Over the summer, my mom started watching “Dawson’s Creek” because she wanted a light-hearted show to watch before the school year started. I started watching some episodes with her and gained interest because the show takes place in high school and college.
I have always liked relatable shows. Whether it be a tiny similarity between a character and yourself or the setting of the show, I find myself gravitating towards shows and movies taking place during school years.
I slowly became sucked into the show and wanted to fully immerse myself in it. I began watching it from the beginning on my own because my mom was a couple of seasons ahead at the time. A rule I set for myself is no new shows during the school year because I get distracted easily, so I thought one new show before the fall semester started would be a good idea.
There are six seasons with 13 to 24 episodes a season — which is a lot compared to the shows coming out on Netflix these days with ten episodes a season. Nevertheless, I embarked on this new journey — or should I say show.
“Dawson’s Creek” begins with the main characters in high school dealing with complicated friendships, budding relationships and growth within themselves. Dawson Leery, the main character, is a blonde fellow who is best friends with Joey Potter, a tall studious brunette girl who’s been Dawson’s best friend since childhood. The show explores their friendship which — spoiler alert — turns into more than a friendship a couple of times. As in many TV shows, they have an on-again, off-again romance as these characters grow up and head to college.
The friend group consists of a couple more characters: Andie McPhee, an enthusiastic girl who is hiding her pain, her brother Jack who discovers his sexuality and learns to embrace it, Pacey, who struggles in school but finds his way in the last couple of seasons and Audrey, a daughter of an actress who struggles with alcohol abuse from partying so much. The characters are all so interesting, and watching them grow together and apart is riveting.
When we go away to college, friendships and dynamics change. How could they not? You go to college and get a taste of what independence feels like, finding yourself and meeting new characters. “Dawson’s Creek” is similar in the sense that each of the characters meets new people, but they never really go anywhere without their friends from high school.
Watching these characters grow up and cling to each other — scared to let go because that means facing the world on their own for the time being — makes me think of my freshman year. You go to college, meet your roommate and embark on opportunities and adventures you wouldn’t have done in high school. Joey and Dawson cling to each other like each person is the other’s security blanket that shields them from the real world.
I think that’s the scary part about growing up and going away to college — the changes that happen. There are endless possibilities, and taking the leap to explore the newness of what life has to offer takes a bit of a push sometimes. I know for many people, there’s a fear of not meeting your best friends in college.
The truth is, you will meet amazing friends in college and during these four years you will grow and change so much, slowly becoming the person you have always wanted to be.
The reason I like this show so much isn’t that it is the most thrilling or addicting show, but because you watch characters grow, change and have conflicts. You watch them become themselves and realize there is a whole new world outside the halls of their high school.
To me, this show represents a time in my life when everything was certain and safe. I knew everyone in my school and had the same schedule every day, seeing the same people. Now, in college, everything is a question mark because nothing is guaranteed. I see different people every day, have different schedules depending on the day and am learning how to navigate this new place I call home.
“Dawson’s Creek” brings me a sense of comfort. It reminds me of my high school years and how much I have grown. It makes me feel close to home even when I am far. It reminds me that growing up, meeting new people and changing as a person is part of life. So thank you, “Dawson’s Creek,” for giving me a small part of high school to hold on to.