that he was nothing if he tried to be anything but himself.
3. Everyone is beautiful.
Coach Beiste, female football coach, was teased for her manly appearance by many members of the cast including Mr. Schuester. She really struggled with her own self confidence and feared that she would never find love because of her appearance, and gets herself into a domestically violent relationship out of desperation. After removing herself from the situation and getting help, Coach Beiste realizes that she is beautiful the way that she is.
4. Sass is powerful.
Santana and Mercedes, two of the sassiest cast members, are also two of the most powerful female characters. These two do anything to get what they want and always have an answer for any problem. It's also clear that others know not to mess with these two, who are never afraid to tell it like it is.
5. When in doubt, sing.
Singing was a way of life for the members of the McKinley High School Glee Club. Whenever they didn't know what to do, or how to help a member of the team who may be struggling, they always communicated best through song.
6. Reach for the stars.
Rachel Berry only had one goal in life, to be a star. She knew that through drive and determination that she would one day live her dream. No spoilers or anything, but Rachel did end up doing what she wanted to do, and it all started with her gold star sticker on the Glee Club sign up list.
7. If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again.
The Glee Club had to compete numerous times and suffer many heartbreaking losses before finally winning Nationals. With their hard work and determination, New Directions achieved their goals and became a group of McKinley High School's coolest people. None of that would have happened, though, if they had given up after that regional competition at the end of season one.
8. Even a "bad boy" can do the right thing.
Noah Puckerman, affectionately known as Puck, had to work pretty hard to lose his "bad boy" reputation. After getting Quinn Fabray pregnant, Puck tried his best to be there for her and to change the image that he had made for himself. He ended up to be one of the most compassionate characters on the show.
9. You're never too old to find your calling.
Mr. Schuester attended McKinley High as a student and then returned to teach Spanish. He was a member of the Glee Club in his glory days, and by the time he returned to the school, the club had dissolved. After reigniting the club, Schuester realized that he was meant to be the director for the show choir and live up to his director's legacy.
10. A first love is a permanent memory.
Not only were Rachel and Finn a fan favorite couple, the actors who portrayed them, Lea Michele and Cory Monteith were very much in love and had plans to get married. It's no question that Cory's death-and Finn's in the show- hit all of us "Gleeks" pretty hard. As successful and famous as Rachel ended up becoming in the end of the series, she never forgot Finn Hudson, who was her first love.
11. Family is forever.
The characters in "Glee" all ended up going down different paths, but they never forgot each other. No matter where they went in life, when they were all back together in the auditorium where they sang together for the first time, they knew that they were home.