Ambassador voices: How Harry Potter helped me feel less lonely
Hi, I’m Louise. I’m a 25 year old foreign languages tutor and a GenNOW Ambassador for The Mix. I’m passionate about empowering young people to share their stories in order to break stigmas and support each other.
The pandemic turned me into a Harry Potter fan!
The pandemic has changed us in more ways than we can count and it has made us more grateful for the little things in life. Today, I’d like to appreciate film, something I never thought I’d say! I have never been a big movie fan in the past. I would watch them of course, but I would never get into the stories and I would forget most of the plot minutes after finishing a film. The pandemic has drastically changed that, as watching a film in the evenings has been something I’ve been looking forward to, in turn helping me cope with the uncertainties of these times.
An escape from the real world
The first time I realised film was becoming an important part of my daily life was when watching the Harry Potter saga on NOW just after Christmas time last year. I did watch the first couple of movies as a kid, and I enjoyed them. However I never really got into the whole saga like others my age did. I had always thought the themes were too ‘nerdy’ for me. But when scrolling through the selection of films on NOW years later, desperate to find a story I can get lost in, I thought, “why not give them another go”.
To my surprise, I really did get lost in the saga. Every evening in my down time, I looked forward to being transported to another world, one with fascinating magic and no scary viruses. This was also around the time the UK government was announcing a third national lockdown, which filled me with anxiety.
Nevertheless, this anxiety would momentarily vanish whilst watching Harry Potter. I really appreciated the story lines, the relationships between the characters and the hidden meanings within the films. I now understand why people fell in love with the saga, it’s not all magic wands, wizards and mythical creatures.
How Harry Potter made me feel less lonely
Looking back, I realise the importance these films played in my life during that time. Not only did they bring me comfort and a distraction from the real world, but they also allowed me to connect with friends. Whenever I had a doubt about the plot, or when I wanted to share my excitement about Harry defeating Voldemort, my ‘Potterhead’ friends were there.
A lot of the time when talking to friends nowadays, the conversation revolves around our feelings towards the pandemic or current events, which is nice to have that support. But those conversations can weigh heavy, so talking about something more light hearted was a nice temporary relief from more serious topics.
The little things are just as important
I can now proudly admit to liking Harry Potter… as a teenager you would never have caught me saying this! But as a young adult trying to navigate life during a pandemic, my tastes and ways to cope with life’s toughest moments has drastically changed. I have also learned to appreciate the little things more, and not place my self-worth and life satisfaction on ‘bigger’ moments in life such as travelling to a new country or having a big night out with friends.
I have realised that I can be happy just watching a good film to escape the real world, and that’s okay. With the pressures of learning how to ‘adult’, I had previously lost this mindset of taking time to enjoy the small things. However, being forced to slow down due to the pandemic has made me realise the little things are just as important, and they can help us cope with life’s hardest situations.
When talking about the Harry Potter Saga, it’s important to flag the problems associated with its author; JK Rowling has disappointed many Harry Potter fans by posting transphobic tweets. However, stars in the films have since spoken out against these statements and in support of the Trans community. So, I have personally decided to separate the feelings the Harry Potter stories have brought me from the author.
Support for loneliness
To find support for loneliness and to join our watch club with NOW, take a look at our loneliness page.
- If you're under 25 and would like free confidential telephone counselling from The Mix to help you figure things out complete this form and we'll call you to arrange your first session.
- Mind offers advice and support to people with mental health problems. Their helpline runs nine to six from Monday to Friday. 0300 123 3393
- YoungMinds are the voice for young people's mental health and wellbeing.
- Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
- Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.
By Holly Turner
Updated on 08-Apr-2021
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