- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 05 April 2017
- Written by ALEXANDRIA AFANADOR | PHOTOGRAPHY & CO-FEATURES EDITOR
Although Parks and Recreation may have ended almost two years ago, the cast of hilarious and uplifting actors have brought about tears, joy, and many life lessons that are still valuable and applicable. Leslie Knope, Ron Swanson, Tom Haverford, April Ludgate-Dwyer, and the rest of the Pawnee Parks Department crew have offered some of their most coveted life lessons to society.
Leslie Knope has taught us all to be opinionated on everything. Whether it be a social norm, politics, or just a hairstyle you may or may not want, the fearless gal that she is has always taught her peers that being opinionated is never a bad thing. Today’s society is filled with news resources and outlets, social media, and many other platforms for us to become educated about whatever it is that we are even the slightest bit curious about; it’s time for us to research and be vocal and bold now more than ever.
April Ludgate-Dwyer has shown us, first-hand, that taking that random internship is completely worth it. In the beginning of the series, Ludgate is found as the most conniving and least dedicated worker in the department, but, as the show progresses, the audience is able to really see that her simple summer internship has lead her in the direction of her lifelong career.
Monmouth has an abundance of opportunities to offer its students. We constantly receive emails from Career Services and departments all over campus about internships, job opportunities, and volunteer hours that are at our disposal. Career and networking events happen frequently and are known to grab hold of hawks by the handful. Taking advantage of these opportunities is up to us.
Going hand in hand with that, being inspired by others is easy, but don’t forget to be inspired by yourself. Leslie Knope is the pioneer of getting inspired by women in powerful positions, but that does not stop her from being most inspired by her own accomplishments. She even goes so far as to say, “I am big enough to admit that I am often inspired by myself.” She has proven to us that inspiration is key in getting things done in life, but looking at your reflection in the mirror and being motivated is the most rewarding of all.
It’s easy to be intimidated by the many esteemed faculty members at MU, and it’s even easier to get lost in the mix of it all. Looking to your advisors, professors, and even your peers for inspiration is simple and Monmouth proves that everyone has something to offer. Don’t forget to look back on your accomplishments with pride; just to be given the opportunities that you have means you have something to be grateful for an proud of.
Another lesson Parks and Recreation teaches us is about friendship. A relationship like Ann Perkins and Leslie’s is all we can hope for in life. Leslie is known for her crazy antics and many anniversaries with her best friend Ann Perkins such as Galentine’s Day, Salad Day, Ben Day, Karaoke Day, and Museum Day, along with many others that are celebrated throughout the year together. While we may never have as many holidays and anniversaries like Leslie does with her friends and co-workers, we can certainly learn a thing or two about friendship from her.
On campus, there are tons of different groups, organizations, Greek life, and clubs to find your niche. Within one of those groups could be your own Ann Perkins. Leslie always reminds us, “You know my code...ovaries before brovaries. Uteruses before duderuses.” Over anything else, finding a friendship as loyal as Ann and Leslie’s is a top priority.
When everything seems like it’s going downhill, don’t abandon ship, just “treat yo’ self.” Tom and Donna take part in an annual celebration of treating themselves to the life of a lavish superstar, whether that be the food they eat, the clothes they buy, or even elbow bedazzling. Most college students are as Tom would say, “ballin’ on a budget,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t still treat ourselves to something here and there.
Getting something big for yourself like new shoes, clothes, or if you just need a little pick me up like an extra cup of coffee or ice cream after a long day. Treating yourself is important to keeping up your happiness and overall well-being. So, don’t forget to do as Donna and Tom and, “Treat yo’ self 2017: the best day of the year!”
Lastly, and one of the most vital concepts of the show, caring is something that Leslie has proven to us and shown us throughout the duration of the show. We live in a society where it’s normal not to care. Often, it is deemed as ‘cool’ to not care about important things in life. Look for the good in what we hear in the world just as Leslie does. “What I hear when I’m being yelled at is people caring loudly at me,” she says. Caring is healthy for us as individuals; we are able to feel a full range of emotions in our day to day lives. We need to take advantage of that.
Whether you need to care more, treat yo’ self, or inspire yourself everyday, remember what the cast of Parks and Recreation has taught its viewers and be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do.