Should High Schoolers Watch Euphoria?

Jada Gilpen, Staff Writer

A teen show with drug, manipulation, and sex addictics who wouldn’t be intrigued? Okay, that’s not all this show is about, but if you have not been watching Euphoria, where have you been? Euphoria is an award winning television show that follows a group of high schoolers and their struggles with relationships and life in general. The new episodes have been a roller coaster of feelings for the viewers. There are twists and scandalous encounters that get introduced. Don’t worry I won’t spoil anything from this season, but I highly recommend it.

The word euphoria, what does it mean? Why is that the title? Euphoria is a feeling or state of intense happiness and excitement, which is why it was the perfect choice for the show. The protagonist Rue is Emmy-awarded actress Zendaya. She is a troubled teen who was brought up in a loving family, but has never been in a sound state of mind. Not feeling the best, she starts using unprescribed pills and then advances to more intense substances. While taking them she feels a sense of euphoria when taking drugs, even just for a moment.

Rue has always dealt with many mental health issues since she was a child. That is why she feels like she needs drugs to feel a sense of euphoria, to overcome these thoughts. “Everything stops…everything you feel, and wish, and want to forget, it all just sinks,” she freaked out the first time it happened. However once she experienced it, all she wanted were those two seconds of nothingness.

 After overdosing she goes to rehab for the remainder of the summer during the first season. This doesn’t stop her; she is addicted to the feeling and expressed multiple times that she had no intentions to stop using. This show brings to light that teens can have drug issues and the problems you can face dealing with addiction as well as mental illnesses. It strains her relationships with not only her family, but friends and partners as well since she has to lie and gaslight them along the way.

Insecurities and trauma are brought to light through various characters. Jules is searching for who she truly is,  Nate Jacobs is a deeply traumatized jock with severe anger issues that are fueled by his sexual insecruities. Body insecurities are a problem for Kat. She is a curvier teen experimenting with her sexuality after only reading and writing about it.

A positive aspect of the show is the diversity within the plot and casting. Over the summer Rue is in rehab, and new student Jules arrives in town. Rue first sees Jules riding her bicycle as Rue is on her way home from rehab. Jules is a transitioned female, which means that she was born male, but on the inside has always been feminine and female so she transitioned herself. Hunter Shafer is also a trans female and with her chosen to be a lead character the LGBTQIA+ community is included and brought in with positivity. Jules is searching for where she belongs, this is a valuable aspect of the show because people of all identities feel this way at one point in their lives. Along with this Jules and Rue start dating so this shows a queer relationship on a television series is a huge step for the industry. 

Euphoria brings to light the sad realities some teens deal with on a daily basis, whether addiction, abuse, or insecurities. Many people argue if the content is realistic, and I think it is. Teenage years and high school is not all bubblegum and rainbows, for some people these few years are very dark. I believe that this show is what people need to see on mainstream television, the content is honest and raw. Viewers see the dangerous sides of the “harmless” drugs that are easily accessible. By watching Rue’s decisions, you’ll see how the drugs and choices she makes tear apart her family, friends and partners. She hurts the people she loves most because she can not control herself. I believe that even though Euphoria is a lot to take in, watching it can help guide high school students on the right paths or atleast know which paths to avoid.