I'd be lying if I said I didn't take part in the "Jersey Shore" craze, so when it popped up on Hulu I couldn't resist reminiscing on my early high school memories. Watching it as an adult, while making me feel old, has me comparing my previous fantasies of adulthood to reality. Yet when you think about it, there's a lot to be learned from our friends on the Shore.
1. Respect your roommates at all costs.
At some point in your life, you'll likely find yourself in a less-than-ideal living situation. You're not always going to like your roommates, but respecting them is an absolute must in retaining sanity in the household. Nothing makes bad roommates worse than an awkward living situation. Plus, you would want your roommates to respect you whether you got along or not. Respect has to be a mutual agreement, something the Jersey roommates weren't always the best at.
2. Sammi and Ronnie's relationships aren't typically successful.
Two good people don't always make a good pair. Not being able to love a good person in a healthy way doesn't make you a bad person either. But staying in a relationship that is blatantly volatile is no way to live, no matter how good of a person you are. Of course arguments are normal in any relationship, but fighting to the extent these two did isn't. Find someone that's healthy for you as opposed to settling for anything less.
3. Mind your manners and your business at the bar.
If there's one thing that ignites a bar fight on command, being rude or nosy is at the top of the list. Even if someone acts like a jerk, sticking your nose where it doesn't belong has proved to have it's consequences for Nicole (a.k.a "Snooki") in one of the show's most iconic moments in the first season. The boys in the house have found themselves in altercations countless times fueled by alcohol-laden outings. Momma always said: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Guess they didn't get the memo.
4. Don't drink more than you can handle if you have to work the next morning.
Work does not care that you stayed out till 4 a.m. walking home from the bar. Work wants you to do the job you were hired and scheduled to do. Does this mean you can't have fun the night before working? Absolutely not. But should you go to work 30 minutes late because you overdid yourself the night before? Not a chance. Part of being an adult is coping with the consequences to whatever decisions you make.
5. You have to grow up at some point.
Pauly D was 29 when the show first aired in 2009. Vinny had just turned 21. See the difference? It's not as obvious when you're young, but the older you get, the less mature and realistic their lifestyle appears. 29-year-olds should be able to go out and have a good time, but hooking up with 20-year-olds and complaining about working a six hour shift five times a week does not give off the illusion of maturity or responsibility.
6. Be honest with yourself and those around you if you want to live a happy life.
Life is a journey about finding yourself, so you'll never truly know exactly who you are from the inside out, but we can get pretty damn close. Understanding that you're a constant work in progress is important, because limiting yourself to your comfort level and resisting personal growth will only hinder your happiness, not help it. So be honest, especially in relationships. Have a little pride in yourself and your opinion. Just don't be an Angelina and get stuck in your own selfish patterns. They will get you nowhere in life.
7. Television will do anything for ratings.
Exploitation of any kind has proven to garner ratings more than any other marketing ploy, especially in selling "Jersey Shore" to viewers. If the phrase, "All publicity is good publicity," has any semblance of truth to it, MTV did a fantastic job at getting all kinds of attention for playing in to the Italian-American stereotype and the evolving hookup culture. You don't have to agree with it as long as you're reacting to it.