Linda Hamilton, Sarah Connor, The Terminator
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Credit: Orion Pictures

What would Sarah Connor do?

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Jan 15, 2020, 1:03 PM EST

When most of us think of Sarah Connor — heroine of The Terminator, T2: Judgment Day, Terminator: Genisys, Terminator: Dark Fate, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and the Terminator FX show at Universal Studios that I personally rode several times in a row during the summer of 1997, despite vocal protests from both of my parents — we think of a warrior and the mother of humanity's savior. But really, she's so much more.

She's also a home workout pioneer, a tank top enthusiast, an accomplished food service professional, a loving iguana owner, and, obviously, an early and impassioned supporter of the digital detox. Plus, she's the owner of a truly awe-inspiring head of hair — one that always looks pretty great, even when she's way too busy hiding in a drainage tunnel or having traumatic dreams about the apocalypse to deep-condition it.

But just because you're (probably?) not spending your days running for your life through a factory filled with red-hot molten metal, doesn't mean you can’t take life lessons from the Queen of Truly Pulling Off Camo Pants. In fact, all of our mundane daily lives would run a bit easier if we simply asked ourselves… What Would Sarah Connor Do?

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The Terminator Sarah Connor

Getting dressed

Dress for movement! It helps you deal with whatever your day throws at you, whether that means unexpected double shifts and restocking the supply closet, or getting chased through a New Wave-goth-techno nightclub and being forced to trust a man in a trench coat. Sure, tight clothes and movement-restricting heels can be fun for special occasions, but for your average, run-of-the-mill day at the office/secret desert compound, you'll want something roomy, breathable, and sweat-wicking (preferably cotton).

Sarah Connor Chronicles

Work, work, work

Don't feel embarrassed to have a day job! Sarah Connor has rescued humanity over, and over, and over, and yet, at the start of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, she is absolutely waiting tables again. There's no shame in doing what it takes to get by while pursuing your real passion (launching your own small catering business, taking up pottery, saving all of humanity) in your off-hours.

The Terminator

That dating scene

Make sure you're getting your needs met! For Sarah Connor, dating is all about practicality — if she's going to give up some of her precious personal time to go on dates with someone, she's gonna make sure that they're a time traveler helping her fulfill her cosmic destiny, or at least someone who can teach her hand-to-hand combat in an off-the-grid facility in Belize. 

Bring that spirit to your own search for love. Don't compromise — and don't be afraid to make sure that any new potential partner fits into YOUR vision of your life and future. Will they truly support you when you need it? Will they respect your version of the truth when it doesn’t fit their own? If you come home with singed hair and maybe, like, some light shrapnel, are they gonna start asking a bunch of nosy questions?

Also, though Sarah would obviously never use Tinder, if you did let her swipe through your account for a minute, the way you let your married friends do at dinner sometimes, she would let you know that absolutely everyone who sends a "Hey, how was your day :)?" message is a Terminator trying to lure you to an abandoned Applebee's parking lot to kill you.

If you really want to follow Sarah on this, though, you're gonna have to only have sex with people your kids pick out (plus Dennis from 30 Rock).

Terminator Dark Fate

Social media

Stay away! Sarah knew before any of us that social media would literally bring about the end of the world! Eschew your Facebook account. At best, you'll help keep Skynet from achieving full hold; at worst, at least you won't spend humanity's final days reading your cousin's 500-word missive about how Jesus is actually the reason for EVERY season.

Sarah Connor

Dealing with the unexpected

When a situation doesn't turn out the way you expected, try to find a way to make it work! I know this is not how we necessarily think of her, but Sarah Connor is an expert at rolling with the punches. Have a bad day at work that somehow ends with you on the run from an evil robot, and banging away with a dude from the future whom your son picked out for you in a real "I Am My Own Grandpa" loop of time/space logic? Roll with it! Move to the desert and buy some fun headbands! End up locked in a psychiatric hospital due to the staff's crucial misunderstanding of the coming robo-threat? Use that free time to work on your biceps and also, possibly, if time permits, your lats. Find that you just don’t have it in you to kill the man who accidentally builds the computer system that ends the world? Just explain that to him! He'll probably get it, you're very charming.

Sarah Connor's life is a testament to the value of constantly adapting and working with what you're given. Sure, we'd all prefer the option of NOT being forced to dedicate our lives to hunting down and exterminating every cybernetic threat to human existence. But hey, all Sarah wanted was to see a movie and hang out with her pet iguana. And though I can't speak authoritatively on this, I feel certain that that iguana's final moments were not incredibly pleasant. Work with it! Use it! Sometimes life has other plans.

Terminator: Dark Fate T-800 IMDb

When life throws a real serious wrench in your plans

Just say that that happened in another timeline, and continue on your merry damn way.