Anyone who knows me is quite (probably more than) aware of my obsession with the hit 90’s television show, Boy Meets World. From owning all seven seasons on DVD, to quoting Mr. Feeny on a daily basis, to still dreaming of my own wedding to Cory Matthews, I might seem a little crazy. But, when I catch my friends binge watching season after season with me, I can tell they understand why this show was so important to us as kids, and continues to be important to us now – it’s because it taught us more than I think we realize.
90’s kids learned more in the halls of John Adams’ High then they did in those of their own schools. In all actuality, Mr. Feeny had millions of students through the years, not just the nine who actually had the privilege of sitting in his classroom, and Amy and Alan Matthews provided parental guidance for an entire generation.
The writers, producers and actors had a talent of secretly teaching young viewers about the more important things in life. Here are just a few of my favorites.
1. Never settle for anything less than your Cory or Topanga.
This is probably the most prominent lesson in the entire series, and if only we all had it as easy as our beloved 90’s power couple. Unfortunately, not everyone meets their soul mate in a sand box when they’re two years old – but that doesn’t mean the waiting won’t be worth it. If we are to take anything away from Cory and Topanga’s relationship it’s that love takes time; time to grow and develop and bloom. We should also learn to believe that there really is that one perfect person out there for everyone, and the fact that you’ll find yourself with him or her someday is inevitable. I think that’s pretty special.
2. Laugh at yourself.
This is best demonstrated by everyone’s favorite older brother, Eric, which *side note: snaps for the writers for gifting Eric with some of my favorite punch lines of all time.* Basically, we all have those moments where we may sound a little stupid – but if you make a mistake in this sense, just laugh at yourself. Odds are people are probably still going to love you. Plus, if you know how to laugh at yourself, I have a really good feeling life will become much easier. And with a name like “Plays With Squirrels” how could you not have a sense of humor?
3. Your parents always know what’s best for you.
Unfortunately I think this is something majority of us don’t learn until later in life, and we even see that in the struggles and arguments Cory encounters with Amy and Alan. For most young adults, this concept typically takes years to develop, but Mr. and Mrs. Matthews were able to teach us how to be more open to our parents’ advice in just 30-minute episodes. Whether it was from practicing baseball for little league everyday, to not co-signing a lease for a first house, Amy and Alan always knew what they were talking about. I still have not fully grasped the concept of how parents can do this – but I am very happy that they can.
4. True love can survive anything, even Pittsburgh.
The two-part episode might as well officially be named as the most tragic hour of 90’s television. Topanga couldn’t leave Philadelphia for good – both her and Cory knew that they were supposed to be together for the rest of their lives, and the two of them were more than determined to make it work. But my girl Topanga, being the badass that she is, ran away back to Pittsburgh to be with Cory. The look on his face when he sees her standing in the doorway still tugs at my heartstrings. Despite what everyone originally says, Topanga gets to stay in Pittsburgh and her and Cory live happily ever after – proving that not only can nothing change destiny, but if two people are willing to go the distance to be together, nothing will be able to come between them.
5. Take the little pieces of advice your teachers give you, chances are they’re probably big pieces.
It’s about time I talk about Mr. Feeny – not only did the man teach every single grade the gang was ever in, but he was also a knowledgeable mentor, caring neighbor and true friend. My personal favorite Feeny quote is “Sometimes the things you complain most about are the things you care most about. Unfortunately we don’t always know that until it’s too late.” Things like this are more often than not brought up in every day conversations we have with instructors, and they typically trend to go right over our heads. I think it’s important to take the time to try and recognize the real-life advice teachers tend to slip us. After all, it’s probably going to be the only thing you’ll actually use in life from their class. It takes a very special person to be a teacher, and those who do dream, try and do good. *Snaps again if you got that Feeny reference.*
6. Find a couple of true friends that are going to love you when you’re not very lovable.
I cannot stress this one enough – if you should strive for anything in life it should be to find a few good life long friends who you can count on for anything. Keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily mean these people have to be from your childhood – sure that’s the case for Cory, Shawn and Topanga, but all of the other essential members of the gang didn’t come into the picture until late high school and early college. Regardless of when they come into your life, cherish them and promise never to leave each other.
7. Families may be different, but you can always find the love even if you have to look hard.
From a typical American family, to step brothers reunited after years, to a father in the military, to unexpected divorce, the show showed us it all. Some of the most tragic moments of the series involve family – such as Shawn and Jack’s dad having a heart attack and passing away and Angela leaving Shawn to go to Europe with her father. But even though the circumstances were very different for our beloved characters, if there was one thing in common, it’s love. There is no model household. There are no model parents. A family is a living, breathing thing that requires constant adjustment and change. I think from this lesson we also learn that sometimes friends will be your family, because you don’t have to be blood to be family. *Feeny reference. Snaps. Again.*