09/10/2012 10:04 am ET Updated Nov 10, 2012

'Dawson's Creek': A Look Back On The World According To Dawson

The late '90s WB primetime soap "Dawson's Creek" has reentered the lives of Internet users everywhere, mostly thanks to its availability on Netflix Instant. After an initial outrage over the theme song change -- the mind-boggling disappearance of Paula Cole's "I Don't Want To Wait?" -- viewers settled into the comfortable Capeside life of Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek) and his hormonal friends Pacey Witter (Joshua Jackson), Jen Lindley (Michelle Williams) and Joey Potter (Katie Holmes).

But revisiting the series more than a decade later is a little unsettling. Not only does it shatter cozy memories of a life in which climbing into a boy's window is the norm, but it appears that good ol' Dawson planted unrealistic expectations in the minds of teens everywhere.

Read on for a list of imaginary things "Dawson's Creek" taught us about life.

1. You found your soulmate when you were four.

According to "Dawson's," "meant to be" is really a thing. Dawson spent hours in his room watching old videotapes of himself frolicking with a tiny Joey Potter around the Creek. He stares at her a lot too. And when she tells him Pacey is "the one," his face crumples and he cries in a way that makes everyone uncomfortable. Van Der Beek recently admitted to HuffPost that this crying jag wasn't in the script, and I absolutely believe him. It's supposed to be Dawson and Joey, not Pacey and Joey!

2. You should always have ladder leading up to your bedroom window.

According to "Dawson's," a ladder is a perfect tool for your aforementioned soulmate to climb up so she can sit on your bed and tell you that she's totally into you, but she's just trying to focus on her career ... er, drawing class ... right now. Even if your friends try to have sex in your room (looking at you, Jen and Pacey) because of the ladder, it's still fine.

3. Having an affair with your teacher is wildly romantic.

According to "Dawson's," seducing your teacher is completely acceptable. When Pacey is deflowered by his sultry English teacher Tamara (Leann Hunley), their forbidden affair becomes unbearably wonderful ... until everyone finds out about it. Pacey denies it, Tamara leaves town, and no one gets hurt even though, away from the Creek, it usually leads to horrible consequences on both ends.

4. Being mean to everyone will make boys fall in love with you.

According to "Dawson's," you should should push boys, yell at them, slouch a lot and occasionally dress up to remind everyone that you're secretly really pretty. That's what Joey did, and she had boys fighting over her for all six seasons. Even Jack (Kerr Smith) wanted her, and he turned out to be gay.

5. You can cheat on your PSATs and nothing bad will happen.

According to "Dawson's," you can cheat on standardized tests. When good girl Andie McPhee (Meredith Monroe) snags an advance copy of the PSATs and is told she's on her way to earning a National Merit Scholarship, she fesses up to the principal ... and he lets her off the hook. Why? Because she's head of the school disciplinary committee and has never done anything wrong. Later, Andie gets into Harvard. Let's examine the message here, people.

6. New York is a scary place where bad people live.

According to "Dawson's," Manhattan should be avoided at all costs. I don't know the exact details of Jen's pre-Capeside life, but she's a well of sexual experience and drug knowledge. When a few friends and an ex-boyfriend trickle in they come bearing drugs and trouble. As a New Yorker, I'm a little offended.

7. Parental supervision is just kind of whatever.

According to "Dawson's," you can spend an entire summer alone on a boat with a boy and no one cares. After Dawson cried in that uncomfortable way, Joey and Pacey spent three months at sea. No one was keeping track of their whereabouts, and their raging hormones were barely noted by their parents and guardians. They were 16 so they were basically grownups, right?

8. Gender ambiguous names are cute.

According to "Dawson's," Joey and Andie are absolutely great names for girls. Names no one has ever heard of, like Dawson and Pacey, are perfect for boys. Now Jessica Simpson has named her daughter Maxwell, Beyonce named her daughter Blue and Tori Spelling named her son Finn. These kids barely have hair, so no one knows if they're boys or girls. I'm not pointing fingers, but thanks a lot "Dawson."

9. Dorm rooms are palaces.

According to "Dawson's," awesome dorm rooms are pretty standard. When Joey finally says goodbye to Capeside and heads to the fictional Worthington University in Boston, she moves into the dorms and befriends her roomie Audrey Liddell (Busy Phillips). That's all fine, but Joey and Audrey don't live in your standard windowless hole with a mini fridge and gross microwave. They have beautiful windows and hardwood floors. Collegebound students, beware: Unless you plan on attending Worthington University, an awesome dorm room isn't in your future.

10. Being part of the "Dawson's Creek" cast means you're going be famous forever.

Getting in on that cast was a good idea. I'm serious this time. Michelle Williams earned an Oscar nod for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in "My Week With Marilyn" last year, James Van Der Beek currently stars as himself on "Don't Trust The B---- In Apartment 23," Joshua Jackson appears on Fox's "Fringe," and Katie Holmes was married to Tom Cruise for a while. The kids of the Creek are just that cool.