It can’t be a coincidence that two of the most iconic TV characters of our teenage/young adult/current years have the SAME birthday, can it? On August 25, Rachel Bilson—a.k.a. Summer Roberts from The O.C.— turns 36 and Blake Lively—a.k.a. Serena van der Woodsen from Gossip Girl—turns the big 3-0 and we literally can’t believe we never noticed this magical joint birthday before. To celebrate this most holy day, we’re looking back on what it was like growing up with these leading ladies as our inspiration and all the important life lessons their characters taught us. Bring on the nostalgia!
They dished out dating wisdom like:
What kinds of guys we should date…
In a time when the dating landscape was (and is, TBH) full of f-ckboys and guys our father’s would defs disapprove of, Serena reminded us that you should really be with a guy who encourages you to be yourself.
And which ones we should def not ignore
Summer and Serena changed the dating world as we knew it when they both ‘shipped guys outside of their popularity bubble and basically made nerdy boys a hot commodity.
That when it comes to love, you have to go after what you want
Serena was the queen of following her heart and saying “screw the consequences.” And while that had the tendency to backfire—the whole married Congressman/Nate’s cousin relationship thing was’t a home run—she never had to wonder, what if?
Don’t forget—they also taught us how to be single
Summer showed us the “Clear Your Ex Out of Your Life” strategy when Seth left her behind to follow Ryan to Portland and Serena taught us this:
They were full of generally helpful life advice like:
You might not be able to change your past but you *can* change your future…
Let’s be honest, Serena’s past was pretty screwed up. And even though she obvs made some major mistakes during the series, she was always trying to right her wrongs.
And you can make your future whatever you want it to be
Serena and Blair always reminded us that your future is in *your* hands and nobody else’s. (Unless maybe when Georgina Sparks came to town.)
You just gotta take action
Summer was the one who taught us to always have a plan. Whether it was sneaking out of a mall after hours, getting the core four back together, or organizing a Kick-Off Carnival, she always knew what to do next.
How to literally give zero effs
Because some people just aren’t worth the energy *cough cough Georgina Sparks.*
Don’t take yourself too seriously
Summer sticking her tongue out while walking down the aisle is literally everything we aspire to be.
And of course, the art of YOLO (within reason, of course)
Drake would be so proud.
They also imparted countless essential fashion and beauty tips, of course, like:
The power of a really good outfit
Serena was a straight-up fashion powerhouse in Gossip Girl and TBH we’re still taking style tips from her five years after the series wrapped.
The fact that everyone—even the most gorgeous gals with the biggest closets—has a hard time picking an outfit in the morning
How to nail the perfect hair flip
Because thats really the most important lesson of all, right?
Finally, they taught us the importance of your ride-or-dies because:
The best friendships can endure even the worst fights
This lesson was hidden in basically every episode of Gossip Girl because despite the number of outrageous fights Serena and Blair had, they always had each others backs.
And no matter what, you always stand by your bestie
Marissa did some p. messed up shit in season three—does her little party binge with Volchok ring a bell?—but no matter how bitchy Marissa was to Summer (and she was like, Grade-A bitchy a lot of the time) she forgave it all, because that’s what besties do.
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