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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How Harry Potter Changed My Life

First of all, I want to thank all of you for your feedback on my previous post. It was a controversial topic, and the vast majority of comments-- even those that disagreed with me--were overwhelmingly intelligent and kind. You guys are one kickass group. Secondly, while I could easily return to reporting on food, TV, and the crazy antics of my college friends, I've been a little nervous to jump back into the swing of frivolity so soon after a heavy topic. Therefore (and because some of my twitter followers have asked), I'm going to copy and paste the final essay I just completed for a class, in which I was required to describe how a piece of literature has changed my life. I'm calling it "How a Children's Book Helped Me Grow Up." I hope you enjoy it; try to take extra pleasure out of my struggle to decide when to italicize Harry Potter, as in the book title, and when to leave it alone, as in the name of the fandom.

Had I been told ten years ago that a piece of literature would so dramatically change the way I think, the way I view the world, and the way I live my life as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I may have believed it… but I would surely have been skeptical.

My mother always tells me that she knew I was going to be an English major from the day I learned to talk: My siblings and cousins liked to run and jump and scream around the neighborhood, and I spent most of my childhood with the natural, irrepressible desire to sit for hours and “read” aloud the picture books I had memorized to a crowd of my stuffed animals. When I’d outgrown Little Critter, I moved on to Beverly Cleary’s infamous Ramona Quimby chapter book series, and my connection to Ramona was so strong that I resisted my mother and teacher’s pleas for me to move on to bigger and better things. I valiantly fought my mom one night when I was ten, because I didn’t want to tarnish my allegiance to Ramona by reading a copy of the first Harry Potter book, which she begged me to try. But, in the end, my desire to gluttonize a novel proved stronger than my desire to win a fight, and I fell asleep in the wee hours of the night, clutching the hard cover of my new best friend to my prepubescent chest.

In some ways, I’ve grown far beyond my ten-year-old self. I now read and enjoy masses of literature each year, and I have learned from example that, occasionally, my parents and teachers actually know what they’re talking about. However, just as my mom suspected my lifelong passion from my early childhood, some latent personality traits never die. The Harry Potter series grew up alongside my generation, and what started as a trilogy of children’s books expanded to include four volumes of rather adult content and complicated prose. This is fortunate for me, because my unfailing devotion to Jo Rowling has only grown as I’ve matured, and I owe much of my personality and many of my life experiences to her works, even in my young adult years.

It’s a strange and difficult concept to explain to an outsider, but my favorite of Jo Rowling’s novels,Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, has so dramatically affected my life that, had I not eagerly awaited its arrival, read it in one sitting, and continued to reread it several times thereafter, I would hardly resemble the person I am today. My job, my hobbies, and many of my close friends and contacts have come into my life as a direct result of my obsession with Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts. It may sound like an exaggeration, but so many of my personal experiences have dominoed from those 700 pages.

I was fourteen—going into my freshman year in high school-- when Half-Blood Prince was released, and although my love for the series had not dwindled, I was at that stage in my life when being accepted by my school clique was more important than taking the risk to show my true self, and I had been keeping my obsession nearly secret. I was desperate for the opportunity to discuss theories and moon over my fictional crushes and make predictions about the final two books, but my real friends had only a fleeting interest in the wizard world, and I knew my “popular friends” would make fun of me if they saw my true nerdy colors. In need of an outlet, I did a little bit of googling one afternoon, and came across a website called MuggleNet.com, which claimed to be “the ultimate Harry Potter fansite.” As I scrolled through pages and pages of forums, fanfiction, drawings and essays, all compiled by thousands of fans, it became suddenly clear to me: I was far from alone.

I immediately subscribed to MuggleNet’s talk show podcast, and for one hour every week, I could take a break from the stress of school, and I could just relax and listen to strangers who seemed to understand me better than my fake friends*. MuggleCast led me to search other avenues on the internet used by fans to express their obsessions, and I discovered a brand new, unknown video-sharing website called YouTube, to which I became one of the first couple thousand members.

Inspired by the two (yes, only two) other YouTube videos about Harry**, I decided to join in, and started creating poorly edited comedy shorts about life as a fan. Shortly thereafter, a slew of other fans discovered the site, and my videos were being seen by hundreds of people who knew exactly where I was coming from. Somewhere between the start of my sophomore year and the unexpected bombardment of user-generated content that the growing popularity of YouTube provided, I was offered a job with Google, and began receiving revenue for the traffic my Potter-related videos attracted to the website. Harry Potter had breached the barrier of my “double life,” and my secret Internet world provided me with the job that currently pays for a portion of my college expenses.

Through this job, I’ve gotten to meet a wide range of other YouTube Partners, as well as some incredibly talented and successful musicians who make up a bona fide genre of music called Wizard Rock, and I now consider many of these people to be some of my best friends. I introduced one of my nerdy high school friends to a Potter fan from across the country-- whom I’d met through a chat room, because she subscribed to my YouTube channel-- and I did a reading in their wedding this past summer. Two of my good friends are married because of my devotion to a book series.

Sure, my involvement in the Internet Potter microcosm hasn’t always been a perfect experience—my distracted choice to isolate myself completely from my high school clique, while a mostly healthy decision, left me feeling lonely and misunderstood during the school day-- but by choosing to suffer social exile, I broke free from the paradigm of the middle class white kids, and exposed myself to people from all different backgrounds, sexual orientations, and ideologies. I learned that two people who appear totally different on the outside can have in common their love for a piece of literature, and that, just as Jo Rowling teaches, love should always win over hate.

The lessons of acceptance and the commonality of the human experience that Harry, Ron and Hermione encounter over the course of the series correlate directly to my life. I started high school as an Abercrombie-clad fake, associating myself only with the people who looked exactly like me and forced themselves into molds, and because of a book, I left my graduation ceremony with a career, friends across the globe who care more deeply about my soul than about my clothes, and the knowledge that a belief in truth can always beat out evil at the end of the day.

Through my experiences with Harry Potter, I will never be able to approach a piece of literature passively. I find it hard to criticize popular authors***, because what is often written off as a children’s fantasy story is directly responsible for my real life growth as a young adult. Books have the potential to radically transform people, and after seeing this firsthand, I can’t help but long to be a part of such a change in someone else’s life. My mother sensed my passion for literature from the picture book days, and I will forever be grateful to Jo Rowling for exposing just how important this passion can be.

* This is, perhaps, an exaggeration. I wasn't the It Girl, they weren't all evil jerks, and I still had my best friends the whole time. But it improves my argument.

** I'd actually searched "MuggleCast," but wanted to make the essay easier to follow. Anyway, one of the two videos was dark and silent, and has since been removed. The other was this, about which I could probably write another paper called "How Bre Bishop Changed My Life."

*** You know. Some of them.

Oh, and for those of you who saw my tweet, the essay figured out to exactly 1337 words, including the headings and such. :)

Sexy: Discovering that my meal plan includes a coffee shop, fancy restaurant, and nice cafeteria, and that I have a good deal of money in my account that can be spent exclusively in these locations.
Unsexy: The fact that I discovered this today, and the money expires by the end of the quarter, which is next week. I have been drinking a lot of iced teas this afternoon.

Chipotle burritos this year: 38
Subscribers: 21,767
Bagel Street visits this school year: 5

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

206 comments:

1 – 200 of 206   Newer›   Newest»
to_thine_own_self said...

I completely and totally agree with your essay.
Same here, except I'm not nearly as popular as you within the fandom, but still. You know what I mean. Lol.
Harry Potter changed my life as well and it IS hard to explain to outsiders how and why.
I've made a few friends online through connections involving the fandom and it made my adolescent self think about things bigger than myself.
I come from a very close minded family and town. HP is, I am convinced, what single-handedly led me to being the tolerant person that I am.
I don't know where I would be without HP and your essay is totally a reflection of how I feel, too.

Ida Ruda said...

I'm sorry but I am too tired to come up with a intelligent or witty comment.
Usually when I read blogs I'm kind of put off if they are too long, but the longers yours are the happier I am.

All I really want to say is that you and your writing are inspirering and I hope to one day have a novel by Hayley G(!) Hoover in my hands.

allison said...

It's nice to see you again, Hayley!

My friends have been found through Harry Potter as well. In fact, I discovered the series in 7th grade even though all my friends read super-de-duper Chick Lit like The Clique. Gag me. When I realized that I was really just a smart nerd, and chose to try other activities (fanfiction, etc.) that weren't really "cool" by my other friends. So, needless to say, them kicking me out of the lunch table for over a year was NOT cool.

The summer before high school, though, I went to writing camp on a whim, and I instantly met my best friends due to our love of books. I could talk about fanfiction w/o getting weird looks, I shared theories. I even compared the movies to the books w/ them. Then, in high school, I met other best friends in band who happened to be harry potter geeks, too.

Thanks, Mrs. Rowling. <3

Sara said...

This is freakishly similar to the essay I wrote a couple of weeks ago in Academic writing... Scary

Maddy said...

That essay was absolutely wonderful, Hayley. As Harry Potter has had a similar impact upon my life, it was immensely easy to relate to. I actually teared up a bit towards the end. Harry Potter, and, by extension, literature in general, has changed my life in so many ways, and it's great to see someone else shares my passion. You are truly a great writer; your blogs are inspirational, humorous, and insightful and I always look forward to reading them. :)

footynutguy said...

I wish I could write as well as this. after following other people on Twitter and through their posts finding your tweets, I am really glad I was able to read this.

I am afraid that you have nearly changed my life. For years I have been resisting the temptation to read Harry Potter as I am partially sighted and its a real pain using my magnifier to read, but now I will give it ago after I finish Katharine's.

Thanks for this wonderful piece of literature and I hope you score high marks on it. I hope you will tell us how you got on through your tweets.

May I be really cheeky and ask if you or your commenters could pull to pieces what I have written and give me tips on how to improve my writing skills. I was in hospital having operations when I should have been in school, so I need all the advice I can get.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hayley,
I just have to say that you are an incredible writer and I can definitely see myself reading a bestseller book by you someday. I love this essay!
I hope you're having an awesome first semester!
~Meghan

Hannah said...

you kinda made my eyes get all wet and whatnot...

on twitter, though i knew it'd be a long-shot that you'd actually read it, i replied:

@hayleyghoover i believe, i have written more than 7 papers on Harry Potter and JK Rowling in relation to my life, since my first year in HS

but, i can assure you, i never wrote a paper so moving as the one you just posted. in fact, you've kindly put me to shame as a grateful fan, like yourself.

you know, we basically share the same story- loving literature at a young age, resisting the HP bandwagon, finally giving it a chance and finding out what a treasure it actually was, finding mugglenet and mugglecast... and EVERYTHING, from then on.

your paper is the definition of EPIC. one day, when you finally publish your first novel, or whatever piece of literature you come out with... have no doubt that you will have a major fan and supporter in me.

[[like you, i happen to love english, and i know that doesn't really show in my sloppily written comment; but i kinda needed to rush this. so, sorry, if you're offended by it... i would be.]]

thanks, again, for sharing. brava!

Nokorola said...

That was a delight to read Hayley, thanks sharing. :-)
...and on related notes:
Little Critter is one of my favorite book series' of all time. On the topic of kids books, did you read the Cam Jansen book series Hayley? Congrats on the ability to spend your food money in other ways. Have a good day tomorrow Hayley!

lalalaamichelle said...

I completely agree with you, on practically everything. And it was Bre Bishop who referred me to you, back when you only had a couple hundred subscribers. I feel like we've been friends for a couple years, the way I feel like I'm friends with Andrew Sims and Melissa Anelli and John And Sue and Frak.

...That's probably weird. I'M GOING TO GO BACK TO PLAYING FARMVILLE, NOW.

KaraDawlish said...

wow i kind of really loved that :D

I can't imagine you ever being... like, not this Hayley. A fake Hayley!? Did such a thing ever really exist?! I am a freshman now and I can honestly say I am who I am because of Harry Potter. I know who I am too. Harry Potter helped me to grow up and find myself a liiittle before everyone else will get there. I've done some pretty freeking wild things and had some awesome experiences because of it. The only sad thing is I feel like it's all going to poof to dust and the fandom will slowly fade away after leaky part dos and DH... part dos. I will only be in my junior year and it might go away. =/ obviously i will still have my friends that i've made through this but still a scary thought... you're lucky you had it with your through your high school years :D

hope you're having a blast a college Hayley xD Love reading your blog. You, my friend, are awesome.

eibbore said...

I love that essay. It's amazing how much JK has changed so many of our lives.

Holly said...

Some of the things I sense from reading this essay is your honesty, passion, love and gratitude to HP.
I think it's supremely awesome. Hope you get an A!

Mandi said...

This was brilliant. Thanks for sharing it with us.

And in other news, I'm not sure whether you know about this yet, but I just found out today: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0493949/

Em said...

I teared up a little while reading this. So many of my thoughts you put into perfect words. I find it really hard to describe to others my love of the series and how it changed my life, but you did it flawlessly. I'm a little jealous of your immense skill with words, but at the same time I'm so glad I have found your blog. Every post, no matter the topic, I enjoy reading. Thank you ((:

annaface said...

This kind of epitomizes how I found Harry Potter. I remember it clear as day: I was in second grade and it was time for the book fair. I'd always loved to read and my parents were more than happy to fuel that love. My dad picked up a paper-back copy of Sorcerer's Stone and said that it was quite popular in England. I had no opinion on it whatsoever and just let him buy it because I trusted his judgment; I mean, I was only 7 so what could be expected?

I guess, as they say, the rest was history and here I am reading your essay after having just checked MuggleNet.

Chelsea said...

My heart warms when I read these types of essays from Potter fans, because there's this unspoken bond that connects the fandom to one another. To me it feels like as long as the fandom is around I've got a place where people know exactly what I'm talking about.

This past spring I finally found a group of friends who have actually read the books and can start a discussion about whether or not Dumbledore/Snape should be called Dumblesnape or Snumbledore with no prompting from the HP Geek (*cough* me). And while I always thought having friends who were obsessed with Harry Potter would be a dream come true, they don't get fandom; they haven't been a part of this Internet family for years like I have. They don't know about the MuggleNet boys, or Melissa and Moochka, or fandom wank, or any of the things I've grown to love most about Potter, purely because it is so much more than just people loving a book.

I've never been really active in fandom (outside of my days on the Official Harry Potter Message Boards in the 4th grade) but it's always been my life. I feel like I've become distant without the hype of a looming book release, but the fandom is my first love, my best friend, my second family, and it's this incredible feeling to know I've got all these people sitting in front of their computer screens who feel the same way.

Anyway, I guess it looks like I have an essay of my own to hash out... or several ; ) But my point is that I wouldn't be the person I am today without the fandom. I wouldn't have found your videos, I wouldn't have found John and Hank (thanks for that, by the way) and I wouldn't be considering colleges based on whether or not they have a quidditch team (so it's kind of a coincidence that some of the schools I'm looking at have quidditch... but still!) I've had so many laughs, so many great conversations and so much fun over the years all thanks to HP and the power of the fandom. We're an amazing, unique group. There aren't enough bonus points in the world to give Jo for what she's enabled us to create.

So that's my comment. And then some.

(Also I remember listening to the episode of MuggleCast when they played the audio of Bre's video... and I can't believe it's been that long! Ah, fandom. Good times, good times.)

Christina said...

I am so, so glad you decided to post this essay. I'm writing a research paper about Harry Potter, and I'm definitely going to use this as a source. (:

The Vagabond said...

That is awesome. I love looking back and thinking about Harry Potter has changed my life. My sister bought the first book for me when I was about 12 (she had never read it) and I just bought her a copy this past Christmas and also wrote her a 4 page letter explaining what the series and that first book had done for me.

Bigred719 said...

Your essay was excellent! It's amazing that some of the things you said I completely agreed with (minus the whole making videos on youtube because I'm not that talented.)

It is amazing to see how much a book affected my life and how similiar the course our growing up went, even if we celebrated the book in different ways.

Great job!

JustAGirl said...

I completely relate with your essay. After Hbp came out i searched online and found The Leaky Cauldron and then Pottercast and then Mugglecast. I too looked forward to that hour or two a week when i could block out high school and wind down with the sound of Harry Potter discussion.
I remember watching "I eat Mugglecast fangirls..." video when they mentioned it on Mugglecast but i did not plunge int the Youtube community until Hank's Accio Deathly Hallows vid.
Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Its really nice to hear someone else who find its it as meaningful (maybe not as extreme as you) as I do.

Margaret said...

Sometimes I think it's useless to try to explain to people outside the fandom just how much of an impact Harry Potter has on our lives. It sort of seems like the only people who will ever understand are those in the same situation. But your essay sort of proved me all kinds of wrong.

Also, just be glad you didn't discover that your meal plan included fancy coffee shops earlier. Because I did, and I'm running out of money faster than I ever would have thought was possible.

Suze said...

Bravo.

You've come such a long way since LJ :] though I enjoy your blog posts more than ever now. HP is one of the things we've always had in common, and one of the great things about it is the fandom. Have you read Melissa Anneli's Harry, A History? You'd probably enjoy it.

Kelly said...

This is possibly my favorite of your blog posts yet. Clearly you've taken us all on a walk down memory lane (gag me, that was cheesy) so thanks for the reminiscence. Harry Potter Fandom FTW.

Oh and by the way, your use of italics was sexy :P

partyweetow said...

Harry Potter's my favorite thing in the world.

Maria said...

Thank you for posting this. I really have to get to my homework, but I needed to say that. I wish that I could say something cool here, but... nada. Have fun with your iced teas, and good luck on the final thirteen days of WriMo!

Sarah said...

This essay is really great. I have one friend and one cousin who share my love for the HP series, and I know exactly what it's like to be made fun of for being nerdy. I didn't make fandom friends, but it makes it easier to be nerdy when there are so many awesome people in the fandom who I can relate to and feel connected to through the internet.

Tom said...

Whee yay hurray.
I too found Mugglenet in Summer '05, when I too was 14, about to be an awkward freshman. I can't really believe it's been four years. Seems like a year and a half, maybe. I also feel like DH came out a week and a half ago/I still occasionally think "Book 7" then slap myself in the face and remind myself that the last Harry Potter book already came out. So weird.
But yeah. Summer '05. Unbelievable sights. Indescribable feelings. The joy I felt on July 17 at six in the morning was more powerful than anything I've ever felt in my life. I remember you using the word (words?) "self-actualized," which stuck with me, since it's a perfect description.
And MuggleCast was a saving grace for me as well. Same thing as the book, really, I remember the first weekend I started listening, in November, and I just went through all the episodes. Good golly gosh good times.
Thanks for making me all ridiculously nostalgic ma'am.

Coralinehope said...

Hayley, this is legit.
...let me expand.
Lately I have been feeling a little suffocated at my school; my friends all want me to fit in a mold they have created. I'm kind of the same as you were, except (most of) my friends love to read as much as I do, but they look at me like I have lost my mind if I ever mention Youtube, or heaven forbid, Nerdfighteria. Thank you for this post. It has given me the encouragement I needed. I was about to shrink back into my shell.

Jen said...

Your last two posts have really just awed me. You have such talent...I am pretty sure I will be browsing the isles of my local bookstore one of these days and see your name.

Marlena said...

<3333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333

> said...

Wow! You have an enormous gift! I can't express how impressed I am with your writing. You just may have changed lives with your last two essays--I don't think that's an exaggeration.

Catherine said...

This reminds me of getting into the fandom myself. Right after the sixth book came out I started listening to MuggleCast. And it took so LONG on my dial-up. I haven't listened to it in so long. It saddens me that I never became apart of the big community that I would listen to at least once a week and now see/read from every day. I definitely think that I gained insights though.

Keshara said...

Fantastic paper. You were definitely destined to be an English major.

shannancy said...

I'm not going to lie, your essay made me tear up a bit.

I bought my first Harry Potter book on a trip to England when I was seven, and for ten years I preached to friends, teachers, anyone who would listen, really, how wonderful I found the books.

I was alone in my adoration until I hit grade ten and found YouTube and my good friend Hannah.

Harry Potter taught me so much about myself and my outlook on life. I reread them all the time... It's like picking up a dear old friend.

:)

JoshV said...

Great essay Haley! As someone who is not part of the fandom, it strikes me as being passionate but not overly technical or obsessive. I do love HP in the way that it shaped who you are today, and that's awesome. You could be writing this essay on who you heard your first Tupac record and decided to choose thug life or something, LOL.

One quick thig that seemed a bit wierd to me: the line "my prepubescent chest". While I'm pretty sure you meant to describe yourself (as a whole) being prepubescent and convay the image of innocense along with that, it just seems wierd to be talking about the state of your boobs. Perhaps I'm a perv for reading it that way, but whatever. :p

Overall well done!

Cece said...

That was absolutely fantastic, Hayley :) It made my eyes get a little wet there at the end. I owe so much to Harry Potter.

Johnny Rollerfeet said...

One of my best friends at college was the daughter of divorced (wealthy) parents who refused to talk to each other. She'd tell them each that she needed money for whatever (books, gas, etc.) and they'd both pony up, so she had twice the cash she needed and she never ate on campus. At the end of each quarter we'd go to the university convenience store and load up on oreos and dorritos using a quarter's worth of credit on her ID card. It was white-trash decadent, but it fed me between quarters.

Ajayrious said...

Another great blog Hayley. I'm a bit older than you and didnt get Harry Potter when it first came out, but thanks to you and Kristina I'm now going through the audiobooks.

Having said this i did go through a similar sort of experience with Star Trek The Next Generation when i was growing up. It totally taught me the same sort of things about people of different cultures and beliefs living in harmony etc. However the internet wasnt mainstream back then and there certainley wasnt a YouTube or anything like that and although like you i kinda cut myself from my peer group at school i just ended up lonely because there wasn't an online community like that for me.

Ravenclaw2313 said...

Wonderful, beautiful, and very well written. Harry Potter has had such a profound effect on my life and I wish I could put it into writing as eloquently as you.

SigneHansen said...

I have to say: WOW! That was a seriously great essay..
I also agree 100%, but like someone else said, I'm not nearly as popular as you.. ;) I still completely fell in love with the Harry Potter universe, and I think those books changed me a lot too. I really don't know how I'd be if I hadn't read them!
And also: Thanks for sharing the essay.. ;) It made me really happy to hear someone else express their love for something I'm obsessed with too. ;)

traderbob11 said...

Hey,
A whole month off from school?
That means more time to devote to me (er, I mean us)
OHHH YEA!!
VIDS, and BLOGS, and TWEETS, and.....
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

Alyce said...

Excellent essay.

Joella said...

Wow..... that's all I can say. Wow. Hayley, you captured how Harry Potter has affected a whole bunch of our lives (at least, mine - asides from the being Partnered on Youtube bit), and it was just phenomenal. It gave me chills reading it.

Your writing style is really captivating. I can definitely picture myself reading a book by you someday. =]

Olivia said...

I love this. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing. I feel very nostalgic and sentimental now.

Have you read Harry, A History? If you haven't, you really should. It's wonderful.

Sarah said...

That essay was incredible. It's really awesome that you can pinpoint certain parts of your life, as well as your personality, as a direct result of Harry Potter.

I made a friend through Harry Potter, a girl who I had given absolutely no thought to until finding out that we both shared a love for Harry when I was around ten, the summer of 2004. That was when she told me about Mugglenet. I ventured online to find it (I still remember the retro Chamber of Secrets layouts :D) and fell in love with it. Together we wrote a bunch of horrible stories because we were obsessed writing. Now with improved skills(I would hope.), we both still write, and just today we started on a joint article for our high school's newspaper. I still check Mugglenet everyday.

Unfortunately I only got into MuggleCast last fall, but it's still fun to have a connection even though the series is over.

I mean, it did change my life. It's just too general to pick out how exactly it did in some areas of my life. And anyways, I can't exactly say that it led to the marriage of two of my best friends. Which is, by the way, all kinds of amazing and beautiful and incredible. That is a story I'd definitely like to hear more on. I'm not a strong believer in fate and whatnot, but it's so interesting to see the different (and monumental) ways that HP has changed lives like that.

I hope you get a great grade :)

-Sarah

TessaBessa said...

Amazing essay Hayley!
Like I have learned before, to make one simple decison can make a huge impact in ones life.

One example for me, I stumbled on a video Kristina made 2 or so years ago on something about Twilight...or something. And I liked her video, so I went to her channel and checked out all her videos and there was one where she mentioned you 5awsomegirls. So I went to check you guys out and fell in love with the channel.

And I started watching all of you peoples individual channels, making sure I've watched all the videos.

My young self has been inspired by you and the other girls. And then there's your blogs and I could just write on and on and on.

And I've mentioned the 5awesomegirls to my friends, and while they all laugh at how silly I sound, they really don't know what they're missing.

And I appoligize that I barely ever comment on anything.

And my little schpeel is over.

kira902k said...

Okay, call me an overemotional teenage girl, but that essay made me cry. Yeah, I cry at a lot of things. But it was so well written, and I could relate to it so much that yeah, it made me tear up.
Although I'm still RELATIVELY new to the online fandom, I have already made several friends through Harry Potter (friends that will hopefully become best friends over time) and I have changed so much because of it.
Like you, when I started high school (grade 7, in quebec) I had only one thing in mind: conforming and being accepted.
A year and a half later, I discovered fiveawesomegirls. Through you five, I found wizard rock. Through that I found the leaky cauldron and leakycon and all of that.
Also, I became a nerdfighter through 5AG. And that certainly has changed my life, and I give credit to you five. Thank you.

But, as I was saying, I learned all of the same lessons as you have through Harry Potter, and although high school isn't the easiest for me now, I don't mind too much because Harry Potter has made me a better person.

Yeah. Your essay was amazing. I cried. Sums it up.

Please post more things that you write for class. I love it. <3

-alex

Kristina said...

"offered a job with Google". lolol.


<3

seurat2 said...

I loved the essay Hayley, I hope it gets a top grade but even if it doesn't it was the perfect thing to write since it clearly came from your heart. And I love that video by Bree too, hope her movie project is going well.

Anonymous said...

You're my idol. My goal in life is to write like you. Smart, sophisticated and witty. Same thing.

Κάρτες r4i said...

Hi,
I like this article but..
last night i went to the midnight premiere of harry potter and the half blood prince! I was honestly so disappointed! was it just me or did it seem very choppy and for some reason didn't feel like it was a harry potter movie. Don't get me wrong some of the parts in it were either really funny or somewhat scary but i really was not sastified. I dont know, what did you think?? Am i wrong? Give me your opinions

Kathleen said...

i tihink harry snotter is 4 nurds.
and i dont like nurds bcuz their gayy and ur stupid

EVERYONE RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU WILL FORCE HAYLEY INTO A CAR OVER THANKSGIVING BREAK AND MAKE HER EAT CHIPOTLE.

SlytherinSweetie said...

Amazing job, Hayley. You did a very good job explaining it. When trying to explain things like this to my normal friends (not obsessed) they don't seem to grasp the profound impact Harry Potter has made on my life. It may sound exaggerated, and maybe dumb, to some people, but it's who I am. Harry Potter has shaped me into a person, I can really be proud of. I've learned to accept more, to open my mind, and to love rather than hate. If everyone had the same feelings from this series, then the world would be a lot better. From one little idea that was nested in J.K.'s head, a whole world came forth. And that one little idea, pretty much made my life great. I've met my best friends through HP. And some of the most amazing, kind, generous people ever. It's incredible. And I'm starting to cry now, so I'm gonna stop. But Hayley, that was just...wow. I'm sure this reflected everyone's feelings in the HP fandom. Thank you. <3

~Kayla

OH! And I hope you're having THE most kickass time at college. :)

A.J. James said...

Very well said... It is very interesting to see your development both in life and through youtube through your eyes.... always a fan...

Laura said...

I love hearing people's stories about what Harry Potter has done for them, but it always makes me tear up when I think about my ten-year-olf self, and how I would have killed to know anyone else who shared that love for a book series.
I loved the essay!

Also, are you still participating in NaNoWriMo? I added you as a writing buddy at the beginning of the month, and I just looked at it and saw that you're still at 11k!
What happened to ultimate domination? :)

Kristina said...

I know this is super geeky sounding but I sort of feel like the gang at Hogwarts was my gang because they were there all through my primary education years. I graduated high school last year as well, and I feel as if I grew up with Harry Potter. Rowling introduced new themes pretty much exactly when I was the right age to hear them. Our generation is the Harry Potter generation Hayley.

Jonneke said...

Ah Hayley, that was wonderful. Basically, my life changed like this (and you'll be happy to know you were part of it!)

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire the movie -> Robert Pattinson obsession -> Robert Pattinson forum -> discovery of YouTube -> finding Bre Bishop's Mugglenet video through the forum -> finding you through Bre Bishop -> subscribing to you -> subscribing to 5AG -> finding Vlogbrothers -> YAY online nerd community! -> starting my own collab channel with 6 other awesome Dutch girls -> more online awesomeness :D:D And a very happy me :D

maggiesnail said...

Hayley, I really enjoyed this post. Upon reading it, I felt a sudden urge to pick up the nearest book and just start reading. Admittedly, I have allowed reading to fall out of my daily lifestyle and, as a consequence, I don't read as much as I used to.
Thanks for re-igniting my passion for books and what they encompass.

Enjoy the rest of your day dear!

Madhuuu said...

i love you
i would love to write my own story on how harry potter/gilmore girls changed my life.

and my parents call tv the idiot box, pshaw!

KimbraSaysRawr said...

Hayley!
Your word count is still at 11,000something words.
Have you written anything else?
If you haven't, please don't give up!
I know you can win this year!

Anonymous said...

Hayley, we all miss you so much! Please start writing regularly again. Reading your blog is one of the highlights of my day.
-Julia

Tara said...

I am honestly tearing.

Living away from home for the first time and not knowing anyone has been really hard for me, but I can open a harry potter book (HBP is my favourite also) and I am home again.

Today has been especially tough to cope without my family beside me. Thanks for your entry Hayley. It honestly made me feel better.

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courtkraw said...

Hey Hayley,

It's embarassing that since I've been subscribed to you for so many years & now read your blogs and tweets I feel like you're one of my good friends. However, I am worried about you. You've stopped updating your blog, writing for nanowrimo & making youtube videos. I hope everything is okay!! We, people of the internet, love you! <3

mariakelly said...

hey, hey. remember when you used to write blogs? i dont.

Jordiekins said...

*misses reading you*

Maur said...

Hayley... :( we miss you

Maddie said...

This was really fun and a good read. If you didn't write as well as you do, I'd feel very sorry for your teacher. But I bet he or she loves the things you write! All of us sure do!

Meghan said...

I'm excited for college now.

Casey Rose said...

Over a week? I'm a little concerned. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that all is well!

Great post, by the way. I would go much more in-depth with my opinion, but I don't have that much energy. I just really loved that essay.

<3

Holly said...

I wonder if you still check these comments. Hmmm. Anywho I just wanted to tell you that I've read Jaclyn Moriarty's new book 'Dreaming of Amelia' and it's hauntingly good. Also, if you haven't checked out her new website, I recommend you do so, because it is awesome.

PJ Scott-Blankenship said...

Dear Gayley,
I miss your words. *sad face*

jazmyn vargas said...

hahahhahah
*laughs at Gayley comment*
xD

Claire said...

Hayley, don't worry about the lack of updates recently. You're probably super busy in these last few weeks of the semester, I know I'm there right now myself. Hope everything's okay, and I look forward to hearing more about your life whenever you have the time. You're readers love you, no matter how often you post. Remember that.

-Claire

Ava said...

It's holiday season!

Rachel said...

I miss ye blogs!
Hope you're having fun no matter what you're doing ^_^

Abby said...

Remember that time you went home for Thanksgiving and still didn't update? I mean, you were all over that when you lived at home. It made sense while you were at college, because you were off being college-y. But really, Hayley? Where you been?

(<3 Huggles)

allison said...

Hi Hayley! I don't want to sound like a Twitard waiting for Midnight Sun but...
Please don't stop writing/making videos and come back! <3

Tessa said...

this is a tad obvious... BUT WE MISS YOU AND NEED YOU TO BLOG AGAIN.

Matt said...

Dear Hayley,

Remember when you used to write blog posts and make videos? Those days were nice.

Best wishes,
Matt

Cece said...

Hayley, i'm sad. Please blog again soon.
<4

Katy J said...

Dearest Hayley,

I shall join the rest of your subscribers in writing a Hayley we miss you comment. I'm sure you're busy with the end of the semester craziness. I know I am. Good for you to prioritize. :)

I hope you are well!

Carlotta Jones said...

I love reading your writing. So original and inspiring. It makes want to write something soon. I say soon because I have a whack load of papers to do ><. Ugh, school life.

Meg said...

Does a new vid mean that maybe a new blog post is on the horizon? I completely understand the business though. I probably should not tell you this, but college only gets worse after Freshman year! So much work!

Marie said...

Hayleeeey. We miss you!

Anonymous said...

hayleeeeeey where did you go??? post soon please. anddd how did nanowrimo go? please update on that too :]

Anonymous said...

please hurry up and post another blog :)

Cat (: said...

Hayley!

My life is not complete without your funny anecdotes and brilliant prose! COME BACK.

Kristina said...

Hey Hayley. Did you forget that you have a blog with a sizable following? Well apparently you did because you stopped writing for us.
<3 Miss you

Erin said...

My birthday is soon. As a present, I'd like a blog update, please ;)
We miss you!

Anonymous said...

HAYLEY!!!

Morgan said...

Hayley, I love you.
And you shouldn't blog if you don't love it, but you should know that we love it when you do. It truly makes my day. You're insight makes my brain feel good and hopeful. Moral of the story is that I miss you!
And you deserve to know it.
:))
I hope you're enjoying your break! Now until Jan. 3 is loooonnngg time.

Emily said...

Oh I see how it is now you have time to make TWO youtube videos but not blog. Whats up with that? Just kidding I love you, well not in a creeper way. Okay I'm just going to stop now because this comment is starting to go down hill. But seriously you should write a blog some time soon.

Rachel said...

Hayley, were you the one who wrote this published MLIA post:

On my college application essay I wrote about how Harry Potter changed my life. On my acceptance letter they wrote P.S. I tried to send this by owl post. MLIA

???

partyweetow said...

Haaaaayleeeeey, update your bloooooog! We all love you and miss your awesomeness.

traderbob11 said...

Hayley, you've forgotten 18 or so thousand friends. I can understand the one or two creepy ones that needed to be blown off, but the rest of us just don't deserve to be dumped.

PS Since you never come around here any more....I've been watching this one girls videos from Australia....Hayley, I have needs Woman!

Julia said...

It´s funny, because I´ve actually just started an essay myself about the Harry Potter-series... It´s actually been some time since I picked up a Harry Potter book, and now I´ve fallen in love with the whole HP universe once again.
I really enjoyed reading your essay, and completely agree with your arguments. You really know how to articulate yourself and write in an entertaining and interesting way - keep it up! :) Thanks for inspiring me before writing my own essay! :)

Meghan said...

People are so hostile. Jeez. Haha. I wouldn't come back either. Reading these comments stresses me out.

Anonymous said...

Hayley G Hoover, you have no idea how much you've inspired me. I've always wanted to be an author and reading your blog has helped me become a better writer. Your style of writing is really relatable. You and the rest of the 5AG introduced me to some awesome things like Wizard Rock. You are an amazing, funny and talented person and I just wanted to thank you for influencing my life.

Sean said...

Have you ever realized that Roger and Anita from 101 Dalmatians had the last name Radcliffe?... just sayin'

And the reason I realized this, is because my comment was going to be the 101st comment, so I wanted to make a dalmatian joke. Then I found this out. It blew my mind.

And you're my favorite celeb. ever! :p

Jim said...

Dude

srsly..

John said...

I should write an essay entitled How HayleyGHoover changed my life.

Ok well its a bit drastic but I find your blogs uplifting and beautifully writen. I find myself reading over previous entries just to get my daily Hayley.

If you stop blogging I will be sad and I will check your blog regardless as I think at this stage it is part of my daily routine.

natnel56 said...

Hayley, I miss your witty words. ;(

If you don't want to blog anymore, that's okay, but can we get an explanation or a warning so I can stop checking it everyday?

Please come back :/

Elizabeth said...

Hayley G. Hoover, I miss your witty blogs.... Have you died?!

KaylaLee said...

*Sigh*

I miss you Hayley.

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Anonymous said...

Haley, 2 weeks, no blog.
Sad face.

I miss your humor.

Belen said...

*knock, knock* Is anyone there?

Its been far too long since your last blog! Its rainy and cold outside. A new blog from you is needed :D

iwishiwereaWeasley said...

Hayley, not that I don't both enjoy and relate to your last post - because I do! - but PLEASE blog more often! NaNoWriMo's over, you have a bit of time freed up. Why not do more writing? Lol.

Lilly said...

Yo, HayleyG! Howz about a blog, YO? Word.

Aileen said...

Even though you haven't updated in a while, I still instinctively check every few days.

:]

Anonymous said...

I check everyday...

:(

Anonymous said...

If this makes it to the one-month mark, something drastic is going to happen.

Anonymous said...

I still check everyday :(
I miss your blogs!

John said...

Yup I check every day in the hopes of an update

Anonymous said...

I'm still checking every day. :/

Joanne said...

Hey guys! Remember when Hayley loved us? Good times.

Anonymous said...

Hey Hayley,
We miss you. A lot. It's okay if you've stopped blogging (even though it would make all of us sad), but could you either let us know why you've been out or just start blogging again? Your blogs always make me smile when I'm having a bad day, and I've been missing that. A lot. Hope to hear from you soon!
Gracias!

Jim said...

unsexy - a blog that hasn't been updated for a month

Madeline said...

Awesome!! I don't know (and don't really want to know) who I'd be today if I hadn't picked up the first Harry Potter book almost ten years ago.

Anonymous said...

cool!!!..................................................

Anonymous said...

So Hayley...
I know you don't really have any sort of obligation to us, but could you pretty please update your blog? I mean, I loved the harry potter essay, and the gay marriage post, but we haven't gotten a real blog about your life since November 4th.

So pretty please? We love you.

Anonymous said...

Hayley, I miss your blog posts/you through the computer screen. So much. They were part of my sorta-daily routine. My life is falling apart without your blogging. Please come back?

Lola said...

HAYLEY!

You've been tweeting and video blogging, but where are your blogs?

Hope you're okay!

Kristina said...

Hayley! We miss you so so much. If you are going to quit blogging or even take an extended break you could always let us know. I hope the reason you haven't blogged is because you think we are all going to attack you about it being so long. I won't I promise.

Anonymous said...

It's official: Hayley now hates blogging and all of her readers. One month, Hayley! One month!!

Anonymous said...

one month :[
i still check everyday, i miss you blogs, they make me laugh. your such an amazing writer!
please post soon <3

maur said...

one month :( i still check every day.

Cat said...

A MONTH.

A MONTH.

please, make the project for awesome awesome. and post a blog.

i miss your witty-ness (wittiness?).

John said...

The Yeti and I were going to name our first child after Hayley. But since she quit blogging, we'll probably go with Lauren or something.

savannah said...

it's been a month. D:
i can haz hayley's blog naow plz?

jazmyn said...

this is ridiculous! i don't know what to do with myself.
not really. i just wanted to read a new blog instead of doing my essay :D
miss yaz!

Anonymous said...

lmao at john greens comment :]

John said...

@ John LMAO!!!!


Hayley I feel like I felt when the books ended. Sad and wished I could do it all over again. So be my Joanne do it all over again by blogging!!!

Anonymous said...

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You may , probably curious to know how one can collect a huge starting capital .
There is no need to invest much at first. You may commense to get income with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you thought of all the time
AimTrust incorporates an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

It is based in Panama with offices everywhere: In USA, Canada, Cyprus.
Do you want to become an affluent person?
That`s your chance That`s what you really need!

I feel good, I started to take up real money with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. It`s all about how to select a correct partner who uses your money in a right way - that`s AimTrust!.
I make 2G daily, and my first investment was 500 dollars only!
It`s easy to join , just click this link http://humumupa.dreamstation.com/samojoxy.html
and lucky you`re! Let`s take this option together to get rid of nastiness of the life

Janelle said...

Hahahha Oh John, How you amuse me

Kristen said...

Hayley G H-o-o-v-e-r
I'm ready for you to take over my screen... via a blog?

Kyle said...

Hayley were are you???

shelby said...

Hayley, I miss your posts.

JoshV said...

Hey guygals...I'm pretty sure Hayley said she's taking a blogbreak in one of her vids. In the meantime, I've enjoyed reading the awesome spam in the comments. The line: "It`s all about how to select a correct partner who uses your money in a right way - that`s AimTrust!" is great. I wish my ex was like AimTrust.

Maria said...

We miss you, Hayley... I hope that everything is good in your life now. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Have you given up on writin in your blog? I miss your entries.

- A fellow reader.

inanewyorkstateofmind said...

WE MISS YOU!

alanasays said...

All I want for Christmas this year is... another blog from Hayley. I always save your blogs till last in my feed cause I know it will always top the rest. Whether its funny, insightful or both.

Please don't be a stranger! Come back soon!

Vaughn said...

This is getting painful.

Lewis said...

Hayley, I miss you so much :'(

Anonymous said...

Hi Hayley, love your blog and your vids!!!
if u love harry potter you should check out the University of Glasgow in Scotland...the place just screams HOGWARTS!!! its really cool to have lectures n stuff there :)
just thought i'd make you aware of this hidden gem in Glasgow, well it's not so hidden i guess :) you should google it!

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, Hayley "promised" us that she would get back to her "normal, witty fluff 'soon'."

Um. Yeah. I miss that Normal Witty Fluff.
:(

Julia said...

I miss you
I miss your smile
And I still shed a tear
Every once in a while
And even though it's different now
You're still here somehow
My (home page) won't let you go
And I need you to know
I miss you, sha la la la
I miss you
-Hannah Montana

(Hayley) come back to me
I should've never set you free
We're meant to be
Together so whatever it takes
-Vannessa Hudgens

'Cause we belong together now
Forever united here somehow
You got a piece of me
And honestly
My life (does) suck without you
-Kelly Clarkson

Need I say more?
Hayley, we all miss your blog so much. Heck, the mini yeti's a Lauren now!

-Julia

Julia said...

P.S. My choice in lyrics is exquisite. No one expresses loss better than V Hudge.

Larangutang said...

Hayley! We miss you!!!!

Ryan Leys said...

DO YOU EXIST ANYMORE?

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit concerned about you Hayley. You haven't blogged in what seems like ages. I miss your writing!

Hope is Alive said...

hayley, where are you?

Anonymous said...

Hayley, we will find you.

You don't know what we're capable of. We can make you blog. For we are, THE INTERNET.

We'll make it happen

WE ALWAYS MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Anonymous said...

Easily I assent to but I about the list inform should acquire more info then it has.

Anonymous said...

im on the verge of tears

hahah jk but seriouslyyyy i miss your blog soooooo much! it always made my day... come back to us!

Carma said...

Hayley, you shouldn't feel pressured to blog and it shouldn't be a chore, but at least give us some closure if you're not coming back! We all miss you. It's crazy how much your writing affects so many people.

Anonymous said...

Hayley,
Please come back :'( at least for the new year. I still check every day just in case you decided to love us again..:'(

Anonymous said...

is it weird that I worry every day there's no new update, just in case something really horrible is going on for you right now? Miss you! Hope you're okay :)

Anonymous said...

For the love of God, woman.

Anonymous said...

My dad died of cancer in the time between this post and today.
That's how much life can change for an individual in such a short space of time.
Please start blogging again.

BenCracknell said...

In a way, I kind of hope that Hayley doesn't update her blog until tomorrow, just so we can say, "You haven't updated your blog since the last decade!"

I think that sounds kind of snazy, if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

i can't believe this is going to be your last post of the year :(

Anonymous said...

"Hey there, blog. I really like you. I like thinking of things to tell you, I like seeing what comes out of my head, and I like rereading you the next morning when I check my comments. All in all, we have a pretty good relationship."

Where'd you go?

Julia said...

Dear Hayley G Hoover,
Please update your blog.
Love, Julia

Anonymous said...

Hayley's new years resolution: To actually do a blog in 2010.

Jessica said...

As Stevie from 5awesomegays would say,

REALLY?!?!

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

so nice blog..................................................

Anonymous said...

I think the outcry from us bloglings here is pretty interesting.

This is probably a scale model of what would have happened if J.K. had decided to stop writing after book four.

It would have been all "Voldemort's back and shit just got interesting but no explanations or satisfying conclusions for you!"

Eff said...

Hrm, hrm...

Megan C. Sullivan said...

after reading your essay, i sure wished my high school experience was like that. Sure i was an outsider but why.... because i went to school with a bunch of stuck up people that didn't understand the comic books and Harry Potter are not just kid things.

Now that i am a college graduate, i am still searching for that niche of people that understand my obsessions.

So thank you for sharing your account with all of us but it's hard for me to believe that everyone had the same positive experience.

inkstainedpages said...

I was really hoping the start of a new year would inspire you to get back to blogging. But alas...

We love you and miss you, Hayley!!

<3

Anonymous said...

...just checking in, again.

A.J. James Brooks said...

remember when you used to update your blog??? I miss that... loves

Anonymous said...

OK, Hayley's made it quite clear that she no longer cares about blogging. Forget about it, guys. She has fiveawesomegirls again now, great as it is. But not as intimate as blogging.

Anonymous said...

I heard Hayley died :'( I hope to god it isn't true.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous if Hayley's dead i might kill myself

Anonymous said...

please come back hayley

Anonymous said...

commmmeee baccccckkkk

Beach girl said...

You are a very talented writer. Hope to read more of your work soon.

Jessica said...

*Brushes tear away*

j said...

COME BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK.

Anonymous said...

oh god. Hayley is NOT dead. She just has a flare for the dramatic, and a longer absence makes for a bigger comeback :]

Anonymous said...

what the fuck hayley.

Anonymous said...

you do realize that you've got a truckload of faithful readers... is it that hard to at least post a sentence saying, "hey guys, i dont give a fuck about you all anymore, i'm not going to blog again."

Anonymous said...

no, I heard Hayley died too from my cousin, who knows a friend of hers. Her friends and family are still updating her twitter because they don't want to break it to the internet yet. I think there were some suspicous circumstances surrounding it all :'( I really hope it isn't true.

Anonymous said...

R.I.P HayleyGHoover. :( We'll all miss you so much.

xxx

Anonymous said...

I miss you Hayley. Rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

please don't let hayley be dead! i'm crying so much as i type this

Cassie said...

Oh my god, Hayley's dead? This is the most horrible thing to happen to the internet. The world's a sadder place without you, Hayley. :(

Kristina said...

"You haven't updated your blog since the last decade!"

xD That does sound pretty snazzy.

Catherine said...

come back before i start crying.

Anonymous said...

She has stopped blogging, you should all realize this, it commented on in one of her videos, (which she is still doing), she just isnt blogging anymore.

'Chelle said...

I am another person who can confirm that yes, Hayley has sadly passed on. Ironically prior to this she'd decided to take a short break from blogging, hence the confusion around her disappearance. What can I say other than this is a tragedy and the world is a truly darker place without her.

Jessica said...

I may not be as funny and awesome as your other readers, but I am very happy to be reading your blog again!

Anonymous said...

great article. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did you guys know that some chinese hacker had busted twitter yesterday again.
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