12 'Parks and Recreation' Life Lessons

12 'Parks and Recreation' Life Lessons

Be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do.
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'Parks and Rec', AKA the best show ever, aired for seven seasons of funny moments and quotes. However, the characters of 'Parks and Rec' actually gave inspiring life lessons throughout the show's run that still inspire viewers even after the show's end.

1. Always remember to treat 'yo self.

2. Always remember that work should come last.

Working is a really important aspect of life; however, work should not become the most important thing in your life and come before your friends, or even waffles.

3. Always remember to build your friends up.

A long-running theme on 'Parks and Rec' is Leslie complimenting her best friend, Ann Perkins. Leslie drops some funny one-liner jokes to Ann throughout their friendship, but this also provides a really important lesson. You should always build up your friends and make them feel loved and cared about.

4. Always remember you will find your Ben Wyatt.

Remember when Leslie made the dating profile because she thought she wouldn't find love and she was matched with Tom? Leslie thought she would never find her true love, but she eventually admitted her feelings for Ben and the two got together. Even though Ben and Leslie had their ups and downs, they are proof you will find your match. Never give up hope that you will find your Ben Wyatt.

5. Always remember breakfast food is the best food.

Whenever you are having a bad day or just feeling down any breakfast food can cure it. Because, why would anyone eat anything besides breakfast food?

6. Always remember to be your biggest fan.

Nobody really knows how hard you work for your goals and dreams than yourself. Take your hard work and be inspired by yourself. There's nothing wrong with being your own cheerleader and you should be able to find inspiration within yourself.

7. Always remember to whole-ass what you are doing.

It's always better to whole-ass one thing than half-ass two things. Work hard and give your all on one thing rather than spread yourself too thin and half-ass more.

8. Always remember to make the most of the situation when life gives you a lemon, you make lemonade.

Okay, so maybe when life gives you lemons you shouldn't necessarly sell your grandma's jewelry and go clubbin'. However, when life comes down on you, you should always make the best of the situtation. Make lemonade or go clubbin' with the lemons life deals you.

9. Always remember that it is okay to not be okay.

The character, Chris Traeger, struggled with depression and anexity during 'Parks and Rec' but worked to keep his mind and body going through it. He went throught therapy and dealt with his all too real issues. Chris is an example of how it is okay to not be okay.

10. Always remember to be passionate.

So, Craig may have cared a little too much sometimes, but his passion and how much he cared was truly inspring. You shouldn't go through life not caring about anything, always remember to have that passion and care.

11. Always remember things will work out.

Remember when Leslie thought her dreams were over and dead after she lost the recall vote and lost her city council chair? But, things worked out for her and she went on to get a better job and eventually ran for governor in the final season. Even when it feels like your dreams out working out, things will work out in the end and you need to always remember that.

12. Always remember to be spontaneous.

Remember when April and Andy spontaneously got married at their house party? Leslie thought it was a terrible idea and they would regret doing something so crazy and spur of the moment. However, the two love birds really did love each other and made their marriage work. Sometimes doing something spur of the moment isn't a bad idea.

Cover Image Credit: Celebuzz

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Discovering Beauty In A Desolate Place

What it's like experiencing a spiritual renewal
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Hiking in the desert has never been my favorite pastime. It’s too darn hot and there are too many scorpions, rattlesnakes and cacti around for my taste. Still, as a child of about eight or nine, my family decided to go on a hike. It was probably more of a walk up a little hill, but whose keeping track?

On the way down, we decided to take a break. I sat down on a nearby rock only to find that a piece of cactus had beaten me to it. Yowzer! Suffice it to say, this moment initiated my antagonism toward cacti and desert hikes.

What is more spiky, sharp, and standoffish than a cactus? Well, we might know a person or two who could give a saguaro a run for their money. If we are honest, we all resemble these prickly plants at times.

Yet, every year I have witnessed one of the most startling and beautiful occurrences—the blossoming of the cacti.

I’ll be driving into my neighborhood when suddenly I’ll see a dazzling red flower attached to a cactus. Every year it catches me by surprise. Somehow the spikes only make the blossom more lovely, more treasured, more breathtaking.

No longer is the cactus a symbol of caution, but of welcome and renewal.

Come see me, it cries. Rejoice with me. My spikes attest to my suffering, but this blossom marks my victory.

Yes, beauty can come to the most desolate of places.

The truth is, I don’t dislike cacti anymore. I think they are magnificent and strong. Despite the dryness of their surroundings, they soak up water in their pale green trunks—the same way I should soak up the Word of God no matter where I am.

They remind me that my prickly attitude and parched soul can be revived. My scars only help point out the beauty of my spiritual rebirth.

When I was younger, I use to think that God has a sense of humor to put such ravishing flowers on such an intimidating plant. Yet the older I get, the more fitting the combination seems. He can bring beauty to the driest and harshest of places.

Praise God, this includes you and me.

He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs…”

Psalm 107:35

Cover Image Credit: Deborah Lee Soltesz

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10 'Onion' Articles That All UVA Students Can Relate To

"The Onion" has been satirizing all aspects of daily life for years, but it seems to have a particular knack for making fun of the college experience.
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If you've ever spent more than five minutes on Facebook, you've probably seen an Onion article headline flash across your screen. We've all had that moment of panic that comes with encountering a particularly realistic headline: "is this real life, or is this just fantasy?" And by fantasy, of course, I mean "is this just The Onion working its usual charm? The Onion has been satirizing all aspects of daily life for years, from marriages to parenting to celebrity scandals, but it seems to have a particular knack for making fun of the college experience, as seen in the articles below.

1. "College Professor Reminds Students It Will Take A Few Classes To Memorize Everyone’s Triggers"

Though I've never had a class in which the professor uttered this exact phrase, I have been in several classes where the professors gave trigger warnings before showing a particular movie or assigning a specific book. These warnings were almost always accompanied by an opt-out policy that if the student felt particularly uncomfortable with the material being discussed, they could leave the room. Yet I've never seen anyone actually take up the professor on this, which surprises me because, in several of my classes, at least 20% of the class leaves the room in the middle of class to go to the bathroom anyway.

2. "College Freshman From Florida Has Never Seen People Complain About Snow For 5 Months Before"

As an out-of-state student from New York, coming to college in Virginia and (gasp!) occasionally spotting snow was about as big of a deal as realizing that I'd need to do my own laundry in college. For my friends coming to school on the east coast from Arizona, California, or other snow-less states, this was definitely not the case. Snow always seems to be a controversial topic because, no matter what happens, regardless of whether class is canceled or not, people are always disappointed and frustrated.

3. "Creative Writing Professor Takes Time To Give Every Student Personalized False Hope"

I mostly included this amusing article because it is actually set in Charlottesville, which is not just close to home for UVA students, it is home. I've never actually taken a creative writing class at UVA, but from what I hear of the ENWR classes and such, a lot of times the feedback on students' writing is either unnecessarily complimentary or ridiculously harsh. It's easy to think that one brilliant paper, or one Odyssey article with thousands of page views, could open doors towards a successful writing career, but it's also important to remember not to let your head get too big from one positively received piece.

4. "University Quickly Slaps Together Rinky-Dink Ceremony For Anyone Graduating In December"

Every year, I hear about one or two fourth years I know who are graduating in December, and so I'm presuming that they're not the only ones doing so. However, I feel like I never see any celebratory pictures, from UVA or the graduating students, regarding this December graduation ceremony. Which leads me to wonder, what the heck IS the December graduation? Us May graduators may never know.

5. "College Freshman Makes Triumphant Return To High School"

As someone who enjoyed visiting my high school when I went home for breaks my first year, this one hits particularly close to, well, home. I'd strut around like I owned the place, a full 0 inches taller than I was as an actual high school student, and confidently high five my friends that were still in high school and delighted by my impromptu visit. Fast forward to the end of my third year, and it's now such a weird feeling to go back to my high school for any event. Everything and everyone seems smaller, and because I'm so old, no one in the hallways recognizes me anymore. At least I don't get sanctioned any more from the security guards preventing high school students from leaving campus during the day.

6. "College Still Looking For Absolute Saddest Place On Campus To Hold Transfer Student Orientation"

From what I've heard, at least about the transfer student orientation for the McIntire School of Commerce at UVA, it is much less about celebrating their academic accomplishments and much more about bleakly informing them that they now have to catch up on all of the culture and historical enlightenment that all other UVA students have been steeped in over their first year or two.

7. "Report: Most College Males Regularly Admit To Getting Stoked"

For whatever reason, whenever I walk around Grounds doing whatever it is that I do all day, I constantly hear guys talking about how "stoked" they are for various, not-really-stokeworthy things. Whether it's their fraternity's party this weekend or the fact that they're being really rebellious and skipping class again today, "stoked" seems to have permeated the university vernacular almost as much as "lit," "pregaming," "postgaming," and "yasssss."

8. "Excited Virginia Fans Storm Court To Beat Shit Out Of Duke Basketball Team"

I find this headline particularly amusing because nothing gets UVA fans quite as riled up as playing Duke in basketball. Not only do UVA fans want to beat Duke, many of them quite literally would like to beat up Duke. To my knowledge, it's been quite some time since UVA fans stormed the court after a game against Duke, probably because we don't beat them that much. However, I highly doubt that any post-game shenanigans would ever escalate to this level of violence, because that would violate pretty much all of Tony Bennett's "five pillars to success."

9. "Man Happy To Set Up Job Interview For Fraternity Brother He Once Forced To Drink Own Piss"

I know that fraternities are all about "forming a lifelong brotherhood" or whatever, and inevitably for some brothers, that tight-knit group eventually leads them to a network of super cool dudes that help them get a job. In my mind, there's just no way that you can totally separate being helpful and getting your brother a job interview from having mercilessly hazed him just three years before. Of course, I do not condone hazing in any way, but I'm sure this conflict of behaviors has come to the mind of at least one fraternity brother over the years.

10. "Professor Sees Parallels Between Things, Other Things"

I love this one because while UVA is undoubtedly an enlightening, inspiring place that teaches you how to expand your horizons of thought, sometimes professors take it a little too far and make tenuous connections between ideas and other ideas. I've sat in classes on several occasions in which the professor droned on about how the font of one chapter symbolizes the sexual violence present throughout the novel, or how the initials of one character are the same as the French way of saying "you're screwed," and so forth. It's great to learn about how to connect different ideas and thought philosophies in college, but there comes a time when it's okay to say, "I really just don't think these ideas have any relation whatsoever" and leave it at that.

In the midst of a tumultuous time when fake news ravages the internet and nothing is real anymore, let's all take a moment to thank The Onion for being the one beacon of truth we can all rely on. It may not report the factual truth, but it certainly reports the emotional truth that we all need to hear.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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