I don't think I'm alone when I say sitcoms have taught me so many things I need to know about the "real world." Like me, your favorite episodes of Friends have taught you about how to be a good roommate, how to maneuver a big couch up a tiny flight of stairs, and how to fall in and out of love. But you also know the gang at Dunder Mifflin have been the greatest teachers of all time. I do declare that these life lessons from The Office should never be forgotten.
In my opinion, this sitcom that follows a bunch of people who work at a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania is as real and genuine as it gets. It captures the typical nine to five job, from the conference room meetings to the office pranks, and every Pretzel Day or Christmas party in between. It also shows you and your BFFs what can happen when you trust and believe in yourself.
That's why it's so easy to love, connect to, and relate with the characters, whether they're a beet farmer, a fun-loving boss, or a receptionist who got kicked out of Chili's. TBH, that's also why I'll never forget these life lessons, too.
1. You Can Make The Most Of Any Situation
Let's be honest: It can be difficult to make the most out of some situations you face in life. I'm a self-proclaimed optimist, but I still struggle with finding the bright side when I spill my coffee at 9 a.m. or get stuck in traffic on the way to work. But, your favorite characters from The Office have taught you that it's possible to have fun and love life, even when it's stressful or boring.
In fact, it's essential to crushing it in the "real world" and going home with a smile on your face. So, find time to eat a few slices of pizza on a rooftop with your crush or stick a stapler in Jell-O. Consider pranks, games, and laughing to be required.
2. You Can Find Confidence In Unexpected Places
Out of all the characters in The Office, I connect most to Pam Beesly. Like her, I can be shy and sociable. I love to draw in my spare time, and I also take time to appreciate the finer things. I'm not very outspoken, but I will gladly speak up when somebody else is using my Snoopy coffee mug.
So, you can imagine I've learned a lot of life lessons from her from one episode to the next. It's true, I have — and I now know that it's so possible to find confidence in unexpected places, like the beach or when you get promoted to Assistant to the Regional Manager. You just have to be open to it and believe in yourself.
3. Sometimes, Timing Is Everything
More than once in your life, you've probably heard the phrase, "Everything happens for a reason." Sometimes, you may have rolled your eyes and said, "Yeah, OK. Whatever," and others you may have taken it to heart. Thanks to The Office, I understand this life lesson a lot better, and will never forget it.
Timing is everything in certain situations, friendships, and relationships, and more often than not, things happen if and when they should. Spoiler alert: That's why Jim and Pam got married, and why Michael and Holly ended up together. I'd be willing to bet it's why Dwight got his dream job in the last season, too.
4. It's OK To Have Different Priorities Than Someone Else
One lesson I've learned time and time again while being part of the "real world" is this: Not everyone has the same priorities as you. Some people would rather relax on a vacation than get up early for the Instagram-worthy sights. Others don't want to travel at all, and feel most alive when they're waiting in line on Pretzel Day.
That's OK. Everybody is on their own path to joy and success. So, don't judge anyone else for what they're doing, and drown out the noise when others choose to judge you for making a movie called Threat Level Midnight, or whatever it may be. Got it? Good.
5. You Have To Take Chances
Can somebody pass me the tissues? Thanks. This life lesson always makes me a little emotional, because it came from one of my favorite scenes from The Office. Jim told Dwight he needed to jump and take a chance when it came to Angela. He helped him realize he loved her and wanted to be with her, while Pam watched a video of her entire relationship with Jim in the other room.
Dwight's eyes teared up as the bold and beautiful lesson sank in: If you care about or want something enough, even if you don't know how it's going to work out, you have to try. You might just find everything you're looking for.
6. There's Beauty In The Ordinary Things
Growing up, I feel like a lot of adults made the "real world" seem like this boring and mundane place that's loaded with new chairs versus new copier debates and talking about quantities of paper over the phone. They left out one important lesson I gladly learned from The Office: There's beauty in the ordinary things.
That's right. The way the paper comes out all warm after you make a copy, the half-burned candles and magic beans at a garage sale, and the ability to turn your average desk into a mega desk are all beautiful. The aroma of popcorn in the office microwave and the painting of your building hanging up near your desk are wonderful, too.
7. Laughter Is The Best Medicine
Last but not least, The Office taught me that laughter really is the best medicine. Whether you're having a tough week, or you're just dealing with a particularly stressful few minutes of life, it lets you release the tension in your shoulders and crack a smile.
The characters learned this lesson every time Jim pulled a prank on Dwight, Michael dressed up in a costume, or they got to dance with Darryl. You re-learn this lesson every time you get home from work or your other "real world" responsibilities and turn on this sitcom that's taught you (and me) so much.