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Oct 07 2015
by Haley Young

6 Ways How I Met Your Mother Taught Us About Being Adults

By Haley Young - Oct 07 2015

As unrealistic as the premise of "How I Met Your Mother" might be, (really, who sits in a bar every night with their friends when they're thirty?) it's still a show bursting with wisdom in the midst of the crude jokes and everything Barney Stinson. Believe it or not, HIMYM has taught us a few things about what it's really like to be an adult—things that have become even more relevant now that we're actually in college.

1. The Reality Of Staying Up Late

"Nothing good ever happens after 2 am." At first it might seem like you can go days without sleep as you enjoy the exciting things are happening around you. However, the truth is that not much good happens once you reach the wee hours of the morning. Whether you're out partying or just staying up to study before an exam, there's a point where you need to call it quits and give your body some rest. It's the adult thing to do.

2. How Our Preferences Can Change

"Things you may not have liked before may not be that bad later on." We've all been guilty of disliking something we've never really tried; like little kids with broccoli. It's easy to write things off after one bad experience or simply because we don't like the shape or color. But now that we're adults, it's important to branch out and give the world a second shot. We've changed immensely over the past eighteen years and it's perfectly reasonable to assume that our preferences have evolved just as much.

3. The Importance Of Patience

"Wait for it." We longed for college all throughout high school, and now we look forward to the presentation of our degrees and the beginning of our professional careers. It seems that there's always something to run towards to on the horizon. However, we need to remember that we can't make everything happen all at once. Some things simply take time, and as hard as that is to accept, it's vital to be aware of that fact. 

4. How To Avoid Confusion

"Be clear about the things you say." We have all dealt with our own measures of drama in high school. It's safe to say that a majority of it stemmed from miscommunication. As we get older it's important to refine the way we speak about things so as to avoid presenting ourselves inaccurately. Being clear about what we say can save a lot of time and frustration. In the end, make sure you're honest and transparent about everything, right from the beginning.

5. There Are Some Things You Never Outgrow

"You're never too old for a game of laser tag." It's easy to get caught up in what it means to be a mature, self-sufficient individual and to forget that it's okay to also have your childish fun. No matter what gets your heart going, you should never stifle your excitement for something you enjoy. Give yourself permission to be young and adventurous and remember that you don't always have to be an "adult".

6. Good People Are Worth It All

"The most important people in your life are the ones you can picture sitting on a porch with." The resounding message from "How I Met Your Mother" is one of friendship. The people who care about you, get you, and make your awful days survivable are worth doing crazy things to keep around. Never sacrifice someone who makes you feel comfortable and appreciated for someone who might be "cooler" or more exciting. College is an amazing, overwhelming time, and we shouldn't settle for anything less than genuine friends.

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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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