How Harry Potter Has Impacted My Life

By Bec C.

Growing up I was always the nerdy girl, the book worm, the one who excelled on all the tests. While in primary school I was not treated differently due to this (and had a healthy rivalry with a boy in the class, both competing to see who could score higher on tests). In high school I began to see how uncool it was to be the smart girl. I was picked on for this, and had people try to befriend me in order to copy off my tests.

Enter Hermione Granger and the Harry Potter series into my life. Apart from making me wish I could enter the Wizarding World and study subjects such as transfiguration and Defence against the Dark Arts, I began to realise that it was okay to be the bookworm, that you could still have close friends and be the smart ones, that you don’t need the newest clothes to be cool. Harry Potter helped my self esteem and helped me accept myself.

With friends I would go to see each Harry Potter movie that came out, and my family and I would race each other to finish the books. Even my brother, who disliked reading, read the final book (the wait for the audio book was too long at the time), and as a family we could discuss the series. We would discuss the movies, the books, things we liked and things we hated, and what houses we would get in (of the 4 oldest of us, there is one for each house, talk about coincidence). I have to say, it definitely made us closer, as we had a common interest to discuss.

I soon got interested in wizard rock, and podcasts, and had friends at uni interested in the same. There was a whole genre of music that became open to me, as I listened to artists such as the Ministry of Magic, and the Remus Lupins, musicians who were making something of themselves out of Harry Potter, and who weren’t afraid to be the nerds they are. These people were geeks, and were broadcasting it for the world to see. The only downside was they were all in the US.

With the final film approaching, and the end of the franchise looming, a friend suggested we travel to the US for Leakycon, a Harry Potter convention. I jumped on the chance (and on the chance to see bits of the rest of the US.) It was the trip of a lifetime, and one that probably would not have happened without Harry Potter. I grew closer to my travel mates and made new friends over there, friends from both the US and Australia, friends who shared the love of Harry Potter. Through this, I found some local Harry Potter groups, and met some of the people I idolised in the fandom, singers and bands from youtube, wrockers and podcasters, the Starkids who produced A Very Potter Musical (including Darren Criss), and even an actor from the film itself, Evanna Lynch.

Through Harry Potter I have so many memories, and while the books may be finished, and the films over, I will never forget the magic this series brought me, and the memories I got to experience as a result. I got to visit Hogsmeade itself in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and try Butterbeer, and spend days living in a fantasy world at Leakycon, where every moment was a Harry Potter reference. Harry Potter has had a large impact on my life, and it is an impact I do not believe is over yet. Though Harry Potter is over, my memories will live on forever, and I look forward to the day I can bring this magic into the lives of future students, and one day my future children.