15 Ways J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series Changed My Life for the Better

Author J.K. Rowling has undoubtedly become one of the biggest influences on the Millennial generation.

I mean, how many people have you met in your lifetime who hasn't read or seen at least one Harry Potter installment or who hasn't taken at least one quiz to find out which House they belong in? Exactly.

In honor of our favorite writer's birthday, I've compiled a list of ways that her most famous series to date, Harry Potter, has influenced and changed my life for the better.

Scroll below to relate to all of the magic, messages and more:

1. While Emma Watson is drop-dead gorg, the character of Hermione was never supposed to be a knockout, becoming one of the first heroines I'd read who wasn't beautiful and who didn't need to become beautiful in order to have power.

Young Hermione with big hair

(Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone via Warner Bros.)

2. With the variety of family lives featured in the series I learned that no two people have the same background, but that doesn't change their ability to thrive. Harry was raised by magic-hating Muggles, the Weasleys are a large but humble family, Hermoine has two Muggle parents and Neville was brought up by his grandmother. And yet, each of these wizards were equally successful in their unique interests.

3. I could have just as much fun reading for two days straight as I could doing anything else. Who else locked themselves in their bedroom with their brand new copy of the latest HP book and read it cover to cover in one sitting? This series brought back the fun of reading in an age when movies and television are so popular.

4. It allowed me to see that our perception isn't always reality. In another series, Snape and Malfoy may have been one-dimensional villains, but J.K. knows that behind every evil there's a reason for their malevolence.

Snape hugging Lily Potter after avada kedavra curse

(Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows via Warner Bros.)

5.  The obvious romantic match is not always the truest match. I thank my lucky stars every day that Ron and Hermione were end-game.

6. The four Hogwarts Houses made it clear that people have a range of talents and personalities that are different yet equally important. I have immense pride for my Ravenclaw house which isn't based on something trivial like a team or a background, but instead on my traits that make me me. 

7. Magic is an ability but it has to be learned, nurtured, practiced and respected, just like any other skill. Other images of magic we know are that of Mary Poppins who simply points to a mess and it cleans itself up on its own. Through this series I learned that magic may be a big help, but just like any other lesson, activity or sport you have to work hard at it. Magic isn't an easy way out.

8. Friends will go through rough patches, but it isn't the end of the world as long as you commit to helping each other out and understand their own unique pressures.

Ron, Harry and Hermione hugging and laughing in victory

(Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets via Warner Bros.)

9. Never give up. As corny as it sounds, it's a message lived by the fictional world of Harry Potter and in J.K. Rowling's personal life. Had this author called it quits, we would never know one of the greatest stories of our lifetime. It makes me wonder, excitedly, what amazing changes I have waiting inside of myself.

10. Unlike Disney tales where parents who have passed away are never spoken of, Lily and James Potter continued to be important figures in the series and in Harry's life. This taught me that, while the past is behind us, it doesn't need to be forgotten in order for a person to move forward.

Harry Potter looking into Mirror of Erised, sees his parents

(Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone via Warner Bros.)

11. Butterbeer has become a fall and winter staple. It may sound funny, but certain wizarding festivities have enhanced my Muggle life, like this delicious beverage. I just couldn't complete a post on how HP has changed my life without including butterbeer. 

12. No mentor or role model is perfect. Simply, because no one is capable of being perfect. As much as we love Dumbledore, there were times when even he, a famous wizard, could have made better decisions. It's important to know that your mentors are capable of much, including mistakes, but that doesn't have to sway your opinion of them. 

13. Through the character of Ron I learned that I don't have to be an inherently skilled wizard (or, erm, Muggle) like Harry or a quick-as-a-whip intelligent bookworm like Hermione in order to be brilliant. Ron may be the comedic relief at times, but he is just as useful and, without him, the gang would have been incomplete.

Ron on knight during game of wizard's chess

(Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets via Warner Bros.)

14. I had something to look forward to every summer. While free time and family vacations were high on my expectation list, the best part of summer as a kid was waiting in line for my new HP book.

15. Maybe beyond all else, I learned how to open my mind to creativity. We take the wizarding world for granted because we've grown up with it, but J.K. Rowling had to create every rule, imagine every storefront and discover all of the chambers of Hogwarts. And what about those twists? Scabbers?? The Horcruxes?? Basically, this series taught me to go big or go home.

 

Like the Harry Potter series, Pretty Little Liars has seen its last days. If you're having withdrawals over the ending of the PLL era, you need to binge THESE mystery podcasts ASAP.