I’m at that age where I’m too old to be childish, but too young to be “successful”. I’ve gotten many comments about that this past week and these comments can become a heavy weight on someone just trying to figure him or herself out. It made me beg the question: how did Link do it in Ocarina of Time?

Now I know Link is fictional and that his character is not the ideal role model. However, what makes his character so great is he is believable.

He starts out as a kid lost in the world without a fairy; a guide. Without this guide, he is unable to unlock his full potential.

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Once this guide finally comes to him, Link is thrilled and ready to show Navi off to his friends. He finally had the key to success in life: Connections. This fairy was his gateway to the Great Deku Tree and would open so many doors for Link that he could not pass through before. As a child he faces many trials to survive and he falls often, but he is never afraid to ask for help along the way; something that I believe adults often need to remember.

What’s so terrifying, however, is his reaching the Master Sword and becoming trapped inside the Sacred Realm for seven years. SEVEN YEARS. Imagine missing all the years you needed to make up the being you are currently. Sleeping. You slept through puberty, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and all kinds of relationships you could have made. You’ve slept through countless life lessons. A child frozen in time.

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When Link awakens he is in a whole new body and is once again thrusted into more battles before he can even take a breath.

He’s lost his connections, though Navi is his constant guide, his old friends no longer recognize him.

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He’s essentially graduated high school and is now either choosing a career path or is launched into college with countless books on his back. Each decision Link makes is important, and if I were him I would have stayed at the Fishing Hole for the rest of my life. There are too many decisions to make and I just really don’t feel like saving a princess right now. Not too mention, his mind is literally about ten years old.

Isn’t that real life, though? I mean, my mother at my age was already married with kids, and currently I can’t even imagine waking up for work every day, let alone taking care of children. How did she manage to take care of me at such a young age and still find the time to make me the person I am today? Happy Mothers Day, Mom. Thanks for getting me into the Legend of Zelda and finding a dad for me that would make me philosophical. I’m going to find so many great jobs…

But if Link could do it… If Link could save Saria, Darunia, Ruto, Impa, Nabooru, and Zelda, then the least I can do is graduate. I’m days away and all I can think of is Link climbing those stairs listening to Ganon menacingly play his organ. I’m right at the final battle but instead of Ganon its Dark Link, or Dark Me in this case. I’m blocking my every move, my every step because I’m afraid. I’m afraid of failure.

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My weapon of choice is a pen and I practice it as much as I can so that when the time comes it won’t fail me.

“But what if it does?” she asks me, her eyes a red glare against mine. She was clouded by hazy film-like ink. Her lips were turned down and her stance ready to pounce at any sign of weakness. I merely stood in front of her with my ballpoint pen and a notebook as a shield. This was all I had. This was all I had prepared.

And yet as she inched forward, I saw an opening and used it to surge all of my might, all of the knowledge given to me by my educators and my mother and father into her. I was built for exactly this and I had no choice but to take it on. I mean, life is not so dramatic. I’m not in a sacred battle and I’m not going to actually die… but in this moment it sure as hell feels like I am.

But Link succeeded. He defeated himself and walked onward with his guide by his side. It was a shock when Navi left; a sad reminder to treasure those around you because one day that guide won’t be there anymore.

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Link won’t always need Navi, but she is his friend and he wants her here forever. It’s no surprise his next journey was to find her.

Link’s life isn’t just an adventure. It’s also a story about growing past your fears. One day you will have to leave your house and embark on adventure. One day you will have to tackle yourself and continue onwards. And one day, you will lose the ones you love most. But you must continue. You’ll hurt and you’ll ache, but you will learn. Like Link, you will grow.

 

Want to search for your own life lessons? Buy the game here.
Nintendo Selects: The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D

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