For all of my Netflix-bingers, this one is for you! We all know that Netflix is known for its addicting series that leave its viewers talking for days. In its newest series, 13 Reasons Why, Netflix has done exactly that! In fact, the series is the most tweeted about series on Netflix for this year! If you haven’t watched, or finished the 13 episodes, I can promise you that this blog will not be a spoiler for any events addressed in the plot.

For those who haven’t heard or even started the show, here’s a brief, yet vague, synopsis of the plot to peak your interest. The protagonist of the series, Hannah Baker, commits suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes explaining the reasons, and people, who lead her to commit such tragedy. Her 13 tapes document the very instances that triggered her which leaves her high school peers in a state of chaos, and fear.

While the series has received both positive and negative commentary, there are several lessons that one can learn from the various episodes. Here are 13 messages I took away:

  1. Words do hurt!

    We’ve all heard the phrase that goes “Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words will never hurt you.” Yeah, this is a lie! Words, in fact, do hurt, and in the series you definitely see how rumors can tarnish one’s self-esteem.

  2. Cherish your friends!

    Authentic friendships are very rare. It is important to cherish the relationships you have created because no one knows the day you, or a friend, could be gone. Try to speak life and encouragement into your friends, rather than spreading gossip or drama amongst one another.

  3. If you see something, SPEAK UP!

    No one likes to be a “tattle-tale,” but some things just have to be addressed. Bullying and abuse are serious issues that should be addressed immediately. Although you may not want to be involved in certain issues, you have an ethical obligation to speak up when necessary.

  4. Use your resources!

    If you are struggling with bullying, abuse, or even considering self-harm, it is quintessential that you are aware of the resources around you. Whether this means a close friend, an RA, and most importantly the counseling center, seek out advice from those who care and will point you in the right direction for help.

  5. Choose your friends wisely!

    They say that friends are the family you get to choose, and you definitely should take into some consideration who you want to accompany yourself with. Take a moment to think about who is adding happiness to your life versus those who only negatively impact your existence.

  6. Bullying is real!

    Bullying exists at all levels. It should be addressed immediately, and should not be taken lightly. If you see bullying occurring say something about it. You may not realize the impact of you confronting these issues first hand, but it definitely can help those affected.

  7. Don’t be scared to love!

    Love is a scary thing, but you should not be afraid to express your feelings to those you appreciate the most. Tell your friends or companion that you love them daily. As stated, no one knows the last time you might be with someone, so ensure that you express this gratitude and affection on a daily basis.

  8. Covering your problems doesn’t make them go away!

    Sweeping your problems under a rug will not erase them from your life. It is crucial that you address an issue, seek out help, and move on as you see fit. Instead of acting as if they don’t exist, overcome your obstacles in productive, and intentional ways.

  9. What’s done in the dark will always come to light!

    You might think that your “little secret” will never be heard, but surely enough the truth always prevails. Instead of trying to hide your flaws and faults, be honest with yourself and others to avoid future, exacerbated issues.

  10. Know your limit!

    We are in college, and it is a reality that the drinking culture can be higher than normal. It is important to drink responsibly, as well as being aware of when you might’ve had too much to drink. Keep in mind that you should always go to parties with a friend, have a designated driver, and never take drinks from others.

  11. Hold yourself and your friends accountable!

    If you see someone doing something wrong, hold this person accountable for their actions. Do not let things slide by or let others get away with the wrongs they have committed. Additionally, it is important to hold yourself accountable by admitting your wrongs before making excuses for your faults.

  12. Love yourself before seeking love from others!

    How can you love someone if you don’t love yourself? Its impossible. Self-care is highly important so make sure you take time to learn about yourself. Relationships will only prosper when the two mates are aware of their own values, and can appreciate the beauty in one another’s differences.

  13. Suicide is not the answer!

    Suicides leaves lasting impacts on those affected. As seen in the series, Hannah’s death is not forgotten about overnight. It has taken a toll on her family, peers, and the community! Although Hannah believed her reasons were justified, her death will leave her community in a state of grieving for a lifetime.

-Joshua Reeves