College 101: Lessons from my Favorite Characters

You’ve probably heard the sentiment that movies and television (and books, for that matter) don’t necessarily mirror real life. While this might be true, a lot can be said for the lessons that we can extract from a particular story, whether it’s fictional or not. In my eager anticipation for the upcoming release of The Avengers (ordered my tickets yesterday!), I have been inspired to compile a list of valuable lessons I’ve learned from my favorite characters over the years.

The Avengers: Any group you’ve had to work with over the years probably did not have as many differences as the team of Avengers assembled by Nick Fury. However, they are the perfect example of the magic that can happen when people (or Super Heroes) can overcome differences to work towards a common goal – it can change the world! They must have read our Surviving a Group project post from a few weeks ago. Lesson 1: Learn to work as a team.

Peeta and Katniss from The Hunger Games made an unstoppable team.

Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games): Despite being a strong contender in the notorious Arena, The Hunger Games heroine opted to avoid the violent and bloodthirsty “Career Tributes.” Instead, she chose to align herself with Rue and Peeta, whose hearts and spirits struck a chord with Katniss. Her ultimate victory is a clear example of why surrounding yourself with positivity is so important, especially in the collegiate “Arena.” Lesson 2: Surround yourself with good people.

Detective Olivia Benson (Law & Order SVU): After a disturbing and potentially life-threatening incident, Olivia is forced to come to terms with how much the aftermath of that event is affecting her. Rather than try to deny the pain or put on a tough facade, she seeks help and is eventually able to work through the issues. That’s why she’s one of my favorite characters! Lesson 3: Ask for help when you need it.

Alice (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland): One of my favorite childhood characters, I learned a lot from Alice – though her experiences are not to be taken literally. While I am not suggesting (NOT SUGGESTING) diving down rabbit holes or consuming mysteriously labeled bottles and cakes, I do admire Alice’s curiosity and interest in the world surrounding her. When venturing off to college, it’s important to soak up your surroundings and appreciate the opportunity to learn. Lesson 4: Be interested in the world around you.

Sheldon is learning that change isn't always bad.

Dr. Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory): Anyone who has ever tuned into The Big Bang Theory is familiar with Dr. Sheldon Cooper’s strict adherence to his rigid life routine. However, his whole world is turned upside down when an incident with his barber reveals that little changes will not throw his whole world into chaos. It’s a good lesson for the rest of us – embrace change, rather than fear it. Lesson 5: Change can be good.

Hermione Granger (the Harry Potter Series): How many times did Hermione’s extensive knowledge save Harry and Ron from danger? Her dedication to learning and schoolwork became a life-saving asset throughout the wizarding series. While college is definitely a good time to develop and grow socially, it’s most important to do what you came to do: get an education. Lesson 6: Education is invaluable.

Do you have a favorite character who provides more than just entertainment? Post a comment below and share what you have learned! We also have Limited Edition Avengers posters at select bookstores – get 1 of 4 with any $25 purchase!

Full posts →

Life Lessons: How To Treat Others

I found this story written by an anonymous author and it’s poignant and true.  We can all learn from its moving lesson: 

“During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: ‘What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?’

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

‘Absolutely,’ said the professor. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say ‘hello.’

I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.”

For more life lessons, visit


Full posts →