I have an idea for a new TV show. What do you think?
A young guy finishes high school and starts college at the end of the summer. He is excited to make new friends, meet lots of girls, and to learn about communications management. He sees himself as a talent agent in Los Angeles one day, and he cannot wait to get his degree and make that happen.
Instead of going to school in LA though, he opts for the Midwest state school with tuition that his family can afford to help pay. He doesn’t think it makes a difference because he is so driven toward that specific career path. He plans to meet like-minded people, to form relationships with professors, and to network with alumni.
He packs up his life, goes shopping for all the new dorm room stuff, and talks on the phone with his randomly-assigned roommate. He is more excited to start his life than most 17 and 18 year olds. He is ready, and determined.
When he finally arrives, he finds out, without really seeking it, what Greek life is like on campus. He joins a fraternity and dives into the social scene, again, without really seeking it. This guy has a hard time balancing studying and partying. He is sucked into the bar life, the house parties, and the readily available drugs to try.
Experimenting on the weekends leads to all-week partying, and barely making it to class. This guy is failing out of school, and he’s quickly taking on a life that will not lead him to his dream job.
When his parents find out about his grades, they pull their financial assistance. He is forced to get a job, which he loses because he doesn’t have time to party, do school work, and hold down a job that pays enough.
When he spends another semester drinking and drugging his time and money away, and he goes home for summer break, his parents see what’s going on more clearly. His mom immediately calls and sets up a bed at a rehab facility in California. “Oh I know all about this,” Mom says, “Sally’s oldest daughter got into those party drugs when she went away to college. My kid will not be the same. You’re going to rehab, young man!”
Next thing he knows, this guy is on a plane to a treatment center in Southern Caifornia. “This is how I finally get to LA?” he thinks. Not how he envisioned it, but once he gets clean, he’ll have options.
After inpatient rehab, he goes to a sober living college, where he thrives. This is what he wanted all along, essentially, and not that he wanted to go through addiction and failing out of school, but he ultimately made a better life for himself.
It’s not easy, and he struggles constantly with the array of bars and social opportunities in a city like Los Angeles, but he wants to be sober and to take a real shot at becoming one of those Ari-on-Entourage type of talent agents.
What do you think? Would you be interested in seeing a show about the real struggles of a young person trying to get clean?
Kate is a writer and counselor specializing in substance abuse treatment. For more information about sober living, check out BalboaHorizons.com