I know what a lot of people say: “It’s just a book.” “It’s for kids.” “You’re an adult now.” But for so many people out there, it’s really so much more. The Harry Potter franchise has changed countless lives around the world and continues to do so even now after its been completed. But why is it so important to me personally?
Of course, Harry Potter is an amazing set of books, but that’s not the reason I find it so important. It’s important to me because it’s inspired so many people to come together and create new connections. Before college, I would have just said I was a big Harry Potter fan — nothing more, nothing less. But while I was looking at prospective colleges, I found a flier for Lock Haven University, and I saw that they had a Quidditch team. Quidditch!!! How is that possible?
For those of you who aren’t aware of it, Quidditch is a fictional sport that JK Rowling made up in the Harry Potter books. And Lock Haven had a Quidditch team. I thought that was amazing. I had to go there. Of course, there were important factors that had led me to look at Lock Haven in the first place, but that solidified my decision. Little did I know that just about every college would have a quidditch team, but I am so happy I chose Lock Haven.
When I finally got to college and joined the quidditch team, I was in love. Our school paid for us to travel around the East Coast to play the sport. They almost completely funded our team to play Quidditch. On top of that, I met the best group of people that I could have asked for: my team. I miss my team every day of my adult life. They were my family, and we were so close. Them, along with the rest of the Quidditch community, are some of the most open-minded people I have ever met. They are so accepting of everything, I felt so comfortable coming out to everyone and even came out to everyone in my family while in college. My parents, my sister, and a few friends already knew, but everyone else didn’t. So, without Quidditch and, in turn, Harry Potter, I may not have had that courage, that support system that I needed in order to assure myself that someone would have my back if something went wrong.
One of those teammates was Caitie Probst, who, as I have mentioned before, is my best friend. I met her through the Quidditch team in college, and without her I would not be sitting here typing this blog right now. I don’t know where I would be, honestly. We wouldn’t have started writing our book together and taking our writing careers seriously. I wouldn’t have realized I could have a career in writing and never would have found my skill in writing fantasy. So without Harry Potter, I most likely wouldn’t have the relationship that I have with her nor anything that came along after it like the book, this blog, and an amazing friend in my life.
Without Harry Potter, I also probably would not have moved to Florida. With all of these factors considered, I’m not sure where I would be, but I’d probably still be living at home with my parents, or at least in the same small town, just passing through life like there was nothing more than that. I’d always known, even well before college, that I didn’t want to stay in PA, but I’m not sure I would have found a place worth going to if it wasn’t for Harry Potter World in Orlando. There were other amazing things about Florida that attracted me here too, and without any other place really calling out to me or being financially achievable, it seemed like the perfect place to go before I got trapped forever in the small town I grew up in. If I never moved to Florida, I wouldn’t have met my amazing friends down here who have just been a blessing to me every day. Matt, Greg, Brian, you guys have been a true family to me here. I can’t forget to shout out to Steph also, but she doesn’t live in Florida with me. I met her through Matt. I’m not going to go too much in detail about them because I just realized I should make a different post just about the important people in my life.
As you can see, Harry Potter has helped guide me to where I am today. I can’t even take a wild guess at where I would be sitting in this exact moment if it had never existed. When you meet someone that is so passionate about Harry Potter, I guarantee that they will have a similar life-changing story to mine. So, before you roll your eyes and judge, just know that they wouldn’t even be there for you to roll your eyes at if it weren’t for Harry Potter. It’s not just a story, it’s an inspiration.
Hasta La Pasta,