ONE THING I LEARNED FROM EACH CHARACTER OF “F•R•I•E•N•D•S”

We have been graced with our favorite six friends once again, all thanks to good ol’ Netflix. For me, it was a chance to binge-watch all 10 seasons (instead of catching the odd re-run here and there), of the story of lifelong “F•R•I•E•N•D•S” and all the growing pains that come along with it.

By the end of the ten seasons I felt attached to these characters, and I wasn’t ready for them to go, but, sadly, those keys were left on that counter one last time and they broke my heart (oh, my bad, I should say spoiler alert!)

After going through some hectic withdrawal symptoms, don’t act like you don’t have them, I was able to reflect on what I got out of spending all of those hours of watching Ross scream: “We were on a break!” and Joey not willing to share his food with anyone. These were the results:

CHANDLER

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The biggest turning point in this character is when Chandler decides to take the leap and start in advertising from the bottom. This is something not a lot people are willing or event able to do. This made me think about what I do: is this what I want to do for the rest of my life? I need to make the move now and build my experience before I no longer have the chance to move (because of houses, kids etc.) Chandler teaches us to always follow our dreams, no matter where you are in your life. If you leave it for tomorrow, tomorrow will become today and today you have already made an excuse.

ROSS

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Ross… ROss… ROSS… His high pitched reactions really shows you what over reacting looks like. Event after everything with Carol finding her partner, watching Rachel jump from man to man, if there is anything we can take away from Ross, it’s resilience. No matter what was thrown his way, even when one of his best friends dated Rachel, Ross always had his sight set on her. He always remained a good friend, a present father even if it meant dressing up as the Christmas armadillo to make his point. This man has resilience that we can all apply in our everyday life and towards our passions. Remember that you may take two steps back now so that you can take four steps forward in the future.

PHOEBE

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Phoebe’s definitely my favorite character of the entire show; she’s a slight outsider, yet is so part of the family. What I learned from Phoebe was that tenacity & authenticity are the keys to life. Phoebe was legit her own person in her own way with a little bit of spunk. I’d probably say I wish I was like that, but that wouldn’t be the Phoebe-way, now would it? Take no shame in who you are: embrace it, love it, adore it! That is crucial, even more so in today than ever before. Even if it means sitting in a coffee house, singing a song about a smelly cat; if that is who you are–BE IT!

JOEY

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How you doin’? (You definitely read that with Joey’s voice in your head.) If you didn’t, you probably haven’t watched enough Friends. Clearly Joey was never one of the smartest friends. At first, he didn’t earn the most money, but that never dampened Joey’s spirit. The positive energy his character carries is one of my favorites; that is something I believe the whole world could do more with. Less negative thoughts or trying to better the next person – just being the true you, a happy you. If we were all a little happier here, I think everything would be a whole lot easier.

MONICA

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If it were true, I would say Monica is my weight loss idol, but it’s too unrealistic to relate to. What I can take away from Monica, though, is the way her home was everyone’s home. I wish I had that: a house where my friends would just come in, uninvited, helping themselves to the contents of my fridge and watching my TV. Her home is everyone’s home, even to the viewer. I definitely aim to have this with my friends one day. I want my home to be everyone’s home where they come and go even if I’m not home. I know my dogs would really appreciate the constant company.

RACHEL

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Hmmm… Rachel was the hardest one for me. To be honest, her character wasn’t one of my favorites, but if there was something that I learned from her, it would be that it’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to be unsure, that is how you grow as a person and become a better person. If you compare the Rachel that ran into the coffee shop in her wedding dress and the Rachel that boarded the flight to Paris, her character definitely grew the most. She grew because she was scared of losing Daddy’s money and whatever other perks, but she channeled that feeling into serving coffee, even though she was really bad at it.

JANICE

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One last noteworthy mention, Janice, oh Janice. The one thing I learned from this loud, laughing, crazy lady was how to be an expert in personal branding. No matter where you go or where you are from, you will always remember the voice of Janice when you see the words: ‘Oh. My. God. Chandler Bing!’ It’s as iconic as the Central Perk itself.

What are some of the things you have taken away from a series that you recently binge-watched? Chat about it with your binge-watching vinas on Hey! VINA!