Don't laugh, but I'm a little sad today. Tonight is the season finale of Glee, my biggest guilty pleasure TV show. A lot has happened since the program returned in the fall: Rachel moves to NYC, Finn goes off to college, Kurt follows Rachel to the big city, the glee club gets a ton of new members, including wide-eyed, beautiful Marley, the list goes on and on. Thursday's episode will surely have a ton of exciting and perhaps shocking moments, but before tuning in, think about all the things we've learned this season so far. I, for one, was impressed with the second half of the season, and even though the show isn't what it used to be, I'm still gaining a ton from it. Here's what I got out of McKinley High this year.
1. Sometimes teachers who are mean up front are actually looking out for you
At the beginning of the season, NYADA teacher Cassie July picked on Rachel a lot. Rachel assumed Cassie was simply out to get her, but as we saw in the penultimate episode of the season, she knew Rachel was special all along and was merely trying to prep her to be the best performer possible. Aw!
2. It's OK not to love college right away
When Rachel first gets to college in NYC, she's homesick and sad. She misses her boyfriend, hates having a promiscuous roommate, and feels victimized by teacher Cassie July. Once she admits things aren't perfect, her buddy Kurt joins her in NYC and life slowly but surely improves. Now look at her: she's auditioning for a Broadway show! Good things come to those who wait.
3. Sometimes you just have to break up with your high school sweetheart
It doesn't mean you'll never be together again, but when you're living in two different places and starting fresh, it's best to have a completely clean slate, and I mean spotless.
4. Your hot new boyfriend may not be as great as he seems
In Rachel's case, he turns out to be a male prostitute. I found this notion a little ridiculous, but because I live in NYC, I know nothing is too weird for this place.
5. Always listen to your friends' advice about the guy you're dating
Santana ends up figuring out that Rachel's weird new flame is a gigolo. Never underestimate the wisdom of your pals.
6. Peer pressure is the worst
At the start of the season, cute new girl Marley is told she should lose some pounds. She listens to the mean cheerleader trying to bring her down and ends up fainting during a major glee competition. The two have since patched things up and Marley holds her own, but she had a rough time getting to this happy place.
7. Most bad boys have a soft side
Can I just say I love the Marley/Jake romance? Maybe even more than "Finchel" (Finn and Rachel, for the uninitiated:).
8. It's easy to get Catfished
Someone has been "Catfishing" poor Ryder for a while now, and frankly, I want to know who the jerk behind this wild goose chase is. He learned a couple weeks ago that people aren't always who they say they are online, and if you haven't figured that out yet, now you know too.
9. For God's sake, sometimes you have to leave your hometown and stop hanging out at your old high school
For the most part, this wasn't an awesome season for Finn, who wasn't cut out for the military or college in the fall. He stayed in his hometown to help instruct the high school glee club, only to butt heads with his former favorite teacher, kiss said educator's fiance, ruin an engagement, and seem like a stuck sadsack for months on end. He redeems himself toward the end of the season by leaving McKinley, starting college, and declining Mr. Schuester's invitation to come back, but I was pretty worried for a while that he'd be coasting through life forever. Glad that's no longer the case!
10. Patience pays off
At the end of season three, Kurt doesn't get into NYADA. He is crushed, but eventually realizes he has nothing to lose and moves off to NYC anyway. With Rachel by his side, he gives it another shot and is eventually accepted. You may not get what you want when you want it, but that doesn't mean you should give up on your dreams for good. Kurt didn't, and now he's walking on air in the big city and hanging with the likes of Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker. Not too shabby.