Why You Should be Watching "Thirteen Reasons Why"

If you’ve been on any form of social media lately, I’m sure you have seen the ads and pictures of the new Netflix series Thirteen Reasons Why written in 2007 by the talented Jay Asher. Whether or not you were able to read the book in high school, there are many reasons why EVERYONE should take the time to watch it now that it is available on Netflix. Not only did director/producer Tom McCarthy do an amazing job of following the books influential message, but he taught the lesson to us all over again. Being 21 years old, I’ve been out of high school for awhile but I can still remember how it felt. Media has been booming with tons of messages about anti-bullying, but this message is unforgettable.

Here are the reasons why, people of any age, should be watching Thirteen Reasons Why:

 

Bullying is everywhere, no matter your age or gender. Learn how to help.

High school kids all around the world are constantly faced with bullying, and not all of it is happening behind the closed walls of public schools. Whether you are a young woman or man, eventually you are going to see, hear, or will have personally experienced bullying. More than 1 in 5 students report being bullied in school. 1 in 5 REPORT that they are being bullied. Now think about all of the other students who don’t file that report.

Thirteen Reasons Why tells the story of a young girl named Hannah, who is faced with extreme depression and becomes suicidal her junior year of high school. Hannah moves to a new town when she is about to start her freshmen year and throughtout her years of high school, she experiences bullying, gossip, and so much more. During Hannahs junior year, she starts to become depressed and begins to feel suicidal. This happens all the time in schools all over the country, and more people need to be aware of it.

Anyone of any age can learn about the things that bullying can cause. Whether you are in high school reading this, or in college like myself, you need to be aware of what is happening. If you plan on being a mother or father, you need to learn how to teach and protect your future children. If you are going college to be a teacher, you need to learn the tell tale signs of your students suffering. And if you are in high school, you need to know that your actions, positive or negative, could have some serious repercussions.

Suicide is not a joke

“She probably just did it for attention” or “High schools not that hard” are common things that are heard after a school has experienced a student taking their own life. She wasn’t just “looking for attention” and high school CAN be that hard. It doesn’t matter whether or not you are a male or female, you all have the possibility of experiencing these feelings.

During the series, Hannah creates 13 tapes that explain the 13 reasons why she chose to take her own life. Some people are on the tapes for bullying Hannah, and others because they didn’t help her when they saw her struggling. She says in her tapes that everyone cared, just nobody cared enough. So stop being a bystander. Anyone feeling suicidal, might need you ask the simple question of “are you feeling okay today?” or “do you need to talk to someone.”

Women of ages need to feel empowered, not targeted

Being a young woman going through the process of high school or college can be tough. It doesn’t matter what your age, we all experience inequality at some point or another. It can be something as simple as “well it's okay because girls are supposed to be stay at home moms” or “just marry someone rich, you’ll be alright.” PEOPLE -- it's time to make a change. I know you see tons of women's rights videos on facebook everyday and YOU personally are always respectful of the women around you. But maybe that just isn't enough.

Watching this series, you see how young women are treated during their 4 years of high school. Hannah is gossiped about, gets groped in the hallway, and constanly treated like an object, not a real person. Why did her friends let those boys walk by grab her ass, Why didn’t her friends come together to help, instead of leaving her when she needed them most? Why is nobody doing anything.  

Most of us have siblings, cousins, and friends who are younger than us. So even if you made it through high school, it might not be as easy for them. It's time to raise awareness about the things that surround us. We need to know how millions of high school students are feeling around the world everyday. It doesn’t matter if you are still in high school reading this, or a college student, like myself, binge-watching the series because you were in love with the book in high school. Watch it, learn from it, and most of all act on it.