Advice from Hogwarts: Tips for Starting a New School Year During COVID-19
The new school year is always fairly daunting, stressful, and exciting in its own right. However, for those coming out of or continuing through restrictions due to COVID-19, this annual event may be even more stressful than usual. Students and teachers alike at Hogwarts have therefore prepared a few tips and tricks to help us all get through another school year.
Hermione’s advice: Organization is key.
Going back to school or gearing up for another term of online learning is going to be so much easier if you’re on top of your game and organized. You may feel like you’re being thrown in the deep end a little if you’re coming out of months of lockdowns or restrictions, and even if this is the “new normal” for you, a new school year could just be the icing on that cake of pandemic-induced stress. You’ll feel a lot readier to tackle this school year if you have a game plan, so whip out those planners and bullet journals and get organized! Write down some goals, tidy your workspace, and get back into that procrastination-free mindset! And no, arranging all your highlighters in various color schemes is not organizing yourself. Sorry about that.
Luna’s advice: Be patient with others.
We’re all in this together, so don’t forget about those closest to you. It’s not too presumptuous to say that everybody has been affected by this pandemic. Not only does this mean that we should try to be more patient with friends, peers, and teachers, but we should also be grateful for them too. For anyone who’s had to experience self-isolation or quarantine in the last few months, take this opportunity to rebuild and celebrate the people around us – in a COVID-safe manner, of course!
Ron’s advice: Don’t forget to go easy on yourself.
New school year, new problems. These are some very tough times, so remember to cut yourself a little slack if you find you can’t meet your own expectations. Perhaps you’re not feeling as motivated for the new school year as you usually do, or you feel that you’ve let hobbies, sports, or even friendships slide amidst everything that’s been going on. The important thing is to acknowledge this but then forgive yourself as you work back toward your old self – or perhaps a newly-invigorated new self!
Madam Pomfrey’s advice: Health and safety is your top priority!
It cannot be said enough: No matter where you are in the world or what stage of restrictions or precautions are in place, you need to make sure you are staying healthy and safe. Follow the health and safety policies, maintain awareness of your actions, and take responsibility for your health and the health of others. You don’t want to look as silly as Eloise Midgen, who tried to curse acne off and ended up (temporarily) losing her nose!
Ginny’s advice: Make the most of it.
Why not give it your best shot this year? This pandemic has, for a lot of us, given us time to reflect and re-evaluate our priorities in life. Therefore, perhaps you should take more opportunities, join clubs that you’ve thought about but always put off, or simply make an effort to try new things where you can. Of course, some doors are currently closed to us, but try to find new ones – perhaps looking at online courses that align with a favorite hobby or joining an online club – or perhaps making your own! Who knows? Perhaps this time will prove valuable later down the track because you took those chances.
‘The thing about growing up with Fred and George,’ said Ginny thoughtfully, ‘is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.’” (OotP 655)
Students at Hogwarts have been through their own share of tough and harrowing times, and if we see one thing in them, it’s that life carries on, and sticking by people and supporting one another is the key to getting through these trying times. As Dumbledore said, “we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided” (GoF 723).