For me, if you haven’t seen One Tree Hill then you are probably living under a rock when it comes to college life. If One Tree Hill isn’t your favorite TV show or at least a top five contender then, for me, something is wrong with you, chances are you might want to go see a doctor. OTH first aired in September of 2003 and didn’t have great ratings at first but continued to keep the show going to see if people would pick up on it, and boy it did.
One Tree Hill easily became a household name, it easily reached the heart of many of America’s teens. Although the actors playing teens were way past there teen years the show was still relatable. In fact the show was the most relatable thing to hit TV in quite a while. It had broken families, together families, love, heartbreak, teen pregnancy, lies, betrayal, friendships, high school, and happiness.
It talked about issues like teen pregnancy, weight issues, suicide, mental illness, rape and a multitude of other things. But it didn’t force these topics on you like your parents would, or make them feel weird. It made them seem relatable and captured Americans attention.
One Tree Hill first aired when I was seven and I don’t think I started watching it until the fourth season, when I was eleven. After the first episode of the fourth season I fell in love with the show, so I went back and watched it from season one to catch up and I continued watching it until the ninth and final season in 2012.
When it ended I felt like some of my closest friendships finished, I felt like I knew these people! As weird as it seems I honestly felt like Jamie was my little brother, and that I could go downtown to shop at Brooke’s clothing store, Clothes Over Bros, and that Haley was a lifelong friend. When it ended the only logical thing to do and the only thing that would keep me sane after was to re watch all nine seasons.
Since it’s ended I’ve watched all of the episodes about six times and every time I re-watch an episode I learn something new, and relate to it. I’ve cried with the show, laughed, been sad and been happy all because of the show greatness. OTH changed my life and I’m certain it has changed others as well. Here are some things that the show taught me.
Meaning of family
From Karen and Lucas always having each other’s back, Nathan and Lucas getting past their differences, Haley and Nathan making things work for their families. Dan saving Nathan after Nathan wanted nothing to do with Dan for so long. The show showed all the mishaps and misfortunes of family life but also showed that with family you have it all.
Value of friendships
Lucas and Haley were great friends. They were there for each other constantly. They picked each other up whether they were right down the road from each other, or miles apart. Brooke and Peyton were typical BFFs and like all friendships, they had their fair share of fights, tears, and laughs. Brooke was there for Peyton when crazy Derek posed as Peyton’s brother. They got past the whole Lucas fiasco ordeal. They welcome Haley into their friendship family. Nathan and Lucas grew to be best buds and the best of brothers despite everything with their dad. Each and every cast member showed you that friends are more than friends, they’re family.
That zero is not a size
Everywhere you turn there is someone telling you that SKINNY SKINNY SKINNY is the “it” thing and that you have to be model thin to be successful. You have to be perfect and you have to do whatever it takes to achieve that. You have to starve yourself, over work yourself, and belittle yourself to be accepted.
OTH never made it out to be that way. There was one episode in particular where Brooke is a big designer in New York and she is furious that her models are SO skinny, so she hires her friend Millicent to walk the runway sporting a tank that says “Zero is not a size”. That has always stuck in my head through the years.
Never give up on the people you love
Everyone at some point is difficult to deal with, they’re difficult to love but you do it anyway. You push through the hard times with them whether those hard times last a week, five weeks, or three months, you get through it. You love them, help them, listen to them, let them know that you’re there for them no matter what.
Whether it be drugs, alcohol, friends, relationships, or simply timing and life you never give up on someone you love because chances are if you put in time with this person you will get through whatever is going on.
Never forget where you come from
Everyone grew up in this small town, basketball is the game and Tree Hill is the name. They went to school there. They lived and they loved there. After high school everyone went their separate ways, Peyton went to LA, Brooke went to New York and the others took a different ways too. But Tree Hill was still home. It was where their parents lived and where they walked the streets many times before. They could always come back to it. That’s the thing, where you grew up is always going to be home no matter where life takes you.
Meagan is a student at University of Alabama at Birmingham majoring in Marketing.