The End of a Generation’s Childhood

We are quickly approaching the July 15 premiere of the final Harry Potter movie. I cannot think of another franchise that has defined a generation like the magical world created by J.K. Rowling.

I remember the first day I was introduced to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was sitting in my sixth grade classroom, reading my Scholastic Book Club magazine. All I could think of was getting my hands on this book. My mom had to order it for me.

And so it began. Our generation learned about school, friendships and what it means to grow up.

While we all wished we could attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the four houses lived within our own schools. We divided our lunchrooms into metaphoric houses and believed each contained personal qualities consistent with those portrayed by the characters in the books.

As our generation aged, so did Harry, Ron and Hermione. They faced problems that we all faced (minus the magic, of course!). Love. Friendships. Death. Change.

We might not have understood how or why situations unfold, but Harry, Ron and Hermione helped us cope with them. As they aged, we aged. Our knowledge of the world expanded, as did their knowledge.

Harry, Ron and Hermione are defined by this generation as much as they themselves define it.

Midnight showings have already started on the East Coast–the beginning of the end has begun. However, as bittersweet as this may be, I’m trying to prolong my childhood with one more book. Tonight, I will begin reading the German translation of The Sorcerer’s Stone–Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen.

We’ve returned to these books throughout the years. We’ve carried you with us. And now, we will march into adulthood together.