I went home this past weekend to spend some time with my family (and because Clean is much closer to my house. Who wants to drive from Chapel Hill to Raleigh at 8:00 in the morning?!)
In the middle of all the bootcamp craziness (still can’t believe that was a real experience), getting through my homework to-do list, and catching up on sleep, I realized that the Harry Potter movies were playing on TV. Now I know that those movies are always playing sometime, somewhere. But as college students with no cable, my roommates and I don’t get to delightfully stumble onto an old classic like so many others. So when my sister turned on the TV and the faces of a young Harry, Ron and Hermione filled the screen, my other plans for the day were immediately discarded. I gave up on homework (which I paid for dearly after coming back to campus) and spent the rest of the day on the couch, revisiting my childhood with my sister.
I was raised on Harry Potter. They were the first books that I remember begging my parents to actually buy, instead of just getting them from the library. They were the first books that dealt with death in a humane way, the first to deal with the shades of gray inside all of us, instead of the stark good vs. evil battle of other children’s books. Of course, as a child, I just thought the spells and the fact that the students got to learn MAGIC in school was amazing. But revisiting the movies this weekend reminded me of the lessons we can take from Harry Potter, even as adults and especially as college students just stepping out into the real world. Here are a few of those lessons!
Some people die without ever living
Some might find this a little too philosophical, and I agree! But when broken down to our everyday lives, it makes perfect sense. We get so bogged down in our day-to-day lives; class, homework, meetings, sleep, repeat; that we forget to truly live. Even if you can’t do the big travel things, go for a walk, take a day trip, go to a concert. Do something outside of your routine as often as you can. Remember why you’re doing everything you’re doing. You only live once, right?
Friends are important, but some things you have to face alone
Harry Potter is full of wonderful instances of friends having your back. I always hoped for as close-knit a relationship as the Golden Trio have and always strived to be that kind of friend. But sometimes, you gotta face your demons alone. Whether its a Dark wizard who tried to kill you as a baby, or a meeting with a scary professor to ask for a favor, friends can only get you so far. You need to believe in yourself.
Rejection is completely fine
This might be the most important thing for us as college students to hear. We’re always striving for the best classes, best internships, best leadership positions. But we need to get comfortable with rejection. It doesn’t diminish our self-worth, if anything by giving us thicker skin and better insight, rejection improves our self-worth! After all, Hermione didn’t win many of those little class contests but she was still the brightest witch of the age.
Talk about everything
Voldemort is “He Who Must Not Be Named.” And as Dumbledore so wisely said, “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” While it may not apply to Dark wizards intent on ruining our way of life, we still need to talk, to be willing to have difficult conversations. Whatever you’re struggling with, talking about it reduces its power over you and in turn makes you a stronger person. Communicating hard truths improves relationships.
Magic is real!
BELIEVE THAT! All around you, amazing things are constantly happening. Getting that A on an exam you didn’t have time to study for? Magic! Making the bus when when you know you didn’t leave in time? Magic! Realizing you have extra time to work on an assignment? Magic! Believe in all the little things, take joy in all the little things. Find magic everywhere. That way, one way or another, we all go to Hogwarts!