Life Lessons 13 Reasons Why Can Teach Us

"You can't know rumors. You can hear them, but you can't know them."

Netflix released “13 Reasons Why,” a series of thirteen episodes based on the book by Jay Asher and recently released the second season with another thirteen episodes to showcase that there is more to the story. The popular hit TV show brings to life the harsh reality of harmful words and actions can be and the reality of suicide. The show was created to bring awareness to these important issues and at the same time to provide entertainment. Still there are valuable life lessons to be learned from this series that hopefully each viewer can take away from watching.

1. You can’t trust everyone.

Hannah Baker lost the trust she had for many of the new friends she made after moving to Liberty High School. Most of her new friends thought they knew her and believed the rumors about her without really getting to know her.

2. Words are powerful and can have a lasting impact on people.

Most of the people spoke or received hurtful words without really knowing they were causing harm. It all built up for Hannah making it feel like it was all too much, when really all she needed was just one person to care, to talk to, someone that will listen and in return be kind the same way she was to others. Think twice before you do or say something.

3. Realistically, there will always be people who suck. However, there will also be people who don’t suck.

I know it’s really pessimistic, but not everyone will be who they seem to be and not have the best perception of you. Hannah Baker moved to the town to start over to get away from other people. In the end she found out that no matter where you go there will always be 1 or 2 bad apples. I think we should learn to seek those who don’t suck and have good values. Remember there are also good people out there too.

4. Covering up problems or someone else’s to protect them will only make things worse.

Throughout both seasons most characters find themselves in tricky situations where they are either trying to cover for something they did or trying to cover for Bryce out of fear. In the end, it will eat you alive if you don’t seek help or tell the truth about what happened.

5. “You can hear rumors, but you can’t know them.”

Everyone is guilty of either spreading a rumor or fueling the rumor by not trying to stop it. If you ever hear anything about someone else and it’s not from the source, choose not to believe it. Rumors are like an infectious virus. How you would feel if it was about you. How would you respond?

6. Just because someone is acting fine, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are fine.

Many times in life we are trying to cover up how we really feel with a fake smile. Everyone is fighting an internal battle of their own, so be nice. Don’t make assumptions that someone is okay, lean in to the discomfort and check in with them everyone once in a while. This can mean more to them than you know.

7. Talking to someone is so important.

No matter how you are feeling there is always someone you can talk to. Talking to someone else will always help you see things in a different light. It also helps to release what you are holding on to. I wish Tyler would have talked about what he went through to avoid him getting into some trouble or responding a irresponsible, violent manner.

8. Actions have consequences. Always.

There are many times in the story where someone makes a bad decision, and the consequences are detrimental. The consequences for those actions may not come right away, but eventually each person does have the face their actions.

9. Violence doesn’t need to be treated lightly.

Everyone knows there is emotional violence in the story, but there is also an unhealthy amount of physical violence especially at the school. Fighting or physically harming someone won’t make anything better, and it has its consequences. I wish the Liberty High would’ve responded differently to the events that occurred, and been more involved in what was occurring. For the students though, the lesson is don’t fight fire with fire.

10. Suicide is not the answer.

In the last episode of season two, Hannah Baker’s mom says that there are always more reasons not to do something then reasons why you should. Hannah had a hidden list of reasons why not, however what she went through and how she felt overwhelmed her. How I wish there would’ve been at least one person to be there for her and talk her out of this decision.

Suicide harms more people than just the person committing it. It has a strong and lasting effect on everyone around you, more than you even realize. Everyone is loved, everyone has a purpose, and everyone has a life waiting to be lived ahead of them. There are resources available and hotline to reach out to if you are having suicidal thoughts.

This show puts difficult issues on the table for us to face and talk about. Some scenes are so disturbing to watch. Whether its depression, bullying, suicide or even fear of what others may say or do to us, everyone can relate in some way to what they see play out throughout the story. However, it is up to the viewers to make a difference in the community we live in and start making a change.

Change starts with you. Change starts with me.

If you, or someone you care about is feeling fragile,You’re Not Alone. Please seek the help of a mental or behavioral health professional if you are unable to cope with your emotional pain. If you ever have any thoughts to harm yourself or others or to end your life, please reach out for help. National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1.800.273.8255. Crisis Text Line.


Jackie is the author of