Not so Grown-ish yet –

High school students also struggle with grown-ish issues.


Grown-ish is a television show on FreeForm that is a spin-off of a show called Black-ish shown on ABC. Grownish first aired on January 3, 2018 and was created by Kenya Barris and Larry Gilmore. 

The cast of the show includes: Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi) the main focus of the show, Luka Hall (Luka Sabbat), Trevor Jackson, Ana Torres (Francia Raisia), Nomi Segal (Emily Arlook), Vivek Shah (Jordan Buhat), and Chloe and Halle Bailey.

Grown-ish actress Yara Shahididi plays the role of Zoey Johnson, a young girl entering adulthood. She attends college at the California University of Liberal Arts where she is studying fashion. This is the first time she is on her own without her parents guidance, and is trying to find her way in the midst of rapid change in the college atmosphere. From friendships, to drugs, to boys, and looking towards the future ahead of her, Zoey is often conflicted with figuring out how to handle the different situations that come her way. With the help of her friends she has shoulders to lean on when times get rough and is learning along the way.

Zoey and her friends are faced with a wide range of issues however, with the day and age we live in these problems are not only conditional to the college setting, but are prevalent even amongst high school aged students. 

In season 1, episode 2, Zoey is conflicted with not having enough time or energy to complete her homework. Her friend Vivek sells stimulants such as Adderall around campus. He tries to persuade Zoey to take them and ensures her that she will have more energy, and will be able to twice as many tasks done as she normally would. When she does finally give in, she feels more energized and gets much more accomplished. Her boyfriend Lukka does not agree with her decision. 

Many high school students take medication to help with focus and energy, sometimes even if it is not prescribed because they feel it is the only way to get their work and other priorities done in a reasonable amount of time.

A publication from the US National Library of Medicine says “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently required manufacturers of these medicines to put a “black box” warning on the medications highlighting the potential for serious consequences resulting from misuse. The warning is in place for both physicians and patients that misuse of the medicine could cause “sudden death and serious cardiovascular adverse events.”  The warning also prominently identifies the drug as having “a high potential for abuse” and cautions against “the possibility of people obtaining amphetamines for non-therapeutic use or distribution to others.” Some natural alternatives to stimulants can include caffeine or maritime pine bark according to health and wellness experts VAGA.

In season 2, episode 3 Zoey has a panic attack. When she did not notify her friend Chloe that she had seen her boyfriend at a party,  she was accused of breaking friendship code. After that, rules were created to prevent this from happening again. Zoey panics as she overthinks while trying to be a trustworthy friend. She blacks out while running around campus as a result. 

In high school students often times get overwhelmed with the constant change around them. With the pressure of school, responsibilities at home, and maintaining a social life it is very easy for students to become stressed when things do not go as planned. Sometimes the pressure can become overbearing and can build up over time until it results in a panic attack.  

Menchville Sudent Support Specialist, Terri Keesee says “I work with students in developing self-help plans that assist them in coping with stress and managing their stressors. As a part of their plans, we establish a healthy habit routine that incorporates strategies for their overall health and wellness.” She mentions that self help plans should include things like getting a full 8 hours of sleep and students understanding the importance of not taking on more than they can handle. She also says that if students find themselves having a panic attack they should “Immediately seek assistance/support from their student support specialist, school counselor, school nurse… or try the following grounding exercises to help in that moment of anxiety/panic.” Grounding exercises can include breathing techniques, or holding on to something comforting such as a stress ball.

In season 1 episode 11, Aaron and Anna, two of Zoey’s close friends start riots dealing with race relations on opposing sides on campus. Aaron is protesting the school closing down what he deems as a safe space for black students. Anna believes that everyone should have their own safe space. Zoey is torn between which friend she should support. 

Around high school age teenagers begin to form their own opinions rather than just blindly agreeing to what their parents believe. Sometimes friends begin to realize that they do not share the same opinions. This can result in arguments and even conflicts within friendships. 

Ada Moses, a junior at Menchville says ” to prevent conflict I would respect each friends opinion, but I would also tell each friend to try and understand the other’s point of view.”