As my daughter approaches her teen years, I am constantly looking for ways to make those years easier for her. But as any parent quickly realizes, the lessons we learned through our own mistakes are lost on our children. Instead, I hope my daughter will soon binge watch “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” the same way she has devoured “Gilmore Girls.” Why? Because I wish I had “Buffy” when I was 13 and would like to think I listened to her throughout my twenties. So exactly what lessons can a teen learn from Buffy?
As we celebrate our favorite Not-So-Helpless Blonde’s 34th birthday (!!), here are my top ten lessons:
10) Fire Bad. Tree Pretty. Drinking looks like a lot of fun, but can get out of hand. Plus it does a number on your hair.
9) Life can be tough, but if you let your friends in, it can get better. Don’t let life’s tragedies stay inside you. When they want to help you, let them.
8) A haircut *can* change your life! Go for it. Changing things up may just be what you need.
7) Be careful what you wish for. Sometimes getting it can really suck.
6) Give your parents a chance to get to know the real you. They might surprise you.
5) Find your gift. As media critic, Buffy fan & my best friend, Jennifer Pozner suggests, “Whether it is street smarts, academics, comedy or just strategically placed snark, use that gift to help make the world a better place.”
4) Break-ups hurt, but sometimes they can be for the best. Even if they appear to be evil afterward. And don’t let the pain turn you evil either. See #9 again.
3) You are powerful. What makes you special is in you. Just stand up and swing away.
2) Get to know your librarian. When your life is going to hell, he or she may have the answer in the many books at their disposal.
1) Find your Willow. That person might not glitter as much as you or be as popular, but when the chips are down, they will always have your back.
What other life lessons can be learned from Buffy? Leave them in the comments!
Veronica Arreola writes the blog Viva la Feminista, where she tries to navigate and understand the intersection between feminism, motherhood and her Latinadad. You can follow her on Twitter @veronicaeye.
To contact Veronica for an interview or to book her as a speaker, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.