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Gilmore Guides

Anna Savage explains why Gilmore Girls is essential viewing for any university student.

On Friday 25th November, if you need to find me I will be glued to my computer screen and frantically scrolling through Netflix. And while it is true you would probably find me doing the same thing most days, okay everyday, this date marks a particularly special viewing event. The reboot machine has finally reunited the writers and cast of Gilmore Girls paving the way for a new 4 part series. It took 9 years but it’s finally here.

To settle my fears that this new season could prove to be more of a Psycho (1998) than a Creed, I decided to go back and re-watch the show that I love so much. As I sat binging on Gilmore Girls I found something new in the show, something I hadn’t found in the countless times I had watched it. I found a sense of reassurance.

At first glance, the character of Rory Gilmore can appear intimidating, especially to a student. The girl is never without a book. If we were in a class together, she would have finished the required reading list before I had even visited the library. Her academic achievements were countless while my greatest achievement is… binge watching Gilmore Girls. She seems pretty perfect and perfection is hard to sympathise with.

But it’s this flawless exterior that makes Gilmore Girls essential viewing for anyone at university. How many times were you told that university would comprise of the best years of your life? That everything would fall into place and you would “discover who you are”? We’re talking Batman vs. Superman levels of expectation here and, much like that film, the experience doesn’t always live up to the hype, something Rory knew all too well.

Despite her valedictorian status at high school, Rory struggled academically at college. Her professor felt the need to pull her aside and request she leave his course because she couldn’t cope with the work load. She didn’t have a lot in common with her flatmates (sorry dorm mates) and struggled to make new friends. Her internship wasn’t all she had imagined or hoped for and the feedback from it hurt her so deeply she decided to take time out from her studies.

As an aspiring journalist, I looked up to Rory which is why I found it a relief when she faltered. I always thought I would end up going to university and spent a lot of time imaging it how it would be. The reality was quite different and, in my first year, I felt as though I wasn’t “doing university right”. But seeing Rory stumble through college gave me comfort that there is no “right” university experience.

College life took its toll on Rory. The idyllic image of attending a prestigious academic institution didn’t quite pan out how she expected. But she still managed to find good friends, get her studies in order and left college with some fun memories and a graduate position to boot.

While I doubt I’ll get on graduate scheme, watching Gilmore Girls helped me let go of what university “should” be and instead be content with what it is.

Image: Halima Begum

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