Seventeen-year-old high-school girl Jessa believes，after her final year of high school, she can leave this small boring town to open up a new and bright life. She grew up in a single family with her mother who is a restaurant service manager. Jessa's mother, Margit, was pregnant before she went to college. In order to raise the little Jessa, Margit gave up studying in college. The only method Jessa can pay the tuition is getting the scholarships for swimming. She thinks she can win one until she finds herself pregnant. The baby's father is Ethan; Jessa met him at a party. Following, Jessa is benched by her coach because of drinking. Also, pregnancy makes her feel weak. She receives an unofficial offer from Boston University, but it requires her to keep the champion position to get full scholarship. And what's worse, Margit is overly optimistic and she is planning the celebration for Jessa, which only causes a big fight between them.
Now, Jessa has to make a decision, give or take?
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Motion picture authorship; Motion pictures--Production and direction; Short films--Themes, motives; Coming of age--Drama
Imaging Arts (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Film and Animation (CIAS)
Yue, Xiaoqing, "The Undertow" (2014). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus