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We asked some of our favorite fictional characters what one piece of advice or word of wisdom they’d give to the average person going about their daily life. Here were their responses.

 

Peeta Mellark, The Hunger Games

Don’t assume there will be time later to do the things you really want to do. If you like a girl, tell her. If you see a way to help someone, help them. Maybe it’ll be hard, or scary, but it’s worth it to not have to carry regrets. ‘Later’ is never assured. Be the person you wish you were, now.

 

Martha Jones, Doctor Who

If you find yourself in an environment that makes it impossible for you to thrive, whether it’s a job or a personal relationship or an intergalactic adventure, it’s okay to look for something better. The most thrilling journey imaginable isn’t worth it if it makes you small. Seek out the roles and people that allow you to be the best version of yourself, even if that means taking a path you wouldn’t have expected to follow.

 

Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Surround yourself with good people. No matter how strong you are, your friends will make you stronger. And sometimes, when your demons are too monstrous to face on your own, they will be the ones to fight them for you.

 

Harry Potter, Harry Potter

People are messy and complicated. First impressions almost never give the whole story. Take the time to dig below the surface and see what drives people before you write them off. Some people really will turn out to be your enemies. But others could be allies you never even suspected. 

 

Louise Banks, The Story of Your Life/Arrival

Communication is everything. And I don’t just mean talking; I mean truly listening to what someone is trying to say. Language devoid of context is next to meaningless, and context requires us to thoughtfully listen to and examine what is being said to us. This is especially true when it comes to anyone we don’t inherently understand. Learn to listen, learn to strive to understand those who are different. Stop simply talking, and learn to communicate.

 

Leia Organa, Star Wars

It is never too late, or too dangerous, or too hopeless to do what is right. Even if evil appears to have won. Even if you are vastly outnumbered. Even if you have lost the people you care about. Even if you have been fighting for your whole life. Keep going. Celebrate every small victory. Allow yourself to love through the darkness. And never give up.


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Lauren Thoman

Lauren is a writer of YA speculative fiction and a dedicated eater of queso. She lives in Middle Tennessee with her husband, two daughters, and a half-blind dog. When she’s not busy with her family, binge-watching TV shows, or writing books about dragons or superheroes, she can probably be found on Twitter, or in close proximity to coffee, tacos, or a bookstore.