5 Netflix Shows That Will Teach You More About Life Than School Ever Will

5 Netflix Shows That Will Teach You More About Life Than School Ever Will

Why binge-watching your favorite shows is actually good for you.

It's sweeping across the nation, making thousands of high schoolers addicted to its powerful clutches. It worms its way into your already busy schedule, eating up the time that could be used to finish chemistry labs or to study for an AP exam. One word, hundreds of TV shows, hours of happiness — you guessed it: Netflix. Parents love to discuss in detail about how Netflix shows distract students from academics or how too much television can rot your brain. When actually, it's the opposite. Certain shows on Netflix can raise your awareness of issues you've never known or cared about... till now.

1. "Thirteen Reasons Why" raises awareness of social issues like depression and suicide.

Remember that show that everyone was obsessed with in July, called "Thirteen Reasons Why?" You have probably heard of Hannah Baker, a new high school student who suffered from bullying, verbal abuse, physical abuse and other complications that ultimately ended with her suicide, which she committed after sending tapes to all the people who contributed to her self-destructive decision.

I mean, it’s one thing to discuss such serious topics during health class where half the students will be on their phones, but it’s another thing when you are indirectly teaching high schoolers about the consequences of mental and social issues by integrating them into dramatic television shows. Students are more likely to retain the information when it comes from fictional characters in an intriguing plot line versus a monotone health teacher reading from a textbook.

2. Netflix cop shows like "Law and Order" teach us to follow the rules.

"Law and Order" is basically cops and the lawyers teaming up to bust the bad guys, but it also teaches high schoolers the honor code in a meaningful way: no matter what bad thing you do, you always have a high risk of getting caught.

Whether it’s a psychotic criminal holding a gun in every person’s face or a kid who cheats on his math test, the protagonist in the show always catches the evildoer before he/she can get away. This show is also important in that it teaches teenagers right from wrong by repetition. Don’t use guns, people can die. Don’t rob banks, you’ll be thrown in jail. Don’t hack top secret software, the government will find out who you are. It reiterates one specific point: one mistake can change your life.

3. "Parks and Recreation" teaches teenagers important moral values.

Let’s bring back a classic: "Parks and Recreations." Leslie Knope, am I right? She is a confident, headstrong, positive woman that fights for what she believes in, even when everyone around her tells her it might be impossible. Perseverance and confidence are important qualities for every person to have, but surprisingly, you do not see enough of it in high school. Most people are too concerned about peer pressure to actually give significance to their own opinions, but why do you want to fit in if you were meant to stand out? If there is one thing that Leslie has taught her apathetic colleagues, it’s to embrace change, and to work hard to make that change happen, because things have a way of working out. Even if things do not go according to plan, you will be happy that you tried your best.

4. "Arrow" inspires you to persevere.

In "Arrow," rich playboy Oliver Queen gets shipwrecked on an island for years, where he is subjected to torture, forced to murder, and inclined to betray those closest to him to survive. When he comes back home he attempts to get rid of all the corrupt politicians in his city by being a nighttime vigilante. Oliver gets shot like 50 times per season, but somehow manages to live and still persevere in his goal to save his city and even succeeds to become mayor! Arrow sends a message to all its audience — endurance is sheer willpower and is the strongest quality anyone can possess.

5. "Grey's Anatomy" helps teenagers decide upon a career choice.

Yes, I’m talking to you, "Grey’s Anatomy" and "White Collar" people. Whether it be late night on-calls, spending hours in the OR, going undercover in a drug dealing gang or working as a detective, Grey's and White Collar both portray the pros and cons of their individual careers through numerous seasons. As with every occupation, there are downsides: patients can tragically pass away and some villains magically escape. With a million different twisted plots over countless episodes, one can truly see how rewarding and frustrating a career choice can be. After all, who doesn’t want to be the next Cristina Yang or be as intelligent (and gorgeous) as Neal Caffrey?

Netflix shows have a bigger impact on our lives than any of us imagined. The next time your parents criticize you for wasting your time on all that “unnecessary drama,” let them know that you are learning valuable life lessons from this simple streaming service.

Cover Image Credit: Netflix

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.


Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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