Life Lessons from VH1

I’ll start by introducing myself- I’m Lindsey and I’m currently the Graduate Advisor for UPB. I went to JMU for my undergrad so I’m officially a “double duke” and so far (fingers crossed) I’m glad I stayed. Working for UPB has been an adventure to say the least, but a fun adventure at that, and I’ve gotten to know some great people in the past few months. One of those people – Stephen Eure, our PR Director, recently came to me with the task of contributing a post to UPB’s blog, and I readily accepted the challenge.

picture from mandmglobal.comAt first I struggled with what to write about, but after a long and intense 4 minute session of brainstorming I figured this was a safe place to reveal my deepest, darkest secret. You ready for this? Here goes.. I’m obsessed with reality television. In my defense I’m quite picky- shows like Survivor and Big Brother just don’t get me hyped up. I’m a one-channel kind of gal and VH1 reality has stolen my heart.

It all started my freshman year when Flava Flav began his search for love. I was hooked. My roommate and I tuned in to Flav’s rollercoaster love ride each week without fail. That of course became my gateway drug into future reality shows. The ever classy “Miss New York” piggybacked off Flav’s show and VH1 soon exploded with celebrities documenting their scandal-filled search for love.

I’ll admit, it’s definitely a guilty pleasure. Over the years I’ve begun to wean myself off the addition and now generally catch re-runs of these shows. However, there are a few life lessons I’ve gained from this addiction that can relate to my assistantship with UPB.

  1. Be real. This imaginary line between real and fake seems to consume reality television but it makes a good point. It’s just like your parents used to say; honesty is the best policy. I’ve learned not to be so wishy-washy when it comes to making decisions and be up front with what I’m thinking instead of sitting on the sidelines. Nobody likes a fake!
  2. Learn how to handle conflict. More often than not, the drama queen who starts all the fights is eventually revealed and kicked off. To be successful in any career you have to be able to work with others and handle conflict in a mature manner. Violence is not the answer, people!
  3. Decisions from higher-ups may surprise you. Who was utterly shocked when New York chose Tailor Made over Tango? I definitely wasn’t expecting it. Ultimately as students we don’t have much say over some important decisions. We certainly have input, but someone else has the last say.


    picture from

    Oh the things you can learn from New York...

  4. Strangers may have bigger influence than you may think. Ok, so in real life most people don’t put on fatsuits and hire a team to make a new face just so they can spy on you like in reality shows. However, you never know who may have a say in your future. That guy you met at a party last weekend may be on a hiring committee for you five years from now. Be nice to strangers!
  5. Your past can come back and haunt you. When Daisy’s ex-boyfriend shows up at “Rock of Love” and revealed to poor, innocent Bret Michaels that he and Daisy were still living together, her future with Bret didn’t look so hot. How does this relate to the real world? Facebook. I know this topic is crammed down your throats in undergrad but it’s absolutely true. That one picture of you doing a kegstand your freshman year could be the breaking point for a future employer. Just a thought..

Ultimately it’s up to you how you portray yourself to your friends, family and coworkers but these are just a few thoughts to keep in mind as you get closer to graduation and start thinking about the “real world”. But hey, if nothing else works out, maybe you’ll get your own reality show. That’s my backup plan :).

– Lindsey