What '13 Reasons Why' Taught Me

What '13 Reasons Why' Taught Me

If you're listening, it's too late.
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This past weekend, I gave up all responsibilities and started another Netflix adventure. This time a show that I've heard a lot about, and one that I've been anticipating for a while now, "13 Reasons Why".

Originally depicted in a novel by Jay Asher, "13 Reasons Why" walks through the life and death of the young Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), who recorded 13 tapes and 13 reasons why she committed suicide. These involve many controversial topics, like bullying, young love, sexual assault, stalking and much more. The main protagonist of this story is Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) who struggles with grief and receives the tapes from Hannah's trusted individual.

I originally became interested in this story when I heard about the book from a few of my friends. They all raved about the book, saying how great yet sad the story is, and honestly, I didn't know what I was getting myself into.

I know that when I started watching the Netflix original series, I didn't cry like I expected myself to. Instead, after watching each episode I felt a little bit more hesitant of the world around me.

Being a former victim of bullying and seeing what others have faced, I empathized with Hannah. I felt her pain and I recognized myself in her more than once throughout the entire series. In addition to the empathy and sympathy I felt for each character going through a bad situation, I started to recognize how much our actions really impact others.

I learned that we all have choices, and those choices shape our own life, as well as others, even if we don't know it. Whatever we do, whether it be bad or good, has the power to impact another person. We can say something, we can assume things, and we can even make mistakes that actually hurts someone, but maybe the best choice is to just care about another person.

We don't know what is going on in other people's lives unless we actually ask, so it's better to be kind and caring than to risk hurting another person.

In the series, she says "some of you cared, but some of you didn't care enough." And no matter how cynical or hateful a person can be, if they can care about another human being, they have the power to save a life.

In addition to this, I learned that although this show was a dramatic portrayal of highschool, a lot of the negative mentality and sexist language still radiates through today's society. I know in my highschool, many girls were harassed, and I look around the world and see it's still very much present in college, and in everyday life.

After watching the entire season in a weekend, my emotions are definitely at an all time high, but I really appreciate what this show and novel did.

This series highlights almost all of the topics people are afraid to discuss, like suicide and bullying. But hopefully this show can teach others the truth about victims and how they get to the point of no return, so that maybe, one day, we can actually save them.


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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

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