Star Trek: The Next Generation aired in September of 1987. At the time, I was just a few months shy of four years old. I became a fan from the very beginning. My mother is a huge fan, and she allowed me to watch it with her. But instead of it being a boring show for nerds, Star Trek became the biggest influences in my life. It started with TNG. Captain Picard and Dr. Crusher were my favorite characters. But more than that, they were role models. For a young girl growing up in the 80s and 90s, they were such great teachers.
Over the decades, my favorite Star Trek spin-offs were The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. Each series marked a particular period in my life. TNG owned my earliest childhood. Captain Picard always had a lesson to learn, he always did the right thing, and he always put his best efforts forward. He taught me the value of hard work, being supportive, and the importance of treating people who are different than you with respect and dignity.
Captain Picard also taught me the value of non-interference and respecting individuality. With the Prime Directive, he always made it a point not to interfere with another culture or lifestyle no matter what one’s opinions are.
Deep Space Nine was the cornerstone of my middle school and high school years. It’s still one of the most influential shows I’ve ever watched. My favorite character, Kira Nerys, was a strong female character and someone I connected to as a teenage girl.
Voyager represented my early community college years, and Captain Janeway was a fantastic leader of a crew lost in space with no one to turn to.
Overall, Star Trek taught me the importance of equality, independence, cooperation. It’s more than just some sci-fi show for nerds; it had a powerful impact on my life. It shaped my life in so many profound ways and its the main reason why I think the way I do.