Anyone who has seen an episode of House M.D will agree that Gregory House as a character is a bit unorthodox. He’s a complete narcissist with a Messiah complex who appears to gain joy from always winning/being right, while he wears scruffy clothes and pops numerous pills a day. Aside from his famous lesson that ‘everybody lies’, this character taught me a lot about adulthood. In a transition from college life to the real life of adulthood, I realised a lot of things about myself from watching and relating to this character.
Firstly, House made me feel ok about watching crappy TV, and loving it. Having just completed four years of an undergraduate degree and being almost through with my Masters, I always felt this insane pressure to appear more intellectual and worldly than I truly was. The hipster image that I was supposed to identify with as an Arts student was always at battle with the desire to be one of those idiots who think they can sing on the X Factor. House’s secret obsession with daytime soaps and monster trucks made me feel more comfortable in my desire to watch scripted reality TV, shows about people who were addicted to eating toothpaste and overly dramatic soaps. If one of the greatest minds was happy to enjoy the entertainment of the masses without critiquing it or justifying it by making fun of it, then surely it was ok for me to watch shows about people with numerous children, cats and/or wives. Just because you spent a long time in academia does not mean you can only enjoy things that are supposed to stimulate you intellectually. There is nothing wrong with liking the shows that Hipsters and your oh-so-intellectual friends insist you shouldn’t. It doesn’t make you less intelligent. House taught me to get down off my high horse and stop believing that you are better than anyone else because you have a degree. At the end of the day we all watch the Kardashian’s on the sly instead of reading Dickens or keeping up to date with critical theory.
House also taught me about being true to myself, and that means not giving a shit about how I look once I feel comfortable in myself. House wears what he wants. He rocks jeans and t-shirts regardless of what is expected of him in a professional environment. With the intense pressure to look professional for work while having spent years developing your own unique style in college it is hard find a balance between being an adult and being true to the person you have become. House taught me that you can wear what you want because it is all about the work you do at the end of the day. Clothes are clothes and are not necessarily a reflection of your abilities, so you should not dress yourself up to look more capable if it does not make you feel good about yourself. Same goes for tattoos and piercings. Gone are the days when people can judge for having added artfully to your physical appearance so you shouldn’t apologise or hide them. House rocks whatever he likes and so can you (within reason, if you have a dick tattoo on your forehead you might want to consider a hat).
House taught me how to get out of the awkward parties and social occasions that make you cringe. Sometimes this involves lying because despite what people tell you, sometimes being honest is not enough. No matter how many times you tell that friend that you don’t want to go to that party they just don’t want to know. House regularly lies to get out of awkward social gatherings, because sometimes, friends are unwilling to listen to you say you would rather stay home watching the aforementioned crappy TV than pretend to have fun. Part of being an adult though is admitting to yourself you don’t want to do something. It is always preferable to be honest, but if in doubt making an excuse so that you can just stay home is justifiable if it means you are putting yourself first. You don’t have to put yourself through feel awkward, anxious and nervous just to please other people.
House may not be the best influence but his character is probably the only one that truly encapsulates the transition from kind-of-adult to full-blown grown-up, twenty-something. House taught me how to be true to the person that I grew into during my college years and that I don’t have to pretend to be something else now that I am living as an official grown-up.