On September 1st, young witches and wizards return to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy for another year of magical education. In the Harry Potter series, the characters don’t only learn a lot – they also have many of their best adventures at Hogwarts. After rereading the series right before school was about to start, I realized that many of the characters have very different attitudes towards school and lessons we can take away from their experiences.
Harry Potter: The way Harry was treated by his aunt and uncle, it was almost like he was coming home when school started. Because he was always treated so horribly by the Dursleys, Hogwarts seemed even better to him then it did to the other students. Maybe we should all try to take our education a little less for granted, along with the chance to see our friends quite a lot and having a supportive family. However, as the books go on, Harry wanted to be an Auror and certainly had the skills to take on the job. However, he almost didn’t get the chance to because of his grades – he was lucky to have Professor Slughorn help him out. It just goes to show how we should all start thinking about how our grades could affect our future careers before it’s too late. No matter how talented you are, your academics can hold you back.
Ron Weasley: Ron definitely isn’t a try-hard when it comes to school. Certainly, Ron and Harry can both teach us to not shy away from some adventure or risks, even if it might get us in trouble. They definitely embrace the idea of not being afraid to explore and going outside of your comfort zone. For example, Ron wasn’t very comfortable with following those spiders! Ron shows us all that it’s okay if you’re not the best in your class, that there are certain merits and character traits that matter more than a good grade in a class. As Hermione once said in The Sorcerer’s Stone, “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things- friendship and bravery.”
Hermione Granger: Some say she’s brilliant, some (as in Snape) say she’s an “insufferable know-it-all,” but either way Hermione can definitely teach us something about anything. When it comes to school, I think she shows us how to have an enthusiasm for learning and what it looks like to work hard to better ourselves. She is eager to learn and is willing to work hard in order to be better in any subject area. I think we can all respect that. Hermione also teaches us to stand up for what we believe. Many people don’t remember that Hermione was very active in working towards equal rights for house elves. Hermione shows that from a young age, and even when you are busy with school, you can stand up for what you believe in. And just to be clear, Hermione’s hard work at school ended up paying off. She became the Minister for Magic!
Neville Longbottom: You may be thinking, what could poor, clumsy, Neville Longbottom teach us about school? Well although Neville may have been horrendous at things like brewing potions, he underwent a dramatic transformation during his school years. He started off nervous, unsure, and uncomfortable with himself. By the end of the book, he was much more sure of himself, brave and had made lots of lasting friends. Neville can teach us all to learn to embrace the good days and bad days and overall just to enjoy and accept the journey we go through during our school years. And on some of those bad days, remember what Dumbledore said, “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
If you have any others feel free to share them in the comments below! Happy Back to Hogwarts Week!
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