Whitney Levine
February 15, 2015 7:30 am

The Walking Dead, one of America’s most beloved apocalyptic television show, is about more than just zombies. We get the action scenes of survival, but we also get the more emotion-laden scenes where we really see how the characters develop in a deadly environment. Now that we’re an episode into the midseason premiere, I thought it was time I share the life lessons I’ve learned from the intense television show that somehow both scares us to death and warms our hearts

The Walking Dead reminds us that it’s okay to be human.

From season one up until season five, we’ve basically been there for every character during every bit of adversity.. Through these characters we’ve learned that in the darkest of times it’s okay to be vulnerable. Throughout we’ve seen the compassion and hope that so many of these characters have gained through their challenges. Though a zombie apocalypse seems to be very unlikely in the real world, it’s the lives of these characters we can relate to; in a setting that isn’t real, we’ve learned from their struggles.

You’re stronger than you believe. This show really allows the audience to really feel for and understand the characters. We’re rooting for the good guys to live and we’ve terrified when one of our favorites is cornered by a couple of zombies. In the end, some don’t make it, but when they do, it just shows how strong they were in overcoming their challenges. Fear never gets the best of these stoic characters, and it shouldn’t get the best of you! .

Follow your intuition when it comes to trust.  Throughout the series, Rick follows his instincts when it comes to people and situations, and his gut usually plays a huge part in the group’s survival. Rick trusts rarely, but when he does give his trust, it’s usually on a hunch. This is true not only in the television show but also in the graphic novels. Sometimes Rick’s trust is taken advantage of and from this he learns to be more cautious. Even during times of the apocalypse, giving your trust to someone in real life is a big step and can easily be broken. From broken trust, we learn and grow.

As women, even in a post apocalyptic world, we need to assert ourselves. I’ve been so inspired by the female characters in TWD. Carol, Michonne, Beth, they’re all such powerful role models. They kick undead butt and then turn around and confront domestic abuse, gender roles, and sexual violence. Carol, a survivor of domestic abuse is one of the strongest female characters on television, along with Michonne challenging the typical male hero and Beth confronting the sexual exploitation that occurs during devastating times. Through the challenges they face, they became unbeatable leading ladies who have taught me how to be my own person, a strong women in this world. 

When the world seems lost, love can always be a prevalent force. Love is such a strong and binding force on the show. Love is stronger than any antagonist that comes along and tries to break up the group, stronger than any zombie attack. In real life, love is the same thing, minus the post-apocalyptic circumstances. 

Life is precious and can be taken away so suddenly, but the memory of those who are gone still remain in our hearts. This show demonstrates the fragility of life. Throughout the series, many of our favorite characters meet untimely ends. It was shocking when one of the more influential characters was recently killed off (don’t worry, won’t say who for those who haven’t seen the midseason premiere). When he died, we see memories flash before his eyes, characters who impacted him, and this montage served as a tribute for those who have been lost throughout the series. We see death throughout the show, and it’s always painful when one of our favorite longtime survivors dies. The show serves as a place where audiences can safely explore grief, and we need a place where we can deal fictionally with life’s all too real sorrows.

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