As a pre-med major that wants to go to med school, I binge-watch "Grey's Anatomy" religiously. Who doesn't? But as you re-watch every episode, you realize that this show has more life lessons than it does lessons about being a brilliant doctor.
1. Being smart is OK
As a female, you are sometimes told "beauty before brains"–at least, that's what magazines typically show you. But then, there is "Grey's Anatomy." Cristina Yang has taught many young women that you should be loved for your brain and that you should take advantage of your education. Having a brain is what gets you through life. It helps to know that you can fend for yourself and make it on your own without the help of someone else.
2. You will be surprised by people
Arizona's father was accepting when she came out as a lesbian. He said that as long as she was still the person he raised, he could accept it. Arizona was surprised by her father's acceptance, just like people are surprised by others in their everyday lives. Don't judge a book by its cover, because you may be surprised by the outcome. You have to wait and see their actions before you can judge.
3. Be the best you can be
You only get one chance, so you better make it count. To live is to better yourself and become the best you that you can possibly be. Meredith Grey once said, "I think you can't wait for someone to fly underneath you and save your life. I think you have to save yourself." She built herself up and became her own savior. Cristina Yang was a badass and didn't let anyone tell her that she couldn't do something. She went out and lived.
4. Take chances
You never know what life will throw at you. You could get the greatest opportunity of your life or the worst. You can't live in the fear of wondering "what if?" When you get a chance, take it. "We do not get unlimited chances to have the things we want. Nothing is worse than missing an opportunity that could have changed our life." You may not get the chance again.
5. Friends are family
"We're friends. Real friends. And that means no matter how long it takes when you finally decide to look back, I'll still be there." They say you can't pick your family, but that's false. You can pick your friends, and that's pretty damn close to family. Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang are as close to family as you can get in the friends category. They prove that sometimes the best thing you can do is to make your friends just as close as your family.
6. Putting yourself first is OK
Sometimes life throws you a curve ball that you need to handle. It is OK to take the time you need for yourself. It is how you survive. "You don't have to be tough every minute of every day. It's OK to let down your guard." Meredith and Bailey have taught us all that it's OK to be tough, but it's also OK to let your guard down and take care of yourself. After all, you're the only person that knows how to take care of yourself mentally.
7. Life is tough and so is love
Whether it be losing friends in an airplane crash, watching your person go away, or letting your husband die, life is tough. But just like Meredith, you can live through it. "Maybe we like the pain. Maybe we're wired that way. Because without it–I don't know–maybe we just wouldn't feel real." Life has obstacles that you can't plan for but if you can make it through those obstacles, that's the true testament. Meredith proves that you can make it through anything, even if it hurts.
8. You are not what has happened to you
You can overcome anything and the past helps to shape you. You live and learn from your mistakes. "Never erase your past. It shapes who you are today and will help you to be the person you'll be tomorrow." We are built on the things we have experienced. We can let them affect us negatively or positively.
9. You will find your person
Cristina Yang and Meredith Grey are a dynamic duo. They know that no matter what happens, they will have each other to rely on. "This is life. Bad things happen. It's hard. You find your people, you find your person, and you lean on them." You can't expect to go through life without leaning on a few people–you just have to make sure they're the right people. They know that they can rely on you and that you can rely on them.
10. Life is worth living
With all the things life throws at you, it is still worth living. How many doctors have ended up dying with regrets? There are so many things–from not saying something to someone they love to nearly dying and changing how they live their life. Making each day count is worth it. In the end, you'll know that you took chances and that you made your mark. "We screw up. We lose our way. Even the best of us have our off days. Still we move forward." You move on. You live. You build yourself and become the best. When you decide to leave, you know you made your mark, because you knew life was worth living. You made every shift, every incision, and every encounter count.