6 Ways 'Friends' Comforted Me During The Uncertainty Of My 20s

by Lauren Davish
Warner Bros. Television

I remember when I was 14 years old, watching the very last episode of "Friends."

It was a show I loved as a kid, and I was incredibly sad to see it end.

What I didn't realize then, however, was I had no idea what the hell I was watching.

I knew nothing about friendships that close, relationship problems, breaking up and getting back together with the same person, dating a friend, singing in a coffee shop or finding a career.

Basically, I knew nothing about the show because I hadn't lived through my 20s yet.

Throughout my teens, I continued watching "Friends" reruns.

I believed I was the real-life version of Rachel Green.

Again, I didn't have even the slightest insight about the concept of the show or what the characters represented.

It wasn't until recently, on a Saturday afternoon when I was binge-watching season 10 on Netflix, that I got to the last episode.

It is the one I like to call, "The One I Always Avoid."

I thought about turning it off, but in an emotional, PMS rage, I decided to let it play.

I sobbed, balled my eyes out and cried like you wouldn't believe.

I realized "Friends" became a sense of comfort to me, and not just because it was filled with familiar faces and plots I already knew the outcomes of.

After my seventh year in my 20s, I can really, actually relate to what the show is all about: figuring sh*t out, or thinking you have it figured out until you realize you don't.

Here are a few things rewatching "Friends" has taught me in my 20s:

1. You have no clue what person you're going to end up with.

Relationships are quite honestly the most unpredictable aspect of our 20s.

When you think you won't repeat the same patterns, you do.

You most likely won't marry the person you assume you will.

I don't mean this in a pessimistic sense.

It's actually great to not have it all mapped out in front of you.

I like Monica and Chandler for this example. Who would have thought season four would bring these two together?

And we can't forget everyone's favorite couple, Ross and Rachel.

Ross is divorced a total of three times before he ends up with Rachel, his high school crush.


2. Breaks usually lead to more problems.

While we're still riding the Ross and Rachel relationship train, let's touch briefly on "taking a break."

If you need a break, it's more than likely you should just break up with your significant other.

No one wants to cross the cheating line because there was no definitive line between break and breaking up.

3. Persistence is key.

I love this idea.

We see characters like Joey, the struggling actor, start from nothing and go on to star in "Days Of Our Lives."

Then, he's written off and has to start over again.

This is so typical of an actor's life, yet we never see him give up.

The same goes for Rachel. She starts off as a waitress at Central Perk and ends up working for Ralph Lauren.

Put yourself out there, and don't give up.

And while you're at it, take a note from Phoebe and keep playing at that coffee shop.

4. Condoms are only 99 percent effective.


Enough said. Be careful out there.

5. Your friends are your family, and therefore, they are the most important people in your life.

In my late 20s, I realized just how important my friends are.

These are the people you call first, cry to and celebrate milestones with.

What better example of this than the actual "Friends?"

6. You don't know anything, so stop trying to figure it out.

If "Friends" has taught us anything, it's that we have no idea what or who is going to happen to us.

The only thing we can do is go with it.

Eventually, we'll get it right.

Your 20s (and even 30s) are for learning lessons and establishing your life.

Just don't put the blueprints in pen.