Harry Potter entered our lives twenty years ago as a small baby with a scar on his forehead, on a motorcycle, at 4 Privet Drive.
Following him, was a wonderful world of magic, with flying broomsticks, boiling cauldrons of potions, spells that could turn a rat into a cup (except when Ron tried it of course), magical animals, tournaments, the secrets and mysteries of dark magic.
We have lived the past two decades loving the other characters that came with the franchise.
Hermione and her on spot comments, (...or worse expelled!), Snape 'Always' acting like the villain, but ending up being a nice guy (tears up a bit), McGonagall's sassiness and Dumbledore's half moon glasses.
The Weasley brothers cracking us up every time, Ginny shutting up the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and watching Sirius being the godfather that he is. And Dobby. Oh, poor Dobby.
These are just a few characters. There are many more and each one of them made sure that we have something to look back and feel something. Joy, laughter, tears, desire for that Hogwarts letter. Wanting to punch Umbridge at times.
These are emotions that have been set for years and will always, remain close to our hearts. It is the greatest cultural phenomena of our generation, and like all influencers of culture, Harry Potter has affected our school lives.
Hogwarts was a school. The story was about a couple of kids who were at a school for witchcraft and wizardry. And boy! did we not wish to attend that school. There are a few things Hogwarts gave us, other than extreme expectations from our own school lives which were brought down by the incessant tuition classes and CGPA talks.
The world of Harry Potter taught us few things. Let's rewind and look at that bit:
(Starts Hedwig's Theme in the background)
Love your Hagrid
Each school has a Hagrid. The Keeper of Keys and Grounds, and lover of animals. They might turn up in different forms. Mostly as the watchman or the security guy. Sometimes as the guy who rings the bell after each hour. The watchmen can be the most helpful people. They might look a bit rough and scary, like our dear Hagrid. But they know the school and the ways around it better than everyone. That they should be treated with respect and care. Harry Potter taught us that every person deserves dignity and respect. Every job deserves dignity and respect.
Special mention for Dobby and the House-elves.
Read. A LOT.
If you have scanned the pages of Harry Potter and watched every scene from every movie, you will know where this is going. Yes! Where Hermione goes. The Library. Harry Potter, er...correction Hermione Granger taught us that all answers lie in the depths of books. Well, it might be a google search away these days, but reading helps in knowing a lot more than just looking a random fact up. The series focused on the importance of library and books, each time there was a problem.
Friendship and Family
The series focuses on how close relations with friends and family can help one. Their absence can affect you. And getting them back can cheer you up. It also tells us that relations through blood are not the only ones that matter. Harry's close relations with Molly and the Weasley family and, Sirius being a doting Godfather to Harry are examples for it. And of course the Golden Trio, who stood by each other till the last. They taught us how, in student lives, friends and family will support when there is no one for you.
Get your O.W.L.S and N.E.W.T.S right!
Well, don't go chasing around animals now. You know what that means. Take your examinations seriously. Yes they don't define who you are, but it doesn't hurt if you study a little, does it? Don't go chomping books after books. Just prepare yourself in a balanced way. Practice your potion making, spells and know the history well.
Work Hard, Play Hard
Now that we have spoken about examinations, let's talk about the Play Hard part. Quidditch, though a fictional sport, taught us so much. The involvement of sports in school life, thanks to Ms. Rowling, and of course Madam Hooch, shows how even in the most magical place on earth, you need some time to relax and play. Quidditch thus taught us about team spirit, sportsmanship and how one really needs to practice to be perfect.
Fun Fact: If you notice in the movies, Harry Potter has the number 7 on his Jersey. The Costume Designer Jany Temime gave this as a reference to David Beckham who wore 7 as his number for a long time and had won at that time.
Never Underestimate anyone.
This, of course, is focused on the character of Neville Longbottom. The guy who basically cut Nagini, the Dark Lord's last Horcrux, his snake in two and ended him. But was he all heroic throughout the series? No. Everyone made fun of him. He was really bad at spells. People didn't expect him to be anything, but he was the one who bravely spoke against Voldemort when the time came. Neville taught us how there are many types of people, and that we must not underestimate anyone.
Be a Bit Weird
Luna Lovegood! The girl became goals for everyone who got teased in school for being different. Luna with her Quibbler and belief in Nargles is the sweetest and bold character who taught us how the weirdest person in school can definitely be the coolest person and a friend whom you could trust your life with.
Hurting others is no good.
A relevant theme throughout the books, we see how all the hurting and trying to succeed for the best by inflicting pain ends in nothing. In a community or groups in school, kids can be mean. They don't even know they are hurting. Harry Potter taught us how friendship and love can any day win over the darkest of magic. Take that Bellatrix.
Well, there is plenty more to say.
Hogwarts was the best place we could be at. But Harry, Ron and Hermione did more than just go to a school and get a degree. They were quite adventurous. So remember what they taught us-
Don't take your flying car off to school and almost fall from it.
Don't follow weird whispers around the corners.
Don't get into a fight with a 300-year-old tree, and definitely, don't eat up your friend's Chocolate Cauldrons or try a slug-vomiting charm when your wand is broken.
To put it in Muggle terms, enjoy your school life, with your friends. Get on adventures but make sure you are safe. And if anything still bothers you, just remember -
"Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it."