There's no stranger, more complex, and more fleeting a romance than the friendship between teenage girls. More than our parents and siblings, more than our first love interests, our best friends in high school know the profound depths of our insecurities, how desperately we want to look and dress a certain way, to grow up to be a certain kind of person—because they feel and desire all of these things, too. The new documentary All This Panic, following a group of teens in Brooklyn over the course of three years, and depicts all the turmoil of the transition from teen to young adult with a gorgeous intimacy that feels like walking into a friend's bedroom to tell her a secret.
Best friends Lena and Ginger make up the emotional backbone of the film. Where Lena is excitable and determined, Ginger is brooding, a bit more confounded by the sheer fact of aging. They drift apart, come back together, and drift apart again as they leave high school and choose different paths. But there are other girls with equally complex stories: Dusty, Ginger's younger sister, and her closest friend, Delia; Sage, who questions what the world expects of teenage girls, while striving for a scholarship to Howard; Olivia, who quietly comes to terms with her sexuality and looks for a girlfriend; and Ivy, a guy's girl who just wants to have enough money to move in with her boyfriend.
We asked you, Sweet readers, for your questions on surviving high school and the transition to college. All This Panic's Dusty, Delia, and Ivy sat down with us to give you their answers.
"What's the scariest part of growing up?"
"You have so many decisions to make, so fast, and they all matter so much." —Delia
"I'm a total introvert, but I want to expand my squad. How do I become friends with people if I don't already know them, sit with them at lunch, etc.?"
"Be open to *everyone*." —Ivy
"How am I supposed to feel when my group of friends starts drifting apart?"
"Don't think of it as an end. Just a pause." —Ivy
"There aren't any girls at my school who are like me. Is it weird that I have mostly guy friends?"
"Has your relationship with your parents changed for the better?"
"I think they want me to hang out with them…" —Dusty
"Please help, how do I survive being a teenage girl?"
"Let yourself feel the things you're feeling." —Delia