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Jan 26 2016
by Haley Young

6 Ways How I Met Your Mother Taught Us To Be Better at College

By Haley Young - Jan 26 2016

Though "How I Met Your Mother" takes place when the gang is graduated, there are still plenty of flashbacks to their glory days in college -Ted even returned to teach, while Marshall spent some extra time being a student in law school. As sensationalized as a comedy show like this might be, there are still a lot of college lesson realities highlighted in the lives of our beloved characters.

1. The truth about procrastination.

Remember when Marshall put off his 25 page paper until the night before, ended up partying with the gang, and had to stay up and endure one of the most stressful binge-writing sessions of his life? He may have pulled out a B- but we all realized that procrastinating isn't exactly the best choice.

2. The importance of being accepting.

When Ted welcomed Lily into his and Marshall's Halloween picture their freshman year, he had no idea if she would end up being a permanent part of his roommate's life or not. He could have chosen to save the photo moment for just him and his best friend, but he invited Lily into the shot and years later the gang still looks back on this picture - the first picture of Marshall and Lily as a couple. This just goes to show the importance of being open and accepting, and the vitality of embracing everyone new who comes into your life. You never know who will end up sticking around a few years down the road.

3. The ability to rally.

Barney's hangover fixer elixir may be a placebo, but the reality of getting up and rallying is an important one. You have to deal with your choices day in and day out, and sometimes that means pushing yourself to your limits through headaches, fatigue or whatever else college might bring your way.

4. The truth about doing what you love.

Lily's art degree may not have gotten her a high end job right out of school, but eventually she becomes a consultant for "The Captain" and all of her hard work pays off. It's important to embrace what you really love to do even if it seems a little impractical - your dreams may not give you the most security or financial standing, but staying true to your passions will be worth it for your happiness and sense of self. 

5. Our professors are human, too.

A well-seasoned professor can be a little intimidating to the freshmen who nervously step into an overcrowded lecture hall. Watching Ted teach architecture in "How I Met Your Mother" reminds us that your professors are just as human as you are - they have lives, families, friends, and their own personal struggles and triumphs. It may seem that they have it all together, but sometimes they face just as many difficulties as you do. It's important to be understanding and forgiving, and to most importantly not let yourself be intimidated by someone just as three-dimensional as you are.

6. The importance of friendship.

In a more sentimental moment, Barney shares with some playbook apprentices that no cool thing you do is worth it unless your friends are there to see. This rings true for just about everything in college - it's easy to get caught up in the books and the stress and the internships, but at the end of the day these four years of your life are about connections just as much as they're about lectures. Surround yourself with people you love day in and day out, and never be afraid to show them how much they're appreciated.

Lead image credit: How I Met Your Mother Wiki.

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Haley Young - University of Wisconsin–Madison

Haley Young is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin Madison and loves everything about being a Cheesehead. Writing is her biggest passion, but she's pretty fond of bad puns and Christmas lights too. You can find out more about her and her work at

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