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13 Reasons Why you should feel guilty 13 Reasons Why you should feel guilty
by Katerina Charisi
2021-02-23 11:42:07
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Something often said to inexperienced writers in creative writing lessons when they ask what to write about, is “since you survived puberty, you have stories to write for the rest of your life”. See, puberty is an actual battle and what matters is to come out in one piece. I mean seriously, has anyone ever had a great time in high school? (Not me!)

giult1“13 Reasons Why” is one of the best television series, I have watched this year so far.

Hannah Baker ended her life, leaving behind the 13 reasons that brought her to that decision, all with their names and detailed explanations, recorded in old fashion audio tapes. Clay Jensen receives the package and that’s where the series begins.

Well this is not an actual review here. But I do feel the need to say a few things. “13 Reasons Why” has it all: Well off suburbs, gay students, nerds, poets, rebels, athletes, beauty queens and all sorts of kids. It has alcohol and bad ending parties and weed and fights, friendships ending before they even begin, secrets and lots of lies. Most of all, it has the supposedly functioning supportive system that eventually just tries to cover its own ass.

This is a series full of clichés, but…

Being a teenager is a cliché on its own. High school is a cliché on its own. Puberty and high schools seem to feed clichés with some wicked devotion.

What we watch here, through this series in a 2017’s school in some part of the world, is exactly the same with what I lived 20 years ago in my school, in my part of the world, in a small island you have probably never heard of, Skopelos. Do you know what’s funny? Someone else, maybe 30 years ago, lived exactly the same things in their part of the world. And others too; 10 years ago. And so on. Apparently High School and puberty are always the same, no matter the time, no matter the place. Now that’s something sociology should seriously study about.

Okay, I know that not everyone takes puberty as serious as others do. I have met adults who not only survived puberty, but apparently it didn’t leave any scars on them. They had actually a good time; good memories to share. I definitely wasn’t one of them. So “13 Reasons Why” hit some nerve on me.

Despite the (expected tbh) clichés, the series is quite accurate in how small, seemingly unimportant incidents (when faced individually probably) work cumulatively against a teenager and here’s where I want to ask: Do you really think it would be different if it wasn’t a school but any kind of society despite the age of people? I’m guessing the answer is “no”. Every little thing works cumulatively against everyone. A teenager though, is the most vulnerable one (since you expect an adult to know maybe the way to deal with it).

So, no one decides to take their own life just because of something. There are a lot of “somethings” all piled one over the other, and its life itself.

It’s the routine and being always busy (the parent); it’s the upcoming bills and lack of spare time. It’s puberty’s cyclothymia and tired parents and all kinds of informal requirements that are forced to be obeyed in every high school in every part of the world, all the rules that no one ever actually knows where they come from but kids must follow.

It’s that parents most of the times focus on how hard is for them to be the parents of a teenager, while (unintentionally) ignoring how hard it is for the teenager to be...him/herself.

It’s that parents can’t see how hateful a teenager can be for their own self because they just don’t know how to love it and deal with what’s happening to them.

It’s fashion and trends and it’s that kids under “proper” circumstances are capable of anything; to even take their own life, or ruin someone else’s life. And this happens so indirectly that no one in particular is responsible, but when a young person takes their own life, it’s everyone’s fault. Our fault.

There is a line in the series that for some reason (that I really don’t want to assume its reasons atm) is repeated, especially in the last episodes and please, don’t ever take it seriously.

“Suicide is an option.”

Guys, suicide is NOT an option.

Suicide is a forced self-murder.

It is way too easy to take only a small part of the responsibility and then say it’s an option just to release ourselves from the guilt but,

Suicide is not a damn option.

Suicide is a result of many, way too many tiny or bigger open wounds in someone’s soul, opened by many little or bigger actions of disrespect, hatred, or even words never said. We should all be in position to realize when it’s actually the time to stand next to the silent sufferer and be supportive, no matter if they are the ex-friend or the least popular classmate, or the nerd, the freak, the immigrant, the bitch, the whatev.

After some point, it’s all about life and human beings. And when a young person comes to this horrible decision, it’s everyone’s fault. We are all responsible for every suicide; for every forced self-murder.



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