Student Life

7 Squid Game Life Lessons (Minus the Risk)

Valuable life lessons you can learn from Squid Games on Netflix.

Student Contributor, Piper Megellas

November 10, 2021

7 Squid Game Life Lessons (Minus the Risk)
Squid Game can teach you some important lessons -- and not just about children's games.
Since its release on September 17, 2021, Squid Games on Netflix has taken the world by storm. Not only a survival game series, the Squid Game is loaded with social commentary and lessons about life. From empathy and kindness to innovative thinking, the show portrays the Squid Games cast as characters who use creative methods - whether that be thinking on their feet or downright betraying each other - to make it out of the games alive. So, what are some of the major takeaways?
  1. Know When to Take Life Seriously
    Undoubtedly, there is a time in life for play, but you need to recognize when this is. In the red light, green light game, players 324 and 250 playfully betted on who would cross the finish line first, not knowing the dire consequences should one lose. Unfortunately, the players were overzealous, and 324 was the first to die after not taking enough care in the first round of the game. These two players show us that there are situations in life that we should take seriously - and there is no harm in acting with caution if you’re not sure what the consequences of your actions might be.
  2. Don’t Be Afraid to Think Outside of the Box
    Upon first glance, getting the umbrella shape during the dalgona candy game may seem like a death sentence. Between its intricate pattern and the thinness of the umbrella pole, successfully removing it would prove to be a difficult task to even those with the steadiest hands. Like the other players, Gihun spent the majority of the time allotted attempting to remove the shape using the needle that was provided to him but was making little progress. It did not seem that he would manage to remove the umbrella in time. It was only when he began to think outside of the box that Gihun managed to succeed. Despite his struggles, he managed to remove the shape by licking the candy, a method that the other players hadn't yet considered. It was his ingenuity alone that saved him.
  3. Teamwork is One of the Most Important Assets you Have
    When the tug of war game was announced, it did not seem like our protagonists were going to have much luck. Their team had generally weaker individuals than their opponents, and the other players didn’t expect that they would pull off a win. It was only because of their impeccable teamwork that they managed to make it out of the game. Both Ilnam’s original plan and Sangwoo’s last-ditch effort only worked because the entire team agreed to put their all into it and do everything they could. If even a couple of members had refused, the plans would have failed and the team would have met their fates much earlier. Just like in Squid Game, cooperation can help you succeed in real life.
  4. Be Careful Who you Trust Over the first few episodes of Squid Game, we learn some not-so-favorable information about Sangwoo - despite having gotten into SNU, he had sunk far into debt and had even used his mother’s own house as collateral. His family still did not know this, and his mother even continued to brag about her son who attended Seoul National University despite not having been in contact with him for quite some time. Unfortunately, all of these red flags were unbeknownst to Ali who fully trusted Sangwoo. He hadn’t seen anything that had led him to believe that Sangwoo would betray him, but during the Gganbu episode, Sangwoo did just that by stealing his marbles, and Ali had to face the consequences. As was common, Ali did not seek to learn about Sangwoo outside of the game. If he did, maybe he would have been able to see Sangwoo’s true nature and avoid his unfortunate demise. This is a good example of how you shouldn’t be too trusting of people, especially when your relationship is mutually beneficial. Without learning about their past, it can be difficult to know whether or not they would get rid of you once you no longer serve a purpose to them.
  5. Your Prior Knowledge May Come into Play at Unexpected Times Would there have even been a winner in Squid Game without the ever so helpful windowmaker of episode 7? Maybe not. His knowledge of glass allowed the last three players in the game to successfully pass. Without him, there wouldn’t have been any way for them to guess which glass was tempered - without jumping, that is. When the windowmaker entered the games, he likely did not think that his experience in a window factory would save the lives of his fellow players. Likewise, you probably have knowledge that you might not realize could come in handy down the road. Make sure to always think about things you’ve done or learned in the past; it could be more relevant than it appears at first glance.
  6. Showing Kindness to Others may Help you in the Future Take Gihun letting the other man take the first vest in the glass bridge game - or Ali who saved Gihun during the red light, green light game. Gihun giving up the vest led to him surviving the fifth game, and Ali saving Gihun made him several allies who helped him when things got messy between the players. What was nothing but an act of kindness for both ended up serving them well in the future. This shows how you never know when being kind might help you in the future.
  7. Have Some Fun While you Can When Ilnam discovered he had terminal cancer, he decided to enter the games he had been watching for so long as a player. Although this might seem like a strange idea to most of us, he decided they would be fun - after all, he says, the only thing more fun than observing the games is playing them.
Looking for more morals of the story? Check out this list of even more life lessons from the series.

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