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10 Life Lessons Grey’s Anatomy Taught Us That School Never Did

DISCLAIMER: This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS. If you aren't caught up with the show, do not read this. Or do. But at your own risk.

If you choose to look beyond the deaths, and the heartbreaks, and the tragedies that Grey's Anatomy has become infamous for, you'll realise  how inspiring the show has been. From teaching us the importance of self-love to encouraging us to rise above, Grey's Anatomy has been a teacher we didn't ask for, but really needed, in life. Of course, certain elements are adjusted for dramatic purposes, but the characters, their struggles and their victories are as real as can be and come with their own set of meaningful life lessons.

Shondaland is celebrating 11 years of Grey's Anatomy this week, and as loyalists, we're using the opportunity to list down some of the many life lessons the show has taught us.

To not settle for less than what we deserve.

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In all these years, Meredith has always stood up for herself and asked for what she deserved, both in her personal and professional life. That's feminism right there. 

To learn from our mistakes.

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As interns, MAGIC (Meredith, Alex, George, Izzie, and Cristina) goofed up in every episode, but 11 years later, they're successful surgeons at the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Lesson learnt, never let your mistakes stop you from growing. 

To be okay with not wishing someone well after they hurt you.

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Remember when Dr Burke didn't give credit to Cristina for his surgical successes? Everyone took Cristina's silence as her way of rising above. But in trademark Cristina style, she was vocal about her feelings and showed that sometimes it's okay to not take the high road. 

To know love isn't always reciprocated.

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Grey's Anatomy has, time and again, taught us that love isn't something that shall always be reciprocated, and that emotional genuineness is more important than made-up love.

To know one's own strength. 

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In Season 11, after several ups and downs, MerDer were on wobbly floors again. This is when Meredith realised that she was more than Derek's wife, teaching us to always be respectful of our own selves while honouring those who mean a lot to us.

To be forgiving.

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Throughout the show, the characters have been forgiving of each other, of their patients, and their competitors, which explains the importance of forgiveness and the ability to let go, heal, and grow. 

To put oneself first.

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Self-love and appreciation have been front-running themes since season one, and an uncountable number of moments have been vessels for them. Take Callie and Arizona's divorce for example. Callie realised it was time for her to focus on herself rather than try to pilot a doomed flight. 

To be resilient. 

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A bomb in a body cavity, a drowning, a shooter on the loose, a plane crash, a miscarriage, the death of her sister, the death of her husband, a brutal attack - Meredith has seen it all, survived it all, and emerged as an unavoidable epitome of resilience.

To value freedom.

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From day one, Cristina knew what she wanted in life, and now as the Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Klausman Institute for Medical Research, she has successfully achieved all of that. Because Cristina Yang is #AllKindsOfGoals. 

To let go.

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It is essential to know when to let go, and also, how to let go. Grey's Anatomy has been a constant reminder of that. Just like when after a year of recovering from Derek's death, Meredith returned to Seattle and her work, and moved forward.


Grey's Anatomy has influenced a lot of lives. Hell, for some of us, Grey's Anatomy is life. And believe it or not, we're better humans, thanks to the members of this universe.


Feature Image Source: That's Entertainment
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