5 Life Lessons Fans Learned From ‘One Tree Hill’

Netflix may have taken away 'OTH', but they will never take away how the show had captured the hearts of fans.
October 16, 2017
9 mins read

It’s a new month and in Netflix terms, that means “out with the old and in with the new.” This month, Netflix took off all nine seasons of “One Tree Hill,” and people are not happy about it.

At some point in life, it is likely that “OTH” has taken a toll on you. Between bawling my eyes out one night, screaming at my screen another and then getting that feel-good emotion the next, “One Tree Hill” has changed my life.

Some may say that it’s too dramatic or that it isn’t realistic, and in some instances that could be true, but we all go through tough times, and so do the characters in “OTH.” From season one to season nine, the show has remained close to the hearts of devoted fans. “It’s the oldest story in the world,” says protagonist Nathan Scott. “One day you’re seventeen and planning for someday. And then quietly and without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And that someday is yesterday. And this is your life.”

Between Haley and Nathan’s relationship, Brooke’s success, Peyton’s struggles, and so on, “One Tree Hill” is more than just a TV show. Although fictional, there are many hidden lessons millennials should be aware of. With Netflix taking away what seems like a huge chunk of our life—Haley, Nathan, Lucas, Brooke, Peyton, Mouth, Quinn, Clay, Skills, Julian, Jamie, Keith, and even Dan Scott—these characters taught their fans useful lessons without even noticing. Here’s proof of a select five (out of many) times “OTH” discretely gave people relatable life lessons.

1. Everyone has flaws, but they don’t define you.

In today’s society, weaknesses seem to become who you are. Even though you don’t mean to, everyone seems to stereotype each other, think more about the negative rather than the positive and use it to label one another. Behind the labels and flaws, everyone has their own story and struggles. Along with that, people seem to judge and compare themselves to one another. Rather than taking those flaws and making them define you, even if you are your own worst critic, you should accept yourself and highlight your strengths.

At the end of the day, loving yourself and who you are is most important in life. For every personal weakness, you have your own strength. Embrace your label and have that steer you in the direction of who you are supposed to be. Overcoming your flaws is easier said than done, but in order to do so, learn to love and accept yourself and eventually, people will as well.

2. Life is short, so do what your heart tells you to do.

(Image via We Heart It)

In the moment, you feel as if you have all the time in the world. But life is a fast rollercoaster with many ups and downs and rarely comes to a stop. For every down in your life, make your way back up, because you never know what is to come in the next hour, the next week or the next year. Life is too short to be upset about something you can control.

Love someone? Be with them. Not happy with someone? End it, because there is someone out there who will make you happy. Don’t let anyone else tell you how you feel or what to do, because all in all, you are the one who deals with the results. Take risks, be yourself and love who you want to love. Make a mistake? Learn from it and move on. And remember, the people who are meant to be in your life will stand by you through it all.

3. In the end, people can change.

From season one to season nine, many characters changed for the better. From Brooke Davis to Nathan Scott and, the most surprising, Dan Scott, they should give you hope that people can change. Brooke turned into a beautiful, strong-willed, young woman from her old “dumb cheerleader” self in high school. Nathan Scott turned into the brother, husband and father to your children that most people dream for. Years before that, he was known as a self-conceited jock.

And lastly: Dan Scott. You probably spent much of your energy hating on him the majority of the show, but in the end, he is proof that even the worst can turn to the best. Whether it’s time, growing up, love, or a simple realization, change can happen.

4. You’re allowed to feel hurt.

(Image via Fickle Thoughts All Over)

If Jamie Scott can tell you it’s okay to cry, then it’s okay to cry. Everyone goes through rough patches. We are allowed to be content, and we are allowed to be upset. Surround yourself with people who support you through all emotions.

Need to cry? Here’s a shoulder to cry on. Need a laugh? Let’s laugh. Listen to Haley James Scott and make room for those smiles. Don’t hold in your feelings. Let it out and allow yourself to heal.

5. You can make a difference. 

Between Brooke Davis and Haley James Scott, they both made a difference by accepting the problem and helping to fix it. In Brooke’s case, she created the campaign, “Zero is not a size.” Brooke once said, “Anorexia is a disease, not a fashion statement,” and that was inspiring. The media has glamorized and put an emphasis on a perfect body, which is portrayed as a thin, unhealthy person.

With Haley, after her mother passed away, she was diagnosed with depression. Depression is a real issue and affects society in so many ways. Haley was fortunate enough to eventually get out of her depression, but she then took her experience and began working for a depression hotline. We all have our struggles, but you can take those struggles and save a life. Your help can go a long way.

“One Tree Hill” may have been taken away from us, but the life lessons the show gave their fans are memorable and will last forever. There may be only one “Tree Hill,” but you can take these life lessons and change for the better like Nathan Scott, pursue your dreams like Haley James Scott, create a huge career move from a rough time like Brooke Davis, be the friend like Lucas Scott or learn how to heal like Peyton.

Alyssa Cook, Ball State University

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Alyssa Ellyn Cook

Ball State University
Fashion Merchandising

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