Let’s face it, every Daria fan likes to swear up and down that Daria herself was the epitome of wisdom. The last person on the Big Fandom List (copyright pending) of relatable characters would have to be Quinn Morgendorffer. She’s shallow, she’s self-absorbed, she’s optimistic. If anything is an affront to the teenage senses, it’s positivity. And that’s the key word here: teenage. There’s no question that how we view shows changes with age. My teenage self would never relate to Quinn on any level. That would be going against every fiber of my being. My twenty year old self feels a lot differently. Who’s to say that Quinn is any less smart than Daria herself? These are just some of the little lessons that Quinn got at fourteen that I didn’t see until I was out of high school. Maybe there is a brain underneath all of that hairspray.
1. Less Is More
“Oh, Daria, are we that desperate that we have to resort to the truth?”
Quinn understood that it doesn’t take a twenty-page dissertation to get your point across. It’s the simplest phrases that pack the most punch. Choosing your words wisely is a talent that comes with practice and Quinn was lucky enough to flex her skills on a daily basis. We all have that one person who we’d love to verbally rip to shreds. Whether it’s a family member, a co-worker, or a friend (can anyone say Sandi Griffin?), we’ve all been there. Imagine the chaos that would ensue at Thanksgiving dinner if you told Aunt Margaret where you really wanted her to shove her opinions. It takes finesse to shut someone down both effectively and cleanly. Nobody wants to break out the claws if they can help it (breaking nails is so not cool). Take a page out of Quinn’s book: be subtle. There’s nothing wrong with sugarcoating. There’s a place and time for arguments, which adulthood has definitely taught me. Choose your battles wisely.
2. Determination is Key
“Look, when you get thrown off a horse you have to get back up and shoot it, right?”
When I think “apathy”, I think “Daria”. When I think “persistence”, I think “Quinn”. While her end goals might not have always been the best, she sure knew how to barrel towards them. Vice president of the Fashion Club? Check. Lead role in the school play? Check. Winner of modeling competition? Well, almost. Quinn knew how to put her best foot forward because the word “failure” wasn’t a part of her vocabulary. After all, if someone else could do it, why couldn’t she? It’s that kind of attitude that produces results. Hell, she single-handedly convinced the rest of her friends to get a tutor and still managed to be the only one to improve. Now, that’s hardwork.
3. Get Organized
“But I can’t cancel all my other dates. I have to stick to my commitments. Besides, I wrote them down in pen.”
Everyone knows how hectic life can get. From appointments, to parties, to anniversaries. Dates seem to meld together and sometimes it’s impossible to keep track of what’s what. As a teenager, this concept was almost completely lost on me. Why make a list of priorities when I can just jump from one thing to the next? After all, there’s plenty of time, right? Ah ha, right. Quinn understood the importance of prioritizing: “One: dating. Two: shopping. Three: bouncy hair. Four: school”. Sure, maybe school should be number one on that list, but you can’t knock her for trying. From dates to wardrobe, Quinn had her life cataloged down to the letter. Quinn knew exactly when Cashman’s was having a one-day only sale and you just know she’d never miss a fashion show. If I had that kind of meticulous attention to detail at that age, I’d be set for life. And who says that a make-up database doesn’t need to exist? How else would she know when to get more of that coral lipstick?
* I suppose it’s fitting she gave some dating tips once upon a time.
Do yourself a favor and take a page from Quinn’s book one of these days. You’d be surprised.