9 Things I Didn't Expect To Learn From ‘One Tree Hill’

9 Things I Didn't Expect To Learn From ‘One Tree Hill’

I'd say you should go watch it on Netflix, but....

When I started watching "One Tree Hill," I just expected it to be a show I watched while eating my breakfast or at night before going to bed. I thought it was going to be a typical show about high school and the drama that accompanies it. I was wrong, and I am thankful that I was. "One Tree Hill" didn’t just become one of my favorite shows; it changed my life a bit.

While watching the relationships and the plot expand, I learned so many things that I didn’t expect to learn from a television show.

1. It is possible to offer forgiveness to others who have done you wrong so many times.

Dan Scott, during the first few seasons of the show, was an awful man. That is something that cannot be disputed. It is obvious that he treats Lucas, the boy he doesn’t even want to admit is his son, horribly. However, his relationship with Nathan is not much better -- he was a hardass on him about basketball, always belittling Nathan’s accomplishments by comparing them to his own. This is all without even mentioning that Dan killed his own brother, Keith, in cold blood. Dan Scott was a horrible man, but he changed — Nathan didn’t truly accept that until Dan put his life on the line for Nathan. In that moment, Nathan began to regret not spending much time with his father in recent years despite the pleas of his son Jamie. Even though it took a long time and they didn’t get much time to spend together afterward, Nathan found it in his heart to forgive his father. Grudges don’t need to be held forever and people can change.

Nathan and Haley

2. True love does exist.

You can tell me that "One Tree Hill" is just a television show all you want, but I’ll still tell you that Nathan and Haley are one of the best couples of all time. They started off being polar opposites and not remotely interested in each other. But, over time, their love grew and they grew together. Nathan and Haley stuck through each other’s sides through the good and the bad. They got married before they even graduated high school and had a child not far after graduating (actually, the day of). They worked through Haley’s music career, Nathan’s basketball career and injuries, disapproval from family and friends, and inevitable jealousy. Through it all, their love grew and blossomed and it made me so happy.


3. High school does not define you.

High school is four years long. In the grand scheme of things, that is just a little blip. Brooke was known as the bitchy cheerleader in high school who was hot, but not very intelligent. She put on a confident facade but, while dating Lucas, showed her true vulnerable and insecure self. Throughout high school, she was always just the girl to hook-up with (and to show up naked in your backseat), but she ended up finding an amazing man to marry who loved all of her insecurities. While she wasn’t good at typical school subjects, she managed to open up her own clothing company that grew to be a common household name. Just because you’re not who you want to be in high school doesn’t mean you can’t become who you want to be.

Peyton and Mouth Dancing

4. Yes, boys and girls can be just friends.

People always say that if a boy and a girl are friends that one will eventually develop a romantic interest. However, that is definitely not always the case. In "One Tree Hill," Lucas and Haley were best friends forever. They grew up together and were basically like brother and sister. They spent so much time together and, through it all, remained just friends. Having a friend doesn’t need to be gender exclusive.


5. Mental trauma is something that needs to be taken more seriously.

Even though it is 2017, people still aren’t treating mental illnesses the same as physical illnesses, even though they have the potential to be just as (and sometimes even more) debilitating. I was heartbroken for Clay about how he lost his wife and I was terribly shocked to find out that he had a six-year-old son. Clay lost his wife suddenly and was mentally scarred. As a result of PTSD, he totally blocked out a portion of his life to the point where he didn’t even remember he had a son. Through lots of therapy, Clay began to regain his memory of his son Logan. Because of this proper help, he was even able to establish a proper relationship with his son after so many years.

6. “Me Too” isn’t something to be taken lightly.

People walk around assuming that the worst can’t happen to them... Until it does. No one plans to get assaulted or mugged or raped, it just happens. When Brooke and Peyton were at a college party, someone drugged Peyton’s drink, a boy who Peyton thought was cool and similar to her. He began sexually assaulting her and it would’ve gotten much worse if Brooke didn’t try and call her. Sexual assault happens every day. Sexual harassment happens every day. It is the scary reality.

Jimmy, the school shooting

7. How you treat people does matter.

Mouth had a best friend named Jimmy, but slowly grew apart from him when he made other (“cooler”) friends. Jimmy was left with no one else and it was hard to make new friends because people saw him as the strange, quiet kid. People mistreated Jimmy and took advantage of him and he hit a breaking point. Jimmy planned out and began to execute a school shooting. Nobody expected it mostly because people chose not to care about Jimmy and to ignore him instead. How you treat people does matter.


8. Stuff doesn’t always happen for a reason.

Whitey and Peyton were connected on a deeper level than most people are and they weren’t even that close to each other. Peyton went through a lot, more than a teenage girl should need to. Her mom died while she was young. Her dad was gone a lot because of work, leaving her home alone often. Her birth mom came into her life and died when they were establishing a close bond. She was stalked and assaulted by someone who claimed to be her brother. Her heart was broken over and over. Why did such a nice girl have so many bad things happening to her? Whitey, on the other hand, lost the single most important thing in his life — his wife, the love of his life. She died much too soon and Whitey regrets not spending all of his time with her. He visits her often at the cemetery and still spreads her love, like giving the blanket that she made to Nathan and Haley. There is not always a reason and there is not always an answer.


9. Kids can teach us some of the best life lessons.

Jamie Scott was an amazing little boy. He taught us to not give up on our dreams — he didn’t quit basketball even when his dad urged him to. He taught us that family isn’t always blood-related — he grieved the loss of Quentin, his closest friend. He sees things in the simplest way — he helps Skills and Mouth resolve their problems because they are best friends above all. He shows love an compassion — he cares from Grandpa Dan even though the rest of his family despises Dan. He knew how to be a good friend — He was Julian’s friend and even his best man at his wedding. Kids aren’t dumb; they are quite the opposite.

Cover Image Credit: Netflix

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Playboy: America's Favorite Magazine, China's Favorite... Clothing Brand?!?!

What are they doing wearing THAT?!??!!!

We just kept seeing it.

Not necessarily in abundance or anything like that, but still…

We did see it often enough for it to pique our curiosity. It was definitely around – there was no denying that. From shirts to socks to other random items of clothing, its presence did not go unnoticed by us.

When I noticed it on the sock of the guy sitting next to me during lunch, I secretly took a picture of it using my iPhone and showed it to my roommate. Is that what I think it is? Hell, we even noticed it on the front of our tour guide’s collared shirt as she was showing us around a hydrology laboratory. Geez, it’s present in lab settings, too? What was going on here?

By now, I'm sure you're wondering what "it" is, right? Well, you don’t have to wonder any further; I'll tell you. The "it" that I am specifically referring to is none other than the simple, easily recognizable, and famous Playboy bunny logo. Yep, you read that right.

Staying true to its image of a cute, little bunny rabbit, the Playboy logo seemingly followed us around, quietly hopping from one random piece of clothing to another. It would appear, then disappear, then reappear out of nowhere, just like a rabbit going in and out of its hole in the ground. However, as fitting as this all may sound from a metaphorical standpoint, the semi-frequent sightings of the bunny logo were weird and out of place to us Americans.

“Is this really a thing over here or what,” we were asking ourselves. “Hmm…”

By “we,” I am referring to the small group of American college students from Western Michigan University I was part of that was studying abroad in China at the time. This was during the first summer semester of 2017. We were over there for two weeks, spending time in both Beijing, the country’s capital, and Lanzhou, a city not as globally known as the capital. For all of us students, it was our first time visiting China.

It was a memorable, stimulating overseas trip filled with new experiences. From the learning to the tourism to the food to meeting new people, the trip was very well-balanced. Still, none of us expected something such as the Playboy logo to pop up from time to time. I guess you just never know what you’ll see when you travel abroad.

In the United States of America, the famous Playboy bunny is synonymous with adult entertainment and eroticism. Fancy mansions, pool parties, girlie magazines, and promiscuity are what we think of when we see it. Take the picture below, for example; it features scantily clad models in bunny outfits who fit Western culture’s standard of beauty. The image is a spot-on representation of what can typically enter the mind of an American consumer when thinking about Playboy.

Such is not the case in China, however. As we would find out toward the end of our trip, Playboy is merely another everyday clothing brand, albeit a popular one. There is nothing raunchy or sexually suggestive about it at all. Who knew? Talk about getting some much-needed closure.

The picture below is a spot-on representation of what Playboy means to the Chinese consumer. Quite different from that first depiction, don’t you think?

So, there you have it. That’s the explanation. Knowledge is power. Cool beans.

Oh, wait. There’s just one more thing I have to add: Shout out to Hugh Hefner!

Cover Image Credit: Andrew Mager | Flickr

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Comedian Aziz Ansari's Sexual Misconduct Showed Me That 'Time's Up' For Ignorance

My reaction to Aziz Ansari's sexual misconduct allegation

OK, so I think by now we’re all aware of the trend in today’s Hollywood. More and more sexual misconduct allegations are coming to light, and more and more of my beloved Hollywood idols are slowly revealing themselves to be the opposite of who I’d envisioned them to be. Take the latest wrongdoer. You may know him as the creator of Netflix staple, "Master of None" (easily one of my favorite shows on the streaming service) — the funny, incredibly likable Aziz Ansari. Who would’ve thought that he’d be the next star to be shamelessly exposed? When I first heard the news, I glared at my cracked phone screen in confusion, then leaped to my laptop for further sleuthing. It appeared the situation had a narrative like so...

Girl named Grace meets Ansari at an LA party.

Grace is starstruck by Ansari, and luckily for her, he likes her, too.

Grace gets his number, and the two chat it up in New York,

Grace agrees to go on a date with him and gets ready for what she thinks will be a beautiful night.

Now THIS is when it all starts going downhill.

Ansari rushes through a date at an upscale restaurant and quickly gets ready for desert.

Grace returns to his house and reluctantly accepts Ansari’s sexual advances.

Ansari asks for more, and Grace is clearly not willing.

But Grace does some of it anyways and leaves Ansari’s residence in tears

Grace is then too afraid to tell her story, until she sees Ansari again.

But this time, he's on TV at the Emmy Awards, proudly boasting a “Time’s up” pin as he braves the stage.

And there you have it, but of course, that's not the end of the story. As many of the convicted do, Ansari released a statement in which he said he was "surprised and concerned" that Grace was not comfortable, referencing the text he received saying so the morning after their encounter. After “taking the time to process” her words, Ansari responded that he really "took her words to heart" and responded "privately."

This situation just goes to show that even those who wear the ‘Time’s Up’ pin and vocally support female victims of sexual harassment and assault still do not understand what sexual misconduct is. They may see themselves as completely different from the Harvey Weinsteins of the world, but it is equally just as bad to support a cause that one simultaneously perpetuates. I’m sure there are hundreds of Ansaris in Hollywood, nice guys who make a wrong move without knowing, but it’s 2018; people have to learn the difference between yes and no. The time’s up on excusing this type of ignorance.

Cover Image Credit: WikiMedia

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