Degrassi Fans: How Degrassi Has Impacted Our Lives

Last week, I asked the Degrassi community to send in your stories about how Degrassi has impacted you. As someone who has watched Degrassi since the age of 12, I know how much this show means to me. I watched Degrassi throughout high school and university. It taught me so many important life lessons when I was younger, and I love watching how it continues to inspire the next generation as well. It seems that many of you feel the same way. Here are a couple of the amazing responses we received from Degrassians all around the world:

Grade 9 student Andrea talks about how My Body Is a Cage led to an unlikely friendship and made her re-evaluate some of her actions:

Last year when I was beginning high school I just wanted to fit in, and we had this trasgender kid who came to our school. He was bullied on all the time and I didn’t want to be unpopular, so I would tease him. Then I was flipping through the channels one day when I stumbled across TeenNick and they were doing My Body Is A Cage…at first I just continued watching because I thought the older brother was hot. Then they showed all the issues, and how hard it is to be a trans kid. I felt so bad for the way I had treated the poor kid at our school. After that Degrassi has also become my favorite show and it’s just so amazing because it deals with so many issues. And after that I also stopped teasing the kid and began talking to him. I’m now about to be a 10th grader and me and him are bestfriends. I also may not be the most popular kid at school but I don’t care because I made the right decision.

19-year-old New Jersey resident Colleen has been watching Degrassi since she was 9 years old. She sent us a beautiful email, talking about how Degrassi has respectfully portrayed young people living with mental illness:

As I got older Degrassi was not just a show I watched to prove that I was mature or a show I watched to see cute boys or be entertained, it was a show I watched because the characters were real and relatable and it taught me so much. Like back in season 4 with Craig’s bipolar story line – it really hit home for me because my cousin is bipolar. A few years later, Craig’s storyline became even more important to me. During my sophomore year of high school I started not getting a lot of sleep. I was becoming very irritable and not acting like myself. I would have so many thoughts going on at once, and would not be able to concentrate along with getting very angry which was very out of character for me. It turned out that I was bipolar. If Degrassi was any other TV show, Rick Murray would have been depicted as the character to be bipolar, but instead they choose Craig who was a beloved character (even though some people might not have thought so with the whole Ashley/Manny thing). Degrassi showed that you anyone can suffer bipolar disorder, and live a normal life, and not be some school shooter or murder. It was hard and still can be to have a mental illness that was so misunderstood, but the fact that I knew other people, like Jake Epstein’s character, were getting by with this disorder gave me hope that everything would get better. Degrassi gave a face to my illness, and played a part in educating people about the truth behind it – that people who are bipolar have a treatable illness and are not horrible people.

Knowing that Degrassi is willing to talk about subjects that most other shows wont in an honest and real fashion is why I love this show. And I am so happy that it helps so many different people feel better about whatever problem it is they may be dealing with, as well as educating others about those problems. Now I give talks to teens about my struggles and overcoming them, and I am in school studying social work to hopefully one day play a part in helping others in working through their issues and accepting themselves. And I have Degrassi to thank for giving me hope when I needed it most and giving me the strength to be the best and make it through.

Thank you for these amazing responses! You can still send your stories to DegrassiTalks@gmail.com.

2 comments on “Degrassi Fans: How Degrassi Has Impacted Our Lives”

  1. Zman says:

    These are great they reminded me of something you would talk about on Degrassi Talks

  2. Zman says:

    These are great they reminded me of something you would talk about on Degrassi Talks

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