Life Lessons As Told By Sue Heck
For the longest time, I was referred to as Sue Heck. I used to be offended by this since The Middle’s Sue Heck is a bit of an eccentric character. However, I now view being called Sue Heck as a positive thing. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up and realized how much Sue and I are alike. Maybe it’s also because she’s a such a REAL character. Over the past eight seasons, I have learned a lot from Sue.
Embrace your quirkiness:
The fear of not fitting in during high school and college is a familiar feeling. With Sue, she never pretends to be someone she isn’t. She embraces her weirdness, and she doesn’t care who judges her. As I venture through college, I have to remind myself not to fear being me. Sue makes it look easy, but that’s what makes her a great character. She’s so confident with who she is, and she doesn’t change to fit in with the people around her.
Never give up, even if you fail a thousand times:
How many times has Sue tried out for a sport or activity and failed? Way too many times to remember. Despite her continuous failure, she never gives up. In fact, her failure only builds her up. Sue realizes there is one thing she will eventually excel at, and she intends to keep going until she finds it. It’s so easy to get discouraged and give up, but Sue doesn’t. (On occasion she’s tempted, but she never follows through.) Many times I’ve thought about giving up on writing, but I’m glad I didn’t. By not giving up, just like Sue, I found something that makes me happy. And that’s why Sue never gives up; she knows when she finds what makes her happy that all her failures will have been worth it. (Although, I did give up in gym class after falling flat on my face mid-cartwheel, so kudos to Sue.)
Turn negative situations into positive ones:
I swear, Sue is the queen of positivity. Life has a way of absolutely sucking and all you want to do is crawl under the covers and watch Netflix, but Sue has a way of making a negative situation into a positive one. I wish I was as good at that, but I guess we all have our weaknesses! We can’t all be total Sue Hecks.
Pursue what makes you happy:
In season 8, Sue is considering what she wants to pursue in college. This is such a scary decision! One I just made a year ago. Sue tossed around a few ideas, but none of the majors made her particularly happy, until she found one she believed she could succeed in. Just like Sue, I had a hard time deciding what it was that would make me happy. I considered a few majors until I finally found the fit for me: journalism. Sue hadn’t even considered majoring in hospitality until she looked at her strengths, then that field of study made sense. It would make her happy.
Know it’s okay to cry:
Oftentimes, when you cry, you believe you’re being over-dramatic or weak. Quite the opposite. Days aren’t always easy and sometimes it’s okay to flop onto your bed and let the tears flow. Allowing my emotions is a lesson Sue taught me. Life isn’t always smooth sailing and you can’t be afraid of showing some vulnerability. It’s normal for a young women like Sue to have those moments. It’s normal for anyone, of any age. Sometimes all you need is a good cry.
Bonus—Let your fangirl flag fly:
I get judged A LOT for fangirling. It’s fine though. Look at how Sue just casually throws a fandom reference into an every day conversation. Never be afraid to make fandom references. Fangirl without fear! (Now I would like everyone to stop judging me when I reference Once Upon a Time in conversations.)
The next time someone calls me Sue Heck, I won’t argue it. I’ll own it. We are similar: both middle children, both the same age and both a bit awkward. Among other things. Sue Heck is a rare breed in the world of TV characters. She’s a character who has flaws, who fails, who never gives up and who always adds a positive spin. TV needs more characters like Sue. She’s also very comical and entertaining to watch every week. I never thought I would relate and connect to a fictional character as much as Sue Sue Heck. Lo and behold, I do! I am sure a lot of others do too.