Euphoria and YOLO: A High School Story


Liv Golling

Warning: this article contains heavy information on mental disorders faced by persons on a daily basis, viewer discretion is advised. If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, please contact the National Alliance on Mental Health at: 1-800-950-NAMI(6264) or their website. If you or someone you know is seeking help for substance abuse, please contact the National Helpline at: 1-800-662-HELP(4357).

Life is different for everyone. Some people are jocks with anger issues, others are drug dealers who drop out of school, some are cheerleaders with attachment issues, and some want nothing more than to just fit in.

No matter who you are as a person, the steps you take are a form of artistic expression. Think of life as a painting. Society loves to judge us based on the brush we use. When in reality, it doesn’t matter what brush you use. All that matters is what’s on the canvas when the painting is done.

High School is a period of conflict, confusion, and fear. Friendships are lost, questionable decisions are made, and parents worry for their children. It is also a realm where judgements come from all sides. A world that can be more than difficult to navigate or even understand.

The real question is whether high school is enjoyable at all. In many instances, high school is something all of us coming out of middle school look forward too. The first few episodes of Euphoria start off pointing out the things people deal with on a regular basis in the most amazing way. We meet 5 characters all dealing with very different problems.

Rue gets home from rehab and meets Jules who is dealing with gender transformation and conformity, Nate is finding ways to escape his past trauma, or bury it deeper. Maddy is dealing with the harsh reality of realizing that she can’t get everything she wants by just being pretty, and Kat finds a video of herself participating in underage sex online.

The show presents itself in provocative ways such as being truthful with what teens do during their high school years, and the almost too surreal instances.

“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water. Put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a teapot, becomes the teapot, water can flow, or drip or crash.. Be water my friend.” -Bruce Lee.

Reviewing this with my mother, she kept wondering what notes were on my Ipad in just a few short minutes after starting, “I have nothing, I don’t see what could possibly be written down in such a short amount of time.” worried.

On the contrary, I felt there was plenty of content worth writing about. Everything from divorce, substance abuse, mental disorders, and trauma, to social status, gender transformations, and even sexual assault are major aspects of the story. I mean there are a ton of things just in the start that most people are missing simply because they cannot fathom that this is what teens go through on a regular basis.

Half of the students in the school feel some sort of numbness in their lives yet they keep going. Proceeding with life as if none of the pain they endure happens. In the end, that’s just because that’s how we thought ourselves should be brought up, tough and unbothered. Some people may call it a brutal life or an immature one, but who’s to decide if you’re immature for blocking off your own feelings from the rest of the world? Your decisions shape you into the being you are today.

Immaturity in its finest is seeing the simplicity of life in all its forms. The connection between ignorance and innocence is all too common. To escape this world, we find the littlest rotten cavities and bring life to it, making the best out of our time while we’re all here. We’ve all got our paths we come from, trailing behind little pebbles and dust as we move along and that’s the type of beauty I live for. Why not add a little fear into your days?

Living outside of one’s comfort zone is the only way to grow as a person. Find the fun in life now and experience everything you can. In the end, we only live once.