I've been watching Gilmore Girls since my sophomore year of high school, and now, going into my sophomore year of college, I'm rewatching the series (because I really can't find anything better on Netflix) and have noticed all the valuable lessons the show has to offer. It was created in the early 2000s and details the ins and outs of Lorelei and Rory Gilmore's daily life in the small town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut. I watched the duo go through relationships and break-ups, the college selection process, their rocky relationship with the grandparents, and the menial but amusing routines of their everyday lives, just as I was going through some of those same life milestones myself. It's safe to say that I grew up with the Gilmore Girls and I am so lucky to have done so, because of the following things they've taught me.
It may not be ok now, but it will be.Giphy
Lorelei Gilmore, Rory's mother, gave birth to Rory when she was 16, after an accident with her high school sweetheart, Christopher. The news of Lorelei's pregnancy was not received well in her prestigious household and social world, where her mother and father had an untainted reputation to uphold. Rory's arrival gave way to Lorelei running away, begging for work at a local inn, and living in the shed behind her work with the newborn child. Those humble beginnings, however, gave way to Lorelei planting roots in a friendly town, meeting her best friend (the chef at the inn), owning a house, putting Rory through private school and Yale, and eventually owning her own inn. Therefore, even if you life feels like a mess right now or at anytime, know that you have to start somewhere.
It's okay to be a coffee addict.Giphy
We're asked to do a lot of things in the span of 24 hours. Even something as simple as being a college student and simultaneously maintaining a social life can be absolutely exhausting. Lorelei and Rory's days were just as hectic, but they were never without a cup of coffee. It's ok to have a little help from caffeine, plus, drinking coffee makes waking up just a bit more bearable and could give way to a lasting relationship, like it did for Lorelei.
Never underestimate the power of an underdog.Giphy
Rory's high school (and eventually college) rival was Paris Geller, her first friend but most competitive and unpleasant peer at her private school. Paris always had to be better: she had to outscore Rory on the PSAT's, win over the boy that had been eyeing Rory, and beat Rory at the school's speech contest. In the end, it was Rory who was crowned Valedictorian and was admitted to Harvard, two things Paris could not boast of herself. From all that I take this: sometimes, the winner is the one who puts her head down, works hard, and keeps to herself.
It's okay to need your mommy.Giphy
About 20 minutes after Rory's mother moved her into college at Yale and headed home, Rory paged her and told her to come back to school. Lorelei ended up staying over for Rory's first night at school and helped Rory scout out the best take-out places around school, select which kiosk sold the best coffee, and even helped make her some new friends. It's okay to not be able to do everything by yourself at first and it's okay to feel homesick or miss your mother. Contrary to popular belief, there's no weakness in it.
Sometimes you have to swallow your pride.Giphy
After leaving her parents' home (and financial security) at 16, Lorelei was determined to do everything (and absolutely everything) on her own. Even when the financial aid for Rory's Yale education didn't go through, or when her house was falling down because of a termite infestation, the last thing Lorelei wanted to do was ask her parents for money. Still, she had to recognize what was best for her and Rory, which in each case was an education and a roof over their heads, and accept that we aren't always meant to do everything on our own; that's what family is here for.
Be kind to everyone.Giphy
Even though Paris showed Rory nothing but hostility upon her arrival at Chilton, their prestigious prep school, Rory was always the first one to reach out to Paris, offering her solace throughout her parents' divorce and helping Paris pick an outfit for her first date. All it takes is for one person to reach out and be kind, even if the other isn't quite there yet. You never know what is going on in someone else's life, so, when in doubt, be kind.
When one door closes, another one opens.
In season three, the inn Lorelei worked at, the Independence Inn, burned down, leaving her out of work for several months and for a longer period once the damages proved to be too costly to repair. Around the same time, the owner of the inn Lorelei wanted to buy, the Dragonfly, passed away, which put the property on the market, conveniently at the time when Lorelei needed work. Just when one thing seems to go wrong, another something is already in the works.
You don't know until you ask.Giphy
Lane Kim is Rory's best friend, and Mrs. Kim is Lane's ulltra-strict, devout catholic mother who barely lets her do anything but go to school and on occasion, bible-study. School and bible-study, however, don't adequately encompass all the things Lane wants to do, such as play in a band, go to high school parties, and go to school at a place other than a seventh day adventist college. One time, Lane got up the courage to ask her mother is she could attend the prom with a non-Korean boy, and, to everyone's surprise, Mrs. Kim agreed (under strict conditions, of course). You'll never know until you try.
Don't forget your best friend.Giphy
Rory and Lane tell each other everything (at least, what they can fit into the five-minute phone conversation Lane's mother allows each day) and support each other in everything. Even though they go to different schools and lead shockingly different lives, they always find time to eat takeout on the couch together and babble about their respective boy problems. A best friend knows you better than almost anyone and knows what you need before you do; don't forget that and always make time for them.
Your mother can be your best friend.Giphy
Rory and Lorelei are much more like best friends than mother and daughter. They keep each other in check, whether that be preventing an outfit mishap or encouraging one another to keep going, even when it's hard. They know one another better than they know themselves and have loads of fun simply cleaning out the fridge or running errands in town together. What a best friend or another can't be for you, your mother always can.
Everyone gets in a rut sometimes.Giphy
After Rory graduated from Yale, she had to return home to Stars Hollow and live with her mother because she hadn't found a job and she felt a little lost in life. She had just finished her 8-year path to "get out in the real world" (starting, of course, with her intensive prep school education and finishing with attending an Ivy League school) and all the sudden everything came to a screeching halt. She wasn't used to being someone without a plan, but sometimes in life we just don't have a plan. Some days, weeks, months, or years are just growing pains and periods of just sorting things out, and that's ok.
Always pick the nice boy.Giphy
Rory's first boyfriend was a lot better than any of the ones most of us had. He called her when he said he would, protected her from any and all harm, and even dressed up for her (in his eyes, dumb) debutante ball. Rory's second boyfriend was Jess, who wouldn't call her (ever, really), never planned out an actual date, and left town without her ever knowing, never to return. It took a Jess for Rory to know that she deserved someone like Dean, that all girls deserve someone like Dean, and that nice is never overrated.
If you love someone, tell them.Giphy
Luke (shown above) ran the diner in Stars Hollow that Lorelei and Rory went to nearly everyday. There was always a little something between Lorelei and Luke-their exchanges were always charming and witty, they told each other everything going on in their life, and everyone always pictured them getting together. I think deep down they always knew they loved each other, but it only took about ten years for them to actually say so and act on it. Don't hide your feelings; wear your heart on your sleeve. It doesn't have to take ten years.