Inspiration

Everything I Know in Life I Learned from Rachel Green

It’s Carrie Bradshaw everyone talks about emulating, but, if you ask me, from missteps to lessons, we can all learn a thing or two from Rachel Green.

It might be 2015, but people still love Friends just as much as they did twenty years ago. Yes, twenty. Friends gave us completely misguided hopes for our 20s. It made us think that our friends would be living across the hall, forever available for a cup of coffee just downstairs. Yeah, that’s plausible. But, realistic or not, let’s get one thing out of the way: Friends wouldn’t have been the show it was without Rachel Green.

She burst through the doors of Central Perk during the fateful first episode, and everything began. After that moment, she abandoned her fiance, started over in a brand new city, and got a job as a waitress while pursuing her dream of working in the fashion industry. She went from riches to rags to riches again all on her own.

It’s Carrie Bradshaw everyone talks about being like, Rachel had a hairstyle devoted to her for the better part of the 90s. Can Carrie Bradshaw say that? I think not.

Face Your Fears (and Your Past)

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Did she want to be in Barry and Mindy’s wedding? Considering that they were her ex-fiancee and her ex-best friend, definitely not. But she knew, like we all should, that it had to be dealt with before she could ever really be over it. If there was one thing Rachel Green did well, it was dealing with things and trying her best to move on from them.

So often we dwell on ex-boyfriends and past friendships simply because we can. Twitter and instagram give you a day-by-day look at the best parts of their lives. Before you fall into that social media K-Hole, ask yourself: What Would Rachel Do?

Never Give Up on What You Want

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Rachel wanted to work in fashion. She didn’t have a resume outside of “Cheerleading Captain,” but she went after what she wanted until finally she found someone who could get her in.

Since we’re living in a time when college doesn’t guarantee you anything aside from a hefty pile of student loans, let alone a job in your dream field, Rachel Green’s endless enthusiasm and dedication is something we could all use from time to time. No, you shouldn’t stay at your dead-end internship forever, but always strive to learn something new, long after the school part of your life ends.

Don’t be Afraid to Look Stupid

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Half the time, Rachel had no idea what she was doing. She stumbled into situations and hoped for the best, especially when it came to dating. Pre-Tinder and OkCupid, Rachel knew more than her fair share of awkward encounters and dates. But from all of those awkward dates, we can all learn something.

Nine times out of ten, we learn more about ourselves, and as we get older, realize that we are willing to spend less and less time worrying about what other people think. Rachel realized this early on. She ran out on her wedding. Sometimes, you just can’t be afraid to “be a shoe!”

Life is Short: Buy the Shoes

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She cuts up her credit cards and becomes financially responsible, sure, but who can turn down a good pair of boots—especially after a long day at the #grind. Rachel is a full believer in what will later become known as the Treat Yo’self mentality, and she practices it whenever she can. What can I say: the girl was ahead of her time!

The Struggle to “Have it All” is a Myth

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She was a great mother to Emma, she still made time for her friends and she killed it at work. She clawed her way back into her office after her maternity leave ended, looking great as she did it. And you know what? Never once did she wonder if she could “have it all” — she just did.

Sometimes You Just Need a Little Help from Your Friends

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From the first to the last episode, Rachel would be nothing without her friends. Monica gave her a place to live and so much more. She gave her the (sane) sister she never really had. Phoebe and the rest of the gang gave her a whole new family when she left her own behind, and she never had to look back. What I’m trying to say here is they were there for her, too! We all need a little help sometimes, and who better to ask than your best friends?

Coffee Is Always the Answer

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She served it for years, however poorly. Let’s be honest, Rachel Green was probably 99% caffeine with all the time the six of them spent in Central Perk. On this, Rachel and I are unanimous: coffee is always the answer. And, hey, the last line wasn’t, “You want to get some coffee?” for no reason!

Know When to Let Go

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Rachel had (more than) her share of awkward dates, bad relationships, and just plain bizarre set ups, but she always knew when to throw in the towel and go home. She knew what she deserved, and 99% of the time, she knew it was more than what she had. That we should all be looking out for our own best interests is definitely something we could all use reminding of every now and then!

Clearly, Friends is going to continue to live on in our starry-eyed minds forever—the perfect lives of six people, made realistic through their antics and mishaps. However, the clear star of the show, if you ask me, was always Rachel Green. There wouldn’t even be a show without her. Jennifer Aniston garnered a huge fanbase through her portrayal of Rachel, and without even realizing it, imparted ten seasons worth of wisdom onto millions of devoted fans.

What did you learn from Rachel?

About the author

Amy Sachs

Amy Sachs is a blogger and freelance writer from New Jersey. She can most likely be found drinking coffee with her nose in a book.

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