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Don’t let the muggles get you down: what I learnt as a Potterhead

Don’t let the muggles get you down: what I learnt as a Potterhead

Christianah B


The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling is considered one of the most beloved of all time, and not just to the Potterhead community. It’s hard not to fall in love with the characters, storyline and writing of the series. Not only is it entertaining, it also teaches priceless life lessons that can be carried from elementary school all the way into adulthood. From The Sorcerer’s Stone to The Deathly Hallows, here are eight life lessons that law students can learn from the famous adventure.

Extra reading gets you ahead 

Hermione, one of Harry’s best friends, is a clever bookworm who spends her spare time in the library. On more than one occasion, she saved the boys from danger by using her magic skills and sorcery knowledge to create spells. Take a leaf out of her book and get stuck into some extra reading and research at university – it’ll get you far!

Be a doer, not a dreamer

On finding him gazing longingly into the Mirror of Erised, Dumbledore told Harry that “it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live”. The headmaster’s words are a reminder that dwelling on what might have been in the past or what could be in the future distracts from living in the present. Take Dumbledore’s advice seriously when hearing back from training contracts or vacation schemes applications – don’t be disheartened if you’re unsuccessful, there is always something positive around the corner.

Have good relationships with professors

As a bright-eyed fresher, it’s easy to think that you know it all and that your lecturers have nothing new to teach you. In Harry Potter, Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall and Lupin were elders who were able to guide the students with love and priceless wisdom. Your lecturers are not only the people who teach you – they also have contacts with lawyers and university alumni who can aid you with work experience or provide advice on training contract applications. By having good relationships with your lecturers, you have more chance of becoming successful during your study and post-graduation.

Friendship is important

Harry would have died in the first book if he hadn’t had his best friends – Hermione and Ron – to help him face life’s challenges. You will laugh and cry with your university friends. Friends give you a support network that you can lean on when you’re having a tough time writing your dissertation. Don’t be shy to tell your friends what’s going on with you and ask them for help when you need it – you might be surprised to find that they’re going through the same thing.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Harry had one flaw throughout the novels: he never asked for help. His first instinct when facing danger was to face it alone. But along the way, he found that receiving help from his teachers, the headmaster and his friends was the only way to win. If you find yourself struggling at university, don’t be afraid to ask for extra help. Use all of the support systems available to you, be it your personal tutor or lecturers – it’s what they’re there for. Asking for academic help could make the difference between a 2:2 and a 2:1, so put your pride away!

Community is important

Let’s be honest, where would Harry – or anyone in the magic world – be without Dumbledore’s army? He’d never have fought (and won) the final battle alone without the support of an amazing community. Universities offer a similar community in the form of academic and non-academic societies and clubs. You can easily isolate yourself at university, which is why it’s important to join societies and get involved with extracurricular activities – be it the law society or the drama club – to find the right society for you. You might not have a group of wizards for support, but you can always reach out to other law students at university.

Never give up

Harry taught us to never give up. He endured so much in the series and persevered through it all. His character showed us that you can push through even the hardest times, bounce back and succeed. Likewise, university is a marathon, not a race – one that requires perseverance and determination in order to cross the finish line. Ultimately, your grades, studies, time spent writing applications and juggling other commitments will become a heavy burden, but stay focused and keep believing in yourself.

Trust the process

One of the morals of the story is that you never know what you are capable of until you try. The Harry Potter series is illustrated by growth – when we first meet Harry, he’s introduced as a vulnerable, bullied young boy living with relatives who don’t want him after his parents were killed. Throughout the series, the author introduces different challenges, personal and physical, to Harry and he overcomes all obstacles. Who would’ve known that Harry Potter would defeat Voldemort in the final battle? Likewise, nobody (not even your lecturer) is aware of your academic ability and knowledge, but, with time, you too will overcome any physical and mental challenges that you may face at university and, before you know it, you'll be an LLB graduate!

And finally

“Don’t let the muggles get you down” – I chose this specific quote from the series to encourage other law students to persevere in the face of adversity. The legal world can be a dark place, your lawyer dreams can seem impossible and your hopes of gaining a training contract slim with people telling you to give up, but remember that they are the muggles. You are not a muggle, you’re a Potterhead. They can’t touch you, because you have magic – whether it be literal or figurative – inside of you. So, don’t let the muggles get you down!