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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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.


Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.


I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.


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