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Degrassi spoilers: 9 Emotionally charged topics tackled in Next Class

Carrie Nelson is a writer and filmmaker based in NYC. Her bylines appear on websites including The Daily Dot, New York Observer, Bitch Media, and The New Civil Rights Movement, and she was a founding editor of the global feminist blog Ge...

Degrassi: Next Class tackles everything from the turmoil of troubled relationships to the heartbreak of terminal illness

Degrassi has been a Canadian public television institution since the 1980s, and its newest chapter begins this Friday, when Degrassi: Next Class premieres on Netflix. The cast will feature fan favorites from Season 14 of Degrassi: The Next Generation, along with some fresh faces. And, of course, the students of Degrassi Community School will be continuing to balance their homework and part-time jobs with dating woes, terminal illness, violence and so much more. So what stories should you be expecting in Degrassi: Next Class? Let's turn to the trailer to find out.

More: The cast of Degrassi then and now

1. The choice between creative pursuits and romance

Degrassi: Next Class tackles everything from the turmoil of troubled relationships to the heartbreak of terminal illness
Image: Netflix/YouTube

Maya and Zig started dating last season on Degrassi: The Next Generation, but now Maya's looking to push her music career to the next level. Will starting a band mean an end for their love? The plot thickens later in the trailer, when Maya gets friendly with Jonah on a bed, proving that the struggle to balance art and romance is never cut and dry.

2. The endless struggle with body image

Degrassi: Next Class tackles everything from the turmoil of troubled relationships to the heartbreak of terminal illness
Image: Netflix/YouTube

Shay's got a crush on Tiny this season, and she thinks the feeling is probably mutual, but she's worried that her lack of "junk in [her] trunk" will prevent her from sealing the deal. But whether Tiny's into her solely for her body remains to be seen.

3. The discovery of masturbation

Degrassi: Next Class tackles everything from the turmoil of troubled relationships to the heartbreak of terminal illness
Image: Netflix/YouTube

Oh, Lola. We all know why you're stealthily detaching your shower head. Welcome to adulthood and your sexual awakening, young lady.

More: Degrassi's Cassie Steele talks new "horror film" music video for "Games": "It's only lipstick"

4. The trauma of chronic illness

Degrassi: Next Class tackles everything from the turmoil of troubled relationships to the heartbreak of terminal illness
Image: Netflix/YouTube

"My whole life has been people telling me to stay positive," Grace shouts at Zoe on the roof. "But no one wants to talk about how I'm going to die." It's true — Grace doesn't look well and it appears that whatever is wrong with her is causing her to vomit blood in the school bathroom. How will Zoe handle this news, along with her lingering crush on Grace?

5. The devastation of heartbreak

Degrassi: Next Class tackles everything from the turmoil of troubled relationships to the heartbreak of terminal illness
Image: Netflix/YouTube

Esme's a newcomer to Degrassi Community School and she's got a big crush on Miles. But it doesn't seem like that's going to end well for either of them.

6. The shock of unmanaged rage

Degrassi: Next Class tackles everything from the turmoil of troubled relationships to the heartbreak of terminal illness
Image: Netflix/YouTube

Hunter shocks newcomer Yael by smashing school property in the computer lab. What's happening with his rage — and will Yael be OK?

More: QUIZ: Degrassi fans need to take this quiz

7. The tension of the student council race

Degrassi: Next Class tackles everything from the turmoil of troubled relationships to the heartbreak of terminal illness
Image: Netflix/YouTube

Tristan is running for student council president, and with Zoe by his side, he's bound to be unstoppable. But that isn't enough to curb their nerves entirely.

8. The harsh reality of criminal justice

Degrassi: Next Class tackles everything from the turmoil of troubled relationships to the heartbreak of terminal illness
Image: Netflix/YouTube

The bad boys of Degrassi Community School never seem to know how to stay out of trouble. In this case, Zig and Maya are ambushed by what appears to be a SWAT team. In the middle of the afternoon. While Maya's mic stand is out, suggesting that she's been busy rehearsing. This may provide some more insight as to what's causing the trouble in paradise for Maya and Zig.

9. The thrill of newfound love

Degrassi: Next Class tackles everything from the turmoil of troubled relationships to the heartbreak of terminal illness
Image: Netflix/YouTube

Same-sex dating is one issue that Degrassi loves to revisit, time and time again. But is that Tristan? With Miles? Are they getting back together or is this a one-time fling? And could this have anything to do with why poor Esme is crying? Goodness, Degrassi, you never hold back!

Degrassi: Next Class premieres on Netflix this Friday, Jan. 15. Will you be watching?

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