Friday, June 26, 2015

Coming to terms with being a Hufflepuff

First off, let me come right out and say that yes, I know that Hogwarts is a fictional place. (Much to my deep sadness)  I know Harry Potter and the gang are fictional characters and that all of this created by the Supreme #BossWitch J.K. Rowling. BUT THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT ANY LESS REAL. If that statement bothers you in any way, I suggest you stop reading now and save yourself the frustration and misunderstanding that will follow if you continue. But for those of you who are on the same page as me, let's real talk a bit.

When I was young, what seems like many many years ago, I tested into Gryffendor, which made me unbelievably happy. I was a female athlete who felt the most pride in my bravery and courage on the pitch (soccer field). It was part of my identity as a person and I very much related to the lion mascot and values that made up a Gryffendor. Not to mention the obvious reasons that one would love to be sorted into that House, like the fact that the whole series is centered around Harry, Ron and Hermoine (Gryffendors), who were lead by the greatest wizard of all time, Albus Dumbledore (Gryffendor) and mentored by the coolest #bosswitch around, Minerva Magonagoll (Gryffendor). WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO BE A GRYFFENDOR?! 

It's been a long time since then and I recently rejoined Pottermore (if you haven't, DO IT NOW!!) and had to retest into a House. I thought there was a good chance I wouldn't be a Gryffendor anymore because many things about me have changed since I was young. But honestly, I thought I'd be sorted into Ravenclaw. My focus in my life has been education for the last 7+ years, and I'm pursuing a career devoted to academia and higher education. The qualities I'm most proud of these days are no longer related to my athletic abilities but rather my intelligence, and it was because of this that I KNEW I'd test into Ravenclaw.

Until I tested into Hufflepuff. Suffice it to say that I was SHOCKED and utterly LET DOWN when I tested into Hufflepuff. HUFFLEPUFF!! 

I almost created a new email just so I could sign up again under a different one! (You can't be re-sorted, obviously.) I mean, Hufflepuff is like the House nobody knows or cares about, right? And a badger? Really? But then I thought that would be totally rude and disrespectful to JK Rowling (since she created the houses, Pottermore, and the sorting test), so instead I decided to do some research because, now that I had thought about it, I didn't actually know or remember that much about them. I'm sure my previously conceived notions about them were entirely based on what other people said about them (or rather didn't say about them). WHO ARE THE HUFFLEPUFFS? 

We know each house has major characteristic that make them them, so who really are they? I began researching and researching and what I've found has completely changed my mind about being a Hufflepuff! 


First of all, Hufflepuffs are the most loyal, kind, supportive, and true of all the houses. Their signature characteristics are loyal friendship, honesty, reliability, tolerance and patience. They value justice, compassion, fairness and loyalty above all else. Hufflepuffs are very hard working and willing to go to the end of the earth to achieve their goals and help their friends. They are relentless. "Their friendly demeanor means that they're super popular with everyone". Sure, Gryffendors may be the heroes, Ravenclaws the intellectuals, and Slytherin the tacticians, but "Hufflepuffs are the moral, the Healers and the reminder of the human impact- often undersold, but no less important".  

Why would any of these things be a bad thing?? Why WOULDN'T anyone want to be in Hufflepuff?! I had been blinded by the glory of Gryffendor and the awe-inspiring intelligence of Ravenclaw to see what Hufflepuff has been about this whole time! Hufflepuffs are brave and courageous, but not foolhardy or show-offy like Gryffendors, are smart but not elitists like Ravenclaw, can bend the rules if it is morally right to do so, but not power hungry like Slytherin. In many ways, Hufflepuff has many of the other Houses good qualities without most of the bad ones.     

In Harry's 5th year, the Sorting Hat gives us some history about the different houses at Hogwarts:

"Said Slytherin, "we'll teach just those whose ancestry's the purest." Said Ravenclaw, "we'll teach those whose intelligence is surest." Said Gryffindor, "we'll teach all those with brave deeds to their name." Said Hufflepuff, "I'll teach the lot and treat them just the same."

GOOD. That's what Hufflepuff is. "I'll teach the lot and treat them the same". Treating people just the same, isn't that a very very good thing?! Very democratic and fair. J.K. Rowling said Hufflepuffs are the "friendliest, most decent and most tenacious house of them all". 


J.K. Rowling has said that Hufflepuff is her favorite House!

I'm sorry J.K. Rowling, I really am!! I'm not disappointed anymore!!


Tonks has always been one of my favorite characters. She is a total BA. She is always there to back Harry up and to fight for what's right, whatever the cost (her life). Plus, she is perhaps the COOLEST person in the series (Luna Lovegood is my *favorite* girl and Hermoine is a really close second, but they aren't as COOL as Tonks. No one is.)


Badgers are actually awesome. Rowling said that at first Hufflepuffs were going to be bears, and maybe she should've kept it that way so that people respected the House more. But she had a good reason for changing it to badgers. Rowling says that badgers are "often underestimated because it lives quietly until attacked, but which, when provoked, can fight off animals much larger than itself, including wolves". Underestimated but tenacious, relentless and ferocious. 

  #5: The Common room rules of Hufflepuff should be our rules in general....

#6: Hufflepuffs are INclusive not EXclusive.

Sure, we may not have the most famous names in Wizard history, but we love, befriend, help, and embrace everyone, gladly. When you're not welcome anywhere else, you're always welcome with the Hufflepuffs. 

#7: True Friendship and Adventure:

Is there anything better than being a good friend and having good friends? Not to me. Hufflepuffs are ALWAYS loyal, supportive and fierce friends who will support and stand up for their friends until the end. "They're the type of people who will wait at the end of a marathon to watch their friend finish, even though it's 4 a.m. and still hug you when you're sick."

And boy, do they LOVE adventure!! Hufflepuffs are always down for fun!

#8: Hufflepuffs always forgive.

They don't hold grudges, they forgive and forget and don't hold your past or mistakes against you. They BELIEVE in the GOOD in people but they are not naive.  They know not everyone chooses to be good people and will morally stand up against those individuals.


#10: We're happy and not afraid to show it.

Hufflepuffs are fun, happy, bubbly, warm and affectionate. What's not to love??


Hufflepuffs are seriously underrated; they are the MOST underrated House and they're okay with it. It's better to be underrated than overrated, and they use that successfully as a tactic. Rowling wrote that they are "trust worthy and loyal. They don't shoot their mouths off but cross them at your peril; like their emblem, the badger, they will protect themselves, their friends and their families against all-comers. Nobody intimidates them". 


#12: Hufflepuffs are optimists and that's extremely valuable. 

Hufflepuffs BELIEVE in GOOD. They believe is justice, fairness, and doing what's right. They believe that good will always conquer evil in the end and they bring that eternal hope and brightness to the game that no other House does. Hufflepuffs hope even when all hope is lost. Need a silver lining?? Go to a Hufflepuff, they will always have at least one positive thing to say and believe. Some people (ehm, Slytherin) think this is a weakness, but it is indeed our strength and one of the reasons that ALL the Hufflepuffs stayed and fought the final battle. (where were you Slytherin??) Hufflepuffs are people you want on your side!!

#13: Hufflepuffs are humble and valiant. 

Hufflepuffs know how to win and they know how to lose. They are relentless, but they are good sports and win gracefully.  They are humble, valiant, and hold great integrity. 

#14: Cedric Diggory was a total BA. AND a Hufflepuff. 

Who doesn't like Cedric Diggory?? He is brave, smart, cunning, and courageous. He was amazing in the Tri-Wizard Tournament and was such a humble, hardworking, nice guy! Such a Hufflepuff! When Slytherin passed around support Diggory, Potter stinks buttons, Cedric told everyone not to wear them and to be nice to Harry. He befriended Harry and even helped him solve the riddle in the second challenge of the tournament. GOOD. GUY.

#15: Helga Hufflepuff

The founder of the Hufflepuf house, Helga Hufflepuff is a total #bosswitch, known for her charm and loyalty, not to mention her "food charms". In fact, most of the recipes used for the End of Term Feast are hers! So she's an awesome cook and and awesome witch! Not to mention brave, fearless and clearly an awesome fighter. No one should want to cross her. 

#16: Our Common Room is the BEST.

Their common room is light, earthy, and cozy, with beautiful views of the sunny greenness outside and sits right next to the kitchen...where you can get all the midnight snacks you want. The way to gain entrance into their commons is through a secret barrel, where you have to tap a specific tune in order to gain entry. Unlike the other houses, there are security measure in place if you don't do it correctly...being doused with vinegar! Hufflepuff is the ONLY house Commons to not be infiltrated by non House members in more than a thousand years! The bedrooms are ground level as well, with far better sleeping quarters when it comes to storms...seeing as though the other houses are kept awake from all lightening and thunder! Being burrowed sure has it's privileges. There's even secret tunnels from the common room to the dormitories! Super cool. Rowling wrote that "like badgers, they know exactly ow to lie low and how to defend themselves". 

#17: Hufflepuffs are easy to get along with.

Hufflepuffs genuinely like people. All of them. They're the ones most likely to share their Netflix password with you, always show up to the party with goodies to share, like all your Instagram photos just to make you feel good, offer to split the bill evenly, even if theirs was less, won't judge you for your guilty pleasures, keep your secrets, are always up for games, eat breakfast for every meal of the day, share their food with you (and send you home with leftovers), remember your parents' names and break out into song and dance, whether it's appropriate or not. Basically, Hufflepuffs are the most fun and pleasant people to be around. What's not to love??

#18: Hufflepuffs are calm under pressure

Need someone you can count on when the pressure's on? A Hufflepuff will always be cool as a cucumber and perform well under pressure. They can always be counted on and will always give 100%, every time. They are not slackers and not only hold their own, but help to shoulder the weight of those you can't. 

#19: Other Famous (Fictional) Characters that are most definitely Hufflepuffs:

Captain America, Jess Day/Winston Bishop (New Girl), Batman, Clark Kent/Superman, Phil Dunphy/Cameron Tucker (Modern Family), Weevil (Veronica Mars), Huck/Quinn (Scandal), Morgan Tookers (Mindy Project), Thresh (Hunger Games), Sookie St. James (Gilmore Girls), Lanie Parish/Kevin Ryan (Castle),Pam Beesly Halpert/Michael Scott (Office), Ann Perkins (Parks & Rec), Emily Fields (Pretty Little Liars), Lizzie McGuire (Lizzie McGuire), Miranda Bailey (Grey's Anatomy), Joan Watson (Elementary), Kenneth Parcell (30 Rock). 

#20: Best House Ghost; Fat Friar

Hufflepuffs definitely have the best House Ghost! He's friendly, helpful, always ready to have a good time, fun and energetic. Not at all needy or depressing or dramatic like the other ghosts. 

#21: Hufflepuffs are BRAVE.

They are motivated not by heroism, but instead are pulled by a force of pure love and compassion. They tirelessly work toward their goals and don't stop until they make it. And they are BRAVE. Rowling talked in an interview about them and how at the final battle, all the Hufflepuffs stayed to fight, along with the Gryffendors. She said that:

"The Hufflepuffs virtually to a person stay, as do the Gryffendors. Now, the Gryffendors comprise a lot of foolhardy and show-offy people. That's jusy the way it is. You know, there's bravery and there's also showboating, and sometimes the two go together. The Hufflepuffs stayed for a different reason. They weren't trying to show off, they weren't being reckless. That's the essence of Hufflepuff house." 

#22: They will always make you feel good about yourself.

Hufflepuffs are constantly building people up instead of tearing them down. That's why they're so likable! And with a Hufflepuff, it's NEVER fake, even if you want to believe that they couldn't possibly be that nice or that complementary without an agenda or being two-faced. They CAN. And they ARE.  

#23: Hufflepuffs ARE smart!

Smarty pants! But they aren't like Ravenclaw that will tell you they're smart. Rowling wrote that a myth about the Hufflepuffs is that they aren't cleaver, but it's not true. They are "certainly the least boastful house, but they've produced just as many brilliant witches and wizards as any other".  

So now that I've gotten to know them, the Hufflepuffs are AMAZING. They sound like the type of people I'd want to be friends with and want to be around! The most important thing to learn from this was that being a Hufflepuff doesn't mean you're not as brave, intelligent, or cunning as the other houses. But your motivations are different and the way you feel and carry yourself are different than the other houses. And that's not a bad thing! We need all types of people to fill all the different roles in our society and so it's SUPER IMPORTANT that we're different and that we celebrate our differences instead of comparing ourselves to each other. 

So needless to say, I am so happy that I've been sorted into their House. It is actually an honor and I am happy to be amongst good company! I'll get excellent training in potions and Herbology and I'll be able to fulfill my destiny as a healer, which is what I've always wanted to be anyways! ;) We can't ALL be Gryffindors or Ravenclaws, but what we can be is ourselves, and that's the best thing we can be. Whether you're Hufflepuff, Gryffendor, Ravenclaw or Slytherin, your House does not define you, you're heart does. Love who you are and don't try to be anyone else! 

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Lipstick Effect (Yes, It's actually a REAL thing!)

Two months ago I found myself with a pretty serious bout of depression (that only a couple people knew about) that was probably a mixture of stress from school, finances and well, school again. I'm an older student, in my mid twenties and that sometimes is super hard because all your other friends have moved on, have grown up lives (kids, houses, degrees, etc.) and you're still like hey, I'm just sitting over here, still working on my bachelors and doing the work/school balancing act. Sometimes life can be tricky and throw A LOT of things your way. Well, that was the months leading up to my depression, as it just seemed like emotional snow balls were being thrown at my face constantly and I couldn't do a thing about it. A couple months went by and I did what I could to try to pull myself out of depression, but those of you who suffer/have suffered from depression know, it's not something that is easily or quickly done. 

Well, this isn't a post about my depression, per say, rather it was necessary for you to know that it happened and that it lead to what I'm about to talk about. Things have started to be better for me the last couple weeks, and I can feel myself healing, which is a very good thing. But something curious happened during my rough couple months that I found compelling and interesting and decided to research (I know, ever the psychology major) and subsequently share with whoever is interested. 

Those that know me know that I am a makeup addict. I looove makeup. It's an obsession that I just can't shake. I've been this way for the last 10 years and don't see it going away any time soon. But again, those of you who know me, know that my go-to makeup is a strong eye and nude lips. I don't EVER wear lipstick, unless of course, its nude. But even then, my go-to is EOS chapstick and that's it for my pucker. But something happened during that rough period and I became weirdly enticed with lipstick. Enthralled. Dare I say, obsessed. Yes, it became my new obsession. For something that I never liked or wanted my entire life, it struck me as curious to say the least when I found myself at the MAC counter (not so curious, it's my favorite makeup spot) looking at the lipstick (very curious, as I've only owned maybe 2 my whole life). Even more than looking at it, I BOUGHT ONE. And LOVED it. And then returned to buy several more throughout the course of the last couple months. And I wasn't just buying nudes anymore. I was buying deep purple, bubblegum pink, fuscia...all things I would've never dared to put on my lips before. AND IT MADE ME HAPPY. Like, amongst all the sadness I was constantly feeling, I felt good while I was wearing it. It brought me happiness, it brought me confidence, it brought me power. [favorites: MAC in Rebel, Speak Louder, Snob, Syrup, and Modesty] 

Yes, lipstick is empowering. The joys one feels when wearing a great shade of lipstick were previously unbeknownst to me, but after experiencing for the first time, so desperately vital. I LOVED IT. Again, as a psych major, my mind is always asking why? Why did it make me feel this way? Why did it give me all these things, it was just a tube of pigment, why was it so powerful?? So I started to do research.

Turns out this isn't something new. Actually, it dates back to the Great Depression when people could hardly afford anything except the essentials yet women were still buying lipstick. Actually, even more than that, the sales were RISING. More women were buying lipstick during the Great Depression than before, when the name of the game was excess and extravagance. Rebecca Adams wrote in The Huffington Post that "essentially, during times of economic hardship, sales of cosmetics increase. Back in the early 1930s, while industrial production was cut in half, makeup sales were on the rise". This phenomena was dubbed "The Lipstick Effect", and is still heavily prominent today. As Amy Wong states in her article "The Psychology Behind The Lipstick Effect", "one thing remains true: the lipstick effect continues to persist throughout the ages, its name founded on a product creation that epitomizes the core of the phenomenon—the seductive attraction of ruby red lips". 

Isn't that interesting?! BUT WHY?? Studies have found that economic stress (or stress in general) generates a desire to buy things that are perceived to heighten appearances. Many psychologists suggest that this has to do with "mating purposes", that women look to buy products, like lipstick, that heighten their appearance in order to attract a wealthy mate during times of economic stress; that subconsciously we look to buy these things to increase our attractiveness in hopes of luring in a wealthy and stable mate. I can't say that these things aren't a possibility or part of women's psychology, because up until fairly recently, women have been solely dependent on men for income/survival. There's not doubt that that has been a part of the way women think over the long period of our existence, but what I am suggesting is that it's not the ONLY reason women go for that luscious tube of brilliant red.

In fact, studies show that women who wear make up feel more confident in themselves. I don't think it really has anything to do with attracting men anymore, at least, it's not for me. I wear lipstick because it makes ME feel better, just like I wear makeup because I like to. It has an empowering effect that seems to break all our previous self-consciousness and make us feel unstoppable! Women With Drive posted an article called "The Power of Lipstick" and stated "the color red has forever been associated with confidence and power, and according to style psychologist Kate Nightingale simply wearing the color can induce these feeling in us...By bringing attention to your mouth you are also encouraging people to focus more on what you are saying and really listen effectively."  Lipstick also is suggested to help you succeed! "Research has found that wearing makeup emphasizes features that are associated with trustworthiness, likeability and competency- qualities that are often taken into account when hiring or considering someone for a promotion". 

SHAPE magazine posted some really interesting data I thought I'd share with you:

"Just as important as the decision to don lipstick, though, is which color to choose. COVERGIRL actually previously partnered with Harvard psychologists to look at how cosmetic combinations impact the way people judge a woman’s attractiveness and personality, even unconsciously. And, along with the new survey results, the brand found each shade determines what kind of woman you’re telling the world you are.

Red rockers are deemed more creative and daring by others. They are also the most likely to be out of the house and at a bar on a Saturday night. They're most likely to exercise at least five times a week. Get it, girls!

Pink lipstick wearers are perceived as more sociable and fun-loving. But pink is also the color of power: Senior executives are more likely to own a shade of pink, whereas more junior ladies wear plums or nudes.

Plum puckers allow women to seem more independent and self-sufficient. Women who wear berry shades scored on the more mellow side of all survey questions, as they stay home on the weekends, rarely post selfies, and own the least number of shoes compared to other shade wearers.

Nude lips help women seem more warm and caring, which is why psychologists recommend trying a nude shade for that first date or a night out with good friends. Plus, you get the perks of the women who wear lipstick most often (like more confidence) while emphasizing your natural coloring."

So while there may be MANY reasons why lipstick makes us feel good, just remember that pink is a scientifically proven mood booster, red bestows confidence, and no matter what, if it makes you happy and feel better about yourself, don't feel bad buying a new one!  Out of things you can splurge on, lipstick isn't as economically detrimental as other things (like shoes, purses, watches, etc.). If you don't own any lipstick or haven't tried a new one in a while, swing by your friendly MAC store (I swear I should get $$$ for how many times I've mentioned them in this post!) or Ulta or Sephora and try something new, pick something out that makes your heart beat a little faster, eyes pop a little more and cheeks glow like J-Lo fresh off a Cabo trip. ;) It will be well worth it. Promise. 


Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Hogwarts Education

For the last little while, my sister and my cousin and I have been having Harry Potter movie nights every couple weeks, starting from the beginning and working our way through all 8 movies. It has been so wonderful to relive one of the greatest stories and series of all time. Of course, it's also been quite sad because it's over...again...and you realize how much you've missed these characters and the amazing world J.K. Rowling created for them. I can't be the ONLY one who wishes to go to Platform 9 3/4 and attend Hogwarts, for real. Wouldn't that be so amazing?!

Seeing the movies super close together has been an amazing experience. I remember when the first one came out and subsequently every Harry Potter after that. As a family we'd go see them opening night and it was always such a treat. We stood in line outside Borders at midnight for the new book releases (we called it "Harry Potter Magic Hour" because we are THAT cool). It was such an integrated part of my teen years and even now, in my twenties, that I can't imagine my life WITHOUT them. (Nor do I want to!!)

So, as I've been re-watching all seven movies, I've been thinking about all things Harry Potter (or rather J.K. Rowling) has taught me. I thought maybe other might enjoy this as well, so I've complied a list! [Of course I have, I'm like the queen of]  I hope you enjoy it!!

A Hogwarts Education, or Everything I learned from Harry Potter

1. Perhaps the greatest thing I learned from the Harry Potter series is the value and properties of friendship. Friends truly are the family you choose for yourself. In fact, the greatest strength in the series comes from this bond. They have faced death countless times together and would have been obliterated had it not been for their friendship and support of each other. 

2. It's important to be persistent and keep trying until you're able to do the things you want/need to. I love this scene so much because Hermione is so used to being great at everything...watching her get frustrated saying "Up. UP. UP!" it just wonderful. But, she eventually gets it, because she keeps at it. Also, Ron, who isn't quite ready for success so quickly, gets hit in the face with the broom and it's hilarious. WE MUST ALWAYS BE READY TO SUCCEED AND BELIEVE THAT WE WILL. Boom. A two-for-one life lesson bundle. ;)

Friendship goals.

3. When I was very young, I believed in the magic of *soul mates*, probably because that's what always seemed to be apparent in fairy tales. But as I got a little older, I realized that there isn't just ONE person out there for us, because if there was, our happiness would be dependent upon someone else being exactly where they needed to be and not on us. The idea of soul mates is romantic but not logical, and completely takes the control of our own lives out of our hands. I don't think I was the only person who thought at the beginning that Harry & Hermione would end up together because they were PERFECT for each other. And to be honest, at first I was sort of angry with JK Rowling (I know, blasphemy!) because I felt like they SHOULD have been together. However, I sort of love that they didn't end up that way. Let me defend that notion for a second... I think it proves that we can be truly happy with more than just one person; Hermione and Harry would've been happy together all their lives, just as Ron and Hermione were. It's a grand idea of love that I really respect. In the end, Harry and Hermione are just friends, but the absolute best kind; they have a true friendship based on non-romantic love and it's amazing. 

4. The importance of being precise. Sometimes it's VITAL. "It's leviOsa, not leviosA!" 

5. The best advice given throughout the Harry Potter series comes from Dumbledore. He is probably the greatest life coach. EVER. This is one of my favorites... We are not defined by our abilities, rather, what we choose to do with them (or the absence of them).

6. I loved Sirius Black. So Much. While we generally think of Harry, Ron and Hermione being the appitamy of great friendship, we have to remember all the other examples too. Sirius was someone who was faithful to his friends, no matter what. Loyalty is one of the most important qualities to me, and he had it is spades. 

7. Always look on the bright side of things. Being optimistic is one of our greatest tools in overcoming obstacles. 

8. It's important to face our fears and not let them run our lives; it will make us stronger and give us the confidence we need. But it doesn't mean we ever get over them... we just have to face them head on...

Even when they're staring at you right in the face. Poor Ron.

9. It's important to be practical, but it's also vitally important to *dream*. Let yourself dare to dream whatever it is that you want. Your dreams are yours, and no one can take them away from you. 

10. It's important to do your research. I love Hermione. She is a wonderful character and an extremely smart and strong person, who shows that knowledge is power. (yup. I said it) ;) As a researcher, I couldn't NOT put this in!! :D

11. We can't run away from our problems. We have to stand unmovable and face them head on. If you run away from your problems, they ALWAYS catch up with you in some way or another. 

12. BE YOURSELF. Those that know me know that I LOVE Luna Lovegood! She is probably my *favorite* character in the series. Luna is strong, brave, courageous, zany, caring, unbelievably kind, accepting, quirky and ENTIRELY HER OWN PERSON. She does/says/wears/looks whatever makes her happy! Without fearing what other people may think of her. She is the best example of individuality, of embracing who you are and LOVING yourself. She is AMAZING. [And I really want to buy this lion head dress/hat thing!] "I think they think I'm a bit odd, you know. Some people call me 'Looney' Lovegood actually". She doesn't care. She doesn't hate them for thinking she's crazy. She just is who she is and accepts that.

  Luna's a BOSS.

13. This is probably Dumbledore's most famous quotes, and for good reason. I love EVERYTHING about it. We can find happiness in the darkest of time, we just have to look for it or make it ourselves. 

14. The importance of a well-place joke to lighten the mood. Ron IS the comic relief in the series. Many times he's the one bringing lightness back into some very dark and heavy moments. 

15. The value of being logical.

16. Dreams are really great and super important, but we can't always be looking into the future or dreaming in fantasy or life will pass us by. We have to live in the moment too!! Or all the moments will be gone and we'll have nothing left.

17. Always have your friends' backs. And RESCUE them when they need rescuing. We can't do everything ourselves, even if we don't like to admit it. Sometimes we need someone to help us!

18. Oh Luna. This is my favorite quote of hers. I admire her her wholly. 

19. Snape is mean, cruel, and I often want to chuck a rock at him, but I DO love him. He is such a complex character. But one thing Snape does almost better then anyone is love, with his whole being, without ever being loved back the same way, which actually drives him into being some of those nastier things. Snape loves Lily (Harry's mum) more than anything else in the world. And he never had that same love returned. He's a tragic hero, not your classic type, but equally as important.

20. I love words. I know that I say this quite often, but I do. They are so powerful, both beautiful and disgusting, uplifting and hurtful. That's why it's SO IMPORTANT to choose are words wisely and to not let our emotions get the best of us. It's also equally important to actually say the right things, words of love, encouragement, and 'sorry's.

21. Sort out your priorities.

22. Figure out what's most important to you.

23. This might be one of the most difficult life lessons to learn, but maybe one of the most important. Most often, the things that are right are often the hardest things to do. 

24. I LOVE Professor McGonagall. She is probably my favorite teacher. And I love this quote from her; it takes a lot of courage to tell the truth, most of the time it's not an easy thing. But if we don't we have to understand that it severely affects our character. Engaging in lies is engaging in cowardice. That's a lesson to learn!

25. I'm sorry, there will be A LOT of Dumbledore on here, but how could there not be?! But this is one of my all-time favorites!! Adventure is definitely worth pursuing. Make sure to surround yourself with people that love adventure but also don't be afraid to go experience them alone! 

26. I think about this one a lot... Sirius is such an awesome character! Being humble is really important, and how we treat people says more about us than it does about them. Make sure you're treating everyone with kindness and understanding. 

27. Hahahaha Luna. This should've probably went with one of the other 'Luna' ones, but it deserves it's own. I'm not even sure what the lesson is here... I guess to just be amazing, like Luna. ;) Or maybe it's worth repeating.. embrace your weirdness, your quirks, your individuality. You may feel totally alone in your craziness, but just know that we're all different and that's what makes us beautiful. 

28. Laughter is a critical part of friendship...or any relationship really. Friends that laugh together stay together. :)

29. Lupin's another great character. LOVE THIS!!

30. It's okay to be THAT GIRL that knows the answers, that's not afraid to be smarter than the boys and show them up, to love learning and not be ashamed of your smartness!! Believe it or not, girls are STILL pretending to be DUMBER than boys so that they'll like them. BUT NO MORE. Take a cue from Hermione and embrace it, FLAUNT it even. Brains is just as important as bravery and brawn. (all of those words started with a B and I didn't even try to do that!)

31. The importance of a well-formed Sassy arsenal. Professor McGonagall is the queen of sassy sarcastic remarks and I aspire to be just like her. She has the BEST one-liners! 

Exhibit A.

Exhibit B.

32. Life is sometimes really really crappy. While sometimes the sorrow, pain and anguish are overwhelming, we must not give in to it entirely. It will crush us. Battle on. 

33. The last person who's going to baby you is Snape. But sometimes we need that kick in the pants. LIFE IS NOT FAIR. GET OVER IT. 

34. This is so true. Something that is absolutely pivotal, especially in your adolescent years! Stand up for what's right, even if that means you're standing up to your friends. At the end of the day, you have to live with who you are.

35. Don't stand there silently watching the person you love dance with someone else. Even though it's scary, tell them how you feel. If not, you'll be miserable forever. Life is about taking chances, and unfortunately if you don't, your're likely to reap little reward.

36. 'Nough said. 

37. YES!!! This may be the hardest thing to do in the heat of the moment, but success in life requires control of our emotions. We cannot let everything get to us. Learn to harness the bad emotions into a positive/productive response. 

38. FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN. Maybe one of the most grandiose themes throughout the series is this, and it's imperative. We have to stand up for what we think is right, we have to be strong in our values and fight tooth and nail to protect them.