Game of Thrones— not only the most popular show on TV but also a guide to college life. I know, you’re probably thinking that makes no sense, after all the show takes place in a completely different world. Yeah, you won’t be riding dragons or fighting white walkers when you go back to school in the fall, but you will be navigating your life just like the characters do in the show. So, leave your doubts at the door and keep reading to find out exactly why Game of Thrones lays out all types of life lessons that are incredibly beneficial to know in college.
(WARNING— Spoilers Ahead!)
1. Don’t Underestimate Yourself
You hold a lot more power than you might think you do, even if it seems like all odds are against you. Daenerys Targaryen shows us just that. She went from a political pawn with no power (married off to join two groups of people) to becoming Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesiof the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt and the Breaker of Chains. If she can do all of that, you can definitely ace that test, perfect that GPA and/or get that dream job.
2. Your People Skills Equal Survival
People skills are crucial in college, both in social and academic settings. Tyrion Lannister uses his witty words and persuasive arguments to evade death and gain power multiple different times, and this teaches us the importance of those qualities. Tyrion survives the entire bloody and violent eight seasons of the show almost completely by using his knowledge of persuading people. Need to convince your teacher to let you do some extra credit when the end of the semester comes around? Take some pointers from the master of persuasion Tyrion Lannister and you’ll be sure to get those grade bumping assignments.
3. You Can Do Anything if You Believe in Yourself
Brienne of Tarth fights to be acknowledged as a knight and a soldier equal to those that are men. Her perseverance, braveness and loyalty to herself and the people she protects eventually get her knighted. She’s an inspiration, representing the ability to become anything if you believe enough in yourself. If you want to be president, an astronaut, the CEO of some big company or all of them combined, be like Brienne— if you can believe you can achieve. It’s a corny cliche, I know, but it’s true.
4. Don’t Hate on Other’s Differences
Just because someone’s different than you, in any way, doesn’t mean you should write them off. Jon Snow, unlike the other people behind the Wall, believes the Wildlings (who live North of the Wall) are good people and eventually becomes one at the end. He doesn’t fall into the xenophobic ways of the people around him, setting a good example for us. In college you meet a million different people from different places with different beliefs, appearances and much more. Just like he tries to understand and become close with people who are much different than he is, you should too.
5. Ditch the Stereotypes
It’s 2019 people— gender is not binary and gender stereotypes do not apply. Arya Stark definitely proves that girls do not have to be ladies that sit pretty. She’s an example of someone who breaks the gender roles and does whatever she wants. You can seriously do whatever you want to, so let’s ditch the stereotypes and embrace our power like Arya does.
6. Stay True to Yourself
I know she’s one of the most hated characters in the show, but Cersei Lannister stays true to herself and her nature. No matter what the circumstance, you can count on Cersei to be self-interested and vengeful. Sure, she’s cruel and hateful, but she never switches up. You shouldn’t be like Cersei (I repeat, do not be cruel and hateful), but through these life-altering years you should stay true to yourself. I know it can be hard in college, but don’t change because of social pressures.
7. Be Open to Friendships
Sometimes, we find friendships in the most unlikely places and with people we would never think we’d click with. Take Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly, for example. Their friendship is goals— it lasts the entire length of the show and they both feel exactly the same about each other. Take it from them and don’t close yourself off from meeting new people. You never know, you might be sitting next to your future bestie in that new club meeting this fall.
8. Adversity Leads You to Greatness
When we’re in the middle of a challenge— like that problem we can’t seem to solve or that document we can’t seem to understand— it seems like we’ll never make it through. College can feel like one big obstacle we can’t overcome at times. Sansa Stark is someone to look at if you need some inspiration. That girl overcame so much adversity, from being stuck under the thumb of Cersei and her horrible ways to being tortured by the evil Ramsay and much more. Despite all this, she becomes the Queen of the North at the end. She proves that there’s light at the end of that seemingly very, very dark tunnel. So, keep your head up.
9. Don’t Bank on Your Family’s Legacy
For some, it can seem like their life is completely set and planned out by the family or the family name. However, you can’t always depend on that, take it from Jon Snow (or should I say Aegon Targaryen). His real last name (Targaryen) should give him the sole right to the Iron Throne and to the power over the Seven Kingdoms, but it does not. He ends up back where he started— the exiled Night’s Watch. So, moral of the story: always have a Plan B.
10. You Can Get By Doing the Minimum (If You’re Slick)
Imagine you’re doing a group project and you don’t show up to the meetings or even put one PowerPoint slide together, but you show up for the class presentation and somehow get all the credit. Brandon Stark is the epitome of this group member, slickly getting away with doing the minimum and somehow getting all the power. He’s definitely slick about it too, with his warg powers and his fate. After all, he does end up the King and Protector of the Realm. Everyone loves King Bran though, your group members might end up hating you. Either way, he teaches some slick finessing, which can be useful in a twisted sort of way.