Harry Potter, The Olympics, And Passion

Why hello there! Remember me? …Yeah, didn’t think so.

I can’t believe I last posted on the fourth of July. I’m still trying to figure out where the hell my summer went, and wrap my head around the fact that I’ve already started my junior year of college. Time is moving far too fast. Sort of. There are things that I’m itching to get to already, but at the same time, I feel like I’m running flat out just to keep up and don’t have time to stop and smell the roses. It’s an odd combination.

This semester is going to be more than a little bit insane. I’m only taking four classes, but I’m working 18 ½ hours a week at the wellness center to try and make bank. Plus the newspaper, which involves long deadlines on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. Plus the field experience program, which involves 40 hours of volunteering throughout the semester. And I may only be taking four classes, but they include creative writing (for which I need to write a short story every 2-3 weeks), and travel writing (for which I actually have to do some serious traveling for the writing assignments). For KIN410, we’re required to volunteer at four sporting events. PLUS I’m still blogging for Scholarships.com, AND I’m staying with Lovelyish and Healthkicker as a contributing editor, which means a minimum of three posts a week, because I love them.

I’m super excited about, like, everything. It’s all going to be awesome. I’m just hoping I’m not overextending myself and running myself into the ground. Because (of course) every major assignment for each class is due on consecutive days with those from my other classes. So I’m gonna be majorly stressed, like, all the time. Except during midterms and finals week – two tests each! Yes!

But outside of those two weeks? Unf. I might be MIA for a while.

The reason I’m working so many hours on top of everything else is because I’m no longer just saving up for London next summer – I’m going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in November! It’s a weekend celebrating the films, complete with cast Q&As, autograph signings, and a gala. SO EXCITED. THERE ARE NO WORDS. And now that I’m in Pottermore and have been officially sorted into Hufflepuff, I can stock up on House merchandise! Woo!

Allow me to go off on a House pride tangent for a moment. I’ve always thought I was a Ravenclaw, and I was pretty surprised when it turned out that I wasn’t. But after reading the Hufflepuff welcome message that explains the House in a non-Gryffindor-biased way, I’m definitely in the right place and proud to be a badger! It’s basically a dead-on description of me. Hufflepuffs know they’re awesome but don’t feel the need to brag about it; we’re loyal, hardworking, and patient; we live quietly until we’re attacked, in which case “cross us at your peril.” For some reason, Hufflepuff is looked at as the lame House, which I honestly can’t figure out, because loyalty and not being afraid to put in some good hard work are two things that are pretty important, no? And I mean, Tonks was a Hufflepuff, as is JK Rowling herself. Most BAMF House ever? Yes. I mean, unless you don’t want to compare yourself to an Auror with pink hair and the creator of the entire HP universe…

But a part of me loves that people underestimate Hufflepuff. Being an underdog is awesome, because you get to watch everybody else have to realize how utterly wrong they were. So yeah guys, keep saying ‘Puffs aren’t smart! I’ll just wave my 4.0 GPA in your face and continue on my merry way! :)

Aaaaand end rant.

Sorry, my Harry Potter ramblings aren’t quite over yet. But it’ll end up being sort of relevant, I promise!

In my last entry, I mentioned that Bri and I were going to be camping out for the NYC premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. We did, and we did it BIG. Like, to the tune of living on the streets for five days and four nights. It was so difficult, but such an awesome experience that I treasure and wouldn’t trade for anything.

Such awesome people! LOVE YOU ALL!

How is this relevant, you ask? Passion. I’m a passionate person. When I love something, I go all out. I got called crazy so many times and watched so many eye rolls when I told people what my camping out plan was. People legitimately thought I was off my rocker. We had to endure the same stares from passers-by when we were out on the street, but after their initial shock, most people were surprisingly supportive. We had people say everything from “that’s fantastic!” to “good for you!” and even made some friends. Seriously, one night, a group of guys sat down with us because they were so blown away about how passionate we were. They were legitimately raving about how awesome it was, and they were jealous that we were so dedicated to something.

The whole thing reminded me of a birthright meeting we had before we went to Israel. It was one of those getting-to-know-you things, where we sat in a circle and answered questions about ourselves. The rabbi asked us to name something we’re passionate about. I, of course, immediately thought of the Olympics. But as we went around the circle, people were saying things like “having fun” and “my dog.”

To tell you the truth, it made me really sad. I couldn’t imagine not knowing what I’m passionate about! What kind of life is that? That may sound pretty harsh, but imagine not getting excited and fangirly about anything. I watch live streams, and read up on news, and have far too many Twitter accounts I’m following... My life would be incredibly dull without the things that I’m passionate about.

Why is being passionate viewed as a bad thing? I’m not crazy or delusional; I know Hogwarts isn’t a physical place, and these characters aren’t people that have physically existed, and I know that the Olympics isn’t the be-all-end-all of life. So why do people roll their eyes and mutter about me behind my back for being dedicated to something I love?

Seriously, if you know the answer, please enlighten me.

While this was undoubtedly the summer of Harry Potter, some Olympics things did happen. The 2018 Winter Olympics were awarded to Pyeongchang, South Korea (and I watched the decision stream live online); a member of the US ski team was suspended after peeing on someone on a plane (taking after Bode Miller a bit, I take it?); oh, and I met some members of the US Olympic team. Ya know. No big deal.

From left to right, that’s Henry Cejudo, gold medalist wrestler; Jonathan Horton, silver and bronze medalist gymnast; Nastia Liukin, gold and silver medalist gymnast; and Alicia Sacramone, silver medalist gymnast. And Chandini and me! :) They were doing a signing at the NBC Experience Store in Rockefeller Center, so we (happily) dragged ourselves out of bed super early to celebrate the ONE YEAR MARK UNTIL LONDON 2012 with some Olympians.

And get things signed. :)

They were all really nice! They all seemed genuinely happy to be there, which was great, because I hate meeting/talking to a famous person that’s a complete snob. I mean, it’s only happened once, but still. It shouldn’t have surprised me – what with my experience with Gary Hall and all – but it did.

Henry was wearing the ring he got for winning his gold medal (kind of like a SuperBowl ring, but with the Olympic rings on it instead), and I told him I liked it. We’re totes BFFs, guys.

Harry Potter and the Olympics. I’d say it was a successful summer. Let’s just hope this semester is equally as awesome!