9­­­ things we can learn from Harry Potter

Harry Potter has a great storyline, no doubt. But there’s a lot more to the series than a young wizard and his friends fighting the bad guys. Here are the top nine life lessons Harry and his friends can teach us.

1. Talk about things

Throughout the Harry Potter series, Voldemort is nearly always referred to as ‘he who shall not be named’. Voldemort serves as a metaphor for those things in life we're too afraid to speak about. Dumbledore said it best: ‘Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.’ Whether you're struggling with relationship issues, addiction or a mental health issue, don’t be afraid to talk about things. You’ll often feel better afterwards.

2. Friendship is important

Seriously, Harry would have died in the first book if he didn’t have Hermione and Ron to help him face life’s challenges. Friendship literally meant life or death for him. Friends give you a support network that you can lean on when you’re having a tough time. Tell your friends what’s going on with you, and ask them for help when you need it.

3. It’s okay to turn to your parents for help

Draco did. You might feel like your parents won’t understand what you’re going through, but remember that they always want what’s best for you. They have all this life experience under their belt that might be more relevant than you realise. Give them a chance to help, and you might be surprised.

4. It’s important to believe in yourself

Believing that you can achieve something is a key to success. Ron taught us this important lesson during his Quidditch match, when he thought he had Harry’s liquid luck. As it turned out, he didn’t have it; he was a champion all on his own. He played well just because he thought he would and felt confident. Believing in yourself and thinking positively puts you in the mindset to succeed!

5. Community is important

Let’s be honest: Hogwarts would have fallen to the Dark Arts if it hadn’t been for Dumbledore’s Army. Where would Harry – or anyone in the magic world – be without them? He never could have fought that final battle alone, without his amazing community of bad-ass wizards to back him up. You might not have a group of wizards for support, but you can always reach out to your community of friends and family if you need help.

6. Never give up

Harry taught us to never give up. He destroyed the horcrux within himself, and then came back from the dead to kill Voldemort. Harry endured so much in the series, and he persevered through all of it. He showed us that you can push through even the hardest times, bounce back and succeed.

7. You can find help in unexpected places

Who would have thought that Snape would turn out to be a huge help to Harry? Not the ‘turn to page 394’ kind of help, but the ‘protect his life at all costs’ kind. Remember that there are a lot of avenues for getting help. Try not to be sceptical; use any type of help that’s available to you.

8. Face your fears

Sometimes you have to venture into the Forbidden Forest to find a gigantic spider, even when you’re absolutely terrified of spiders. Okay, so you probably won’t ever have to do that, but Ron did. He was petrified, but he went into the forest with Harry anyway. And Harry probably wouldn’t have made it out alive if Ron hadn’t faced his fear of spiders. Facing your fears is an excellent way of overcoming them.

9. You’re strong and can do things on your own

Harry might have had a lot of help along the way, but in the last moments of the final battle between good and evil, he stood alone. He had to fight Voldemort, the most powerful dark lord in the universe, all alone, and he still came out on top. Channel your inner Harry Potter, and you can definitely get shit done by yourself.

What can I do now?

  • Connect with our equivalent of Dumbledore's army at the ReachOut Forums.

  • If you need some help, (and Harry isn't available) try the ReachOut NextStep tool to find the best support options for you.

  • Next time you're facing a tough time, try talking to your parents - it worked for Draco.