How many times a day do we just throw our hands up and ask, "What Would Harry Potter Do?" Probably... not all that often, actually. I mean, we all love Harry Potter, the series. And we all love Harry Potter, the boy wizard. But there are so many other characters in the HP books that are better role models. Like, Hermione, or Dumbledore, or, say, Hermione Granger.
Harry might not be our very first choice for a role model, but when it comes down to it there's a good reason that the series is all about him. He may not have Hermione's natural brains or talents, but he's got a certain flair for defense against the dark arts. He's full of courage and teen angst. And his ability to love is fierce.
When you need to ace that test or job interview, you channel your inner Hermione. When you need to come off as fun and easygoing at a party, you channel your inner Ron (or really, any Weasley kid other than Percy). But when it seems like everything is always happening to you, and things are the WORST, and no one believes in you... then you channel your inner Harry. He's the character who's going to get you out of your darkest times (because we all know he's been through some fairly dark times himself).
So, for when times get tough, here are some tips for channeling the boy who lived:
1. Ask for What You Want
As Harry reminds little Albus Severus, you have a say in your own fate. Harry might not be great at choosing original baby names, but he's right about this: He asked the Sorting Hat not to put him in Slytherin, and he wound up in Gryffindor. Not that there's anything wrong with Slytherin — but this lesson comes in handy when Harry realizes that prophecies only apply if you choose to follow them. So choose your own fate. That Pottermore quiz isn't the boss of you.
2. Be Sassy as Hell
How did Harry survive all those year of cruel guardians and political enemies? Pure, unadulterated sass. When he's not being awkward around girls, he's talking back to teachers and being a general sarcastic teen. But there's a lesson here: approach things with a sense of humor, even when life is hugely unfair. It won't work in every situation, but it'll keep your spirits up when the Dudleys and Snapes of the world try to get you down.
3. Share Your Chocolate Frogs
Harry didn't have very much when he was growing up, but that didn't stop him from sharing his wealth and candy whenever he could. If you have a galleon to spare, why not buy your friend a chocolate frog? Or give Fred and George the seed money for their joke shop? Harry's always generous with whatever he has, and always grateful when the Weasleys welcome him into their home. So channel your inner Harry and pay it forward.
4. Sometimes It Really Is All About You
Look. You shouldn't shove other people aside to be in the spotlight. But sometimes things really are all about you. Harry doesn't go looking for trouble, but he's not afraid to stand up for himself when trouble comes looking for him. If there's information about him, you'd better believe he's going to eavesdrop all over the place until he know exactly what's going on. So if things really are about you, don't settle for less than you deserve.
5. Don’t Ask for Permission, Ask for Forgiveness
Harry knows that some rules were made to be broken. When people say "this floor is forbidden," or, "this forest is forbidden," or, "please stop sneaking out of your bed at night, Harry," he understands that what they really mean is, "don't get caught next time." Sometimes, the rules really do need to be broken. Follow Harry's lead, and think for yourself before you unquestioningly follow what your school or Ministry tells you to do.
6. Value Your Loved Ones
This is what Harry's all about. He'll stick by his friends, no matter what. Even if they get turned to stone or start making out with Lavender Brown in the hallway all the time, he'll still love them. He'll stick by Hagrid, Lupin, and Dumbledore, no matter what the papers say about them. He loves his friends and mentors like family and, even at his most angsty, he never stops valuing them. So take a cue from Harry, and don't stand for anyone talking trash about your half-giant friends.
7. Always Tell the Truth
Harry tells the truth. Or, at least, he only lies to teachers once in a while, when he's been breaking the rules. But when it comes to the important stuff, like telling people that Voldemort has returned, Harry tells the truth. People try to stop him, or punish him (like Umbridge), but he's never swayed by propaganda or threats. Don't stay silent: speak up when you you know that someone's spreading misinformation (and if you can, please throw Umbridge to the centaurs).
8. Don’t Be Afraid of Caring Too Much
Harry might act like he's a teen and just doesn't care, but he DOES care. He cares about quidditch, and his friends, the triumph of good over evil, and Ginny (he cares so much about her that he dumps her just to be *noble*). But that's part of what makes Harry so great: He doesn't just sit around and shrug his shoulders. He does everything in his power to win the quidditch match or save the day, and he never, ever apologies for caring too much.
9. Fight for What You Believe In
Harry Potter isn't a series that promotes violence. Harry only wins the day, in the end, by bouncing Voldy's own spell back onto him (spoiler alert for the one person who never finished the books). But Harry always, always stands up for what he believes in. He has more tenacity and bravery than any other character in the series. He's going to see things through to the end. He faces his fears head on, and he's willing to put himself on the line to defend others. And if that's not the ultimate way to channel Harry, I don't know what is: stand up for what's right, have courage, and everything else will take care of itself.
Images: Warner Bros, Giphy (10)