Thanks To Harry Potter, I Graduated With Honors

Thanks To Harry Potter, I Graduated With Honors

Never judge a book by its cover.

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For as long as I can remember, Harry Potter has been a part of my life.

I can remember being tiny and sitting in front of the TV and being mesmerized by the antics of Harry, Ron, and Hermoine. The second one, “The Chamber of Secrets" was always my favorite. Mainly because of the giant snake.

I never knew they were books until I was on a cruise to Mexico when I was four and my older cousin was reading one of the later books (I believe it was “The Order of the Phoenix" yet, I can't remember exactly). As soon as I knew they were books, I wanted to read them.

However, I was a fairly slow reader in my youth. I can remember being in first grade and only reading one book the entire year, while the other kids had three or four books on their belt. I felt out of place because school put me in a specialized reading group with all the other kids who were struggling to read. Yet, every time I walked past the Harry Potter books in the library, I would tap them and think, “one day."

In second grade, I was still fairly behind in reading in contrast to my fellow peers. There was a volunteer, a sweet, older woman with curly, grey-white hair, who would read with me every Thursday. We read a bunch of different things and would never judge me for saying a word wrong or stumbling through a sentence. One day after we read a particularly long story, she asked me, "what's your book goal or book series goal?"

I felt my eyes drifting over to where the Harry Potter books across the library. She followed my line of sight and smiled when she realized what I was looking at. "Harry Potter," she stated, "those are fifth and sixth-grade reading level books." I nodded, slightly embarrassed that I would even think about reading such books with such a high reading level. She must have noticed my cheek flare red because the next thing she said was, "Well, I believe you can do it. Maybe in a few years, but you'll get there."

I can distinctly remember the smile spread across my face when I returned to class.

The next year, in third grade, I remember my teacher telling me that the sweet, older woman who had helped and believed in me had died of a stroke. That day I picked up the first Harry Potter book and started reading.

I struggled through it, I didn't know much of the vocabulary, especially the British vocabulary and phrases. However, I could see my reading comprehension increasing. I graduated from the extra reading classes I had to do, my reading comprehension tests sky-rocketed, and by fourth grade, I was the number one reader in the class.

I credit the Harry Potter series with helping me get to where I am today. They helped me to realize that books weren't actually boring, but adventurous and interesting. Harry Potter turned me into an avid reader, which helped me to graduate High School with honors.

Today, when I put on my "Gryffindor" hat or when I log onto my computer and see my wallpaper, I can't help but think back to second grade and my time spent with the sweet older woman. Each time, I can picture her smile and her telling me she believed in me, which is enough to help me get through any day.

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10 Things I Threw Out AFTER Freshman Year Of College

Guess half the stuff on your packing list doesn't really matter
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I spent the entire summer before my freshman year of college so WORRIED.

I also spent most of my money that summer on miscellaneous dorm stuff. I packed the car when the time finally came to move in, and spent the drive up excited and confused about what the heck was actually going on.

Freshman year came and went, and as I get ready to go back to school in just a few short weeks (!!), I'm starting to realize there's just a whole bunch of crap I just don't need.

After freshman year, I threw out:

1. Half my wardrobe.

I don't really know what I was thinking of owning 13 sweaters and 25 T-shirts in the first place. I wear the same five T-shirts until I magically find a new one that I probably got for free, and I put on jeans maybe four times. One pair is enough.

2. Half my makeup.

Following in the theme of #1, if I put on makeup, it's the same eyeliner-mascara combination as always. Sometimes I spice it up and add lipstick or eyeshadow.

3. My vacuum.

https://secure.img1-ag.wfcdn.com/im/d5ea3c03/resize-h2000-p1-w2000%5Ecompr-r85/3021/30217778/Express+6+Volt+Cordless+Bagless+Handheld+Vacuum.jpg

One, I basically never did it. Two, if I REALLY needed to vacuum, dorms rent out cleaning supplies.

4. Most of my photos from high school.

I didn't throw them ALL away, but most of them won't be making a return to college. Things change, people change, your friends change. And that's okay.

5. Excess school supplies.

Binders are heavy and I am lazy. I surprisingly didn't lose that many pens, so I don't need the fifty pack anymore. I could probably do without the crayons.

6. Cups/Plates/Bowls/Silverware.

Again, I am lazy. I cannot be bothered to wash dishes that often. I'll stick to water bottles and maybe one coffee cup. Paper plates/bowls can always be bought, and plastic silverware can always be stolen from different places on campus.

7. Books.

I love to read, but I really don't understand why I thought I'd have the time to actually do it. I think I read one book all year, and that's just a maybe.

8. A sewing kit.

I don't even know how to sew.

9. Excessive decorations.

It's nice to make your space feel a little more cozy, but not every inch of the wall needs to be covered.

10. Throw pillows.

At night, these cute little pillows just got tossed to the floor, and they'd sit there for days if I didn't make my bed.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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The Truth About Your High School Friendships AFTER High School

Best friends forever right?

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In high school, I was extremely involved, everyone knew me, and I knew everyone. The number of people I would text on a daily basis would be around twenty and I would Snapchat around 60 people a day. I had a sweet sixteen and had a guest list of 240 people. I understand that high school isn't necessarily like this for everyone, but I was involved in twelve clubs, was student body president for two years, was nominated in the homecoming court for my four years there, and was on a friendly basis with every individual. I was that person who would just say "hi" to people in the hallway in passing.

Being in high school I would always hear the seniors who graduated before me talk about how drastically their friendships changed, my mom would constantly tell me how she talks to five friends from high school, and I really couldn't wrap my head around that. I interacted with a ton of people online, but even more in person, and I thought that it would stay the same after high school. I mean sure, I figured that it would mostly be all online interaction as I was going to a college out of state, but that's not the case.

The interactions I have with these "friends" consist of maybe three individuals who I talk to once a week — if that.

Everyone else, all those people who I felt so bonded to, I will occasionally like their Instagram picture or retweet their tweet, but that's as far as it extends. It's weird. In high school, you are surrounded by these people who you grow up with, and you don't realize how big the world truly is. Once you leave high school you see that there's more to life than just your town.

I'm glad that I have my three friends from high school because those are the people who want to be in your life. It's not that those friends from high school don't but college is about self-discovery. It's about finding those who are there for the long run, and in college, I have found that. I've found people who will be my friends for life.

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