I Should Not Be Reviewing MoviesProfessor Katniss Everdeen – Lessons I Learned From ‘The Hunger Games'Ali Ashbaker

Um, Bella and Harry who? I have been fan-girl-excited for The Hunger Games to come out ever since I saw the first behind-the-scenes photos. It had been a while since I read the books, so I decided to re-read the first one before the big release today. I have to say, a second reading really shed some light on some big lessons I learned. Katniss is a queen and she taught me a lot. Here goes:

Sacrifice Sucks, But It’s Worth It- Katniss makes the ultimate sacrifice for her sister Prim. Homegirl is literally (potentially) giving up her life in this situation. Now, I don’t necessarily take it by the letter of the law in this case, but I think sacrifice is huge in life. I have got to make priorities and I have got to stick to them. Is my career my priority? Then I can’t beat myself up when I miss a night out with friends because I was busy going the extra mile at work, like a boss. Is getting healthy my priority? No. (Sometimes when I run out of clean forks I use a potato chip or a cookie instead.) But it should be. So I shouldn’t wallow when I have to skip a dinner party to hit up my Tracy Anderson DVD. In the end, Katniss taught me that things that are worth sacrificing for usually pay off in the long run.

Get A Mentor – A Real One- Beyoncé has been my life coach ever since she declared her body to be ‘too bootylicious fo’ ya, babe’.  But I don’t exactly have her number in my phone, ya know? So she doesn’t count as my real mentor. Whenever celebrities went on Oprah (miss you, girl!), she would always ask them who in their life tells them the truth, because apparently a common celeb misstep is the ever-present Yes Man. I find this to be my number one quality in my future mentor: truth serum. Haymitch Abernathy acts as Katniss’ mentor through the games and, despite seeming untrustworthy in the beginning, always tells her the truth. Big lesson for me.

Gracious Competition, Y’all- 1994 is notorious in my house as the year of ‘The Monopoly Incident’. All of my neighbors had come over for a friendly game of Monopoly. Sadly, the game ended with me spitting one of the hotels at the kid playing banker and ripping the game board in half. I was not a gracious competitor, y’all. Surprisingly, no one wanted to play board games with me post incident. Luckily, Katniss taught me how to compete. You have to identify your skills and perfect them; work extremely hard to be the best; never let your ego get bigger than your skill set and always learn from those around you. Check, check, check and working on it.

Be Brave About Your Authentic Self-  There is one thing that Katniss just doesn’t have time for: shame.  She was herself, through and through, and she never made any apologies for it. It’s the toughest times that build the most character and Katniss has character for days. Now, I don’t have any plans to spearhead a global revolution, but I do have some life plans that are borderline terrifying. Katniss taught me that unless my dreams have me shaking in my boots, I’m not dreaming big enough.  And if I ever feel insecurity creeping up, I just paint my nails a fiery red, braid my hair and channel a little Katniss.

I wanna know: What did you learn from The Hunger Games? Do you guys think Jennifer Lawrence is perfect as Katniss? I will be back next week with my professional super-sophisticated review of the movie, but in the meantime, try some of these to get ready for the premiere.

Photo from here

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  1. here are my random thoughts after seeing the movie last night (and of course, i’ve read the trilogy):
    -the beauty of Peeta’s perfect and selfless love for Katniss.
    -the parallels between the Capitol and our own society’s sick obsession with entertainment at all costs.
    -everyone in the theater cheered when Thresh killed Clove and when Peeta and Katniss killed Cato. THIS sent chills down my spine. Did they miss the ENTIRE MESSAGE????
    -i’m going to see it again in a few weeks after i’ve absorbed it all.

  2. Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss= Perfection.

  3. I agree. It is so nice to have a female heroine who can kick some serious capitol ass! I love Bella, but lets face it, she isn’t the exact pillar of strength and confidence. I think Jennifer is going to be amazing and I could not picture anyone else playing Katniss. I can not wait to watch this movie I feel I have waited years for! Tonight is the night! Great article! I’m so pumped!

  4. I’m so glad this next big movie franchise actually has somebody other girls can (and should!) look up to. Katniss is one of the most level-headed heroines I’ve seen in a while. It’s feels good knowing there is someone is in the media and entertainment world (who can actually portray courage, valor and heart) that my little sister can look up to.

  5. ~Really Really Good Article~

  6. Haha those books change lives!
    The hunger games taught me to work hard so i can be as badass as Katniss.
    Jennifer Lawrence was perfect as Katniss, i couldn’t imagine anyone else. She has been one of my favourite actresses for the longest time and if you haven’t seen her in Winter’s Bone it is a necessity, she is one of the most talented actresses of this generation.
    The movie was fantastic, a really great adaptation of the book, there were very few points where i found myself wishing they’d done it different and only a few things i didn’t like seeing left out.
    I hope everyone enjoys it as much as i did! Fans of the book or not, it’s a great film.