My latest binge consisted of the new Netflix Original Series, 13 Reasons Why. It’s based on the best-selling novel by Jay Asher and really depicts the land of high school perfectly. The subject matter is extremely heavy and several of the episodes contain a warning regarding graphic depictions of rape and suicide. This is such an incredibly powerful topic to discuss though and is worth the watch.
Sometimes sweeping heavy subjects under the rug is what causes younger generations to act out. It’s hard to deal with things you don’t understand.
The show follows the story leading up to Hannah Baker ending her own life. Before she committed suicide, she recorded a series of cassette tapes that reveal 13 people she believes contributed to her mental state before she died. Whether they were major roles or minor roles, these 13 people impacted Hannah’s life in a way that made her feel trapped in her own mind. As each person listens to the tapes and passes them on, we get to see how the news affects each of their own lives as well. Hannah’s death scene is shown in the final episode of the series and it’s definitely hard to watch. The show is perfectly cast, written, produced and directed and doesn’t just touch on suicide. They also show the effects of underage drinking, drinking and driving, etc.
I think the most important thing to take away from watching something like this is that we should be influencing younger generations to be more considerate. In a society controlled by technology and social media, it’s so much easier to fall into the category of the bully and the bullied. It all starts with the parents and what we teach our children. Impressionable children should be made aware of the dangers that go along with bullying someone. You don’t know what other people are going through in their private lives or how certain situations might affect them. It’s so important to be considerate and to avoid putting negative energy out into the world.
To anyone still in high school . . . think before you do or say things. It sounds cliché and makes me sound old, but it’s true. There’s a difference between being the class clown and being a jerk. Your goal might be to make your peers laugh, but think about how your words and actions might affect the person on the receiving end. And to those of you that feel different, odd, unappreciated, invisible . . . own that! It’s what makes you unique!
More importantly, if you or someone you know is having trouble feeling accepted or are being bullied in some way, please know that there are options for you. Parents might seem uncool and overprotective but they have your best interest at heart. Communication is crucial.
Here are a few websites that could offer helpful information and to help you realize that even though you might feel alone, you’re not. No one is ever truly alone.
And you can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255