Acceptance | Teen Ink


October 6, 2008
By Rebecca Wickel, Setauket, NY

Peering inside the small, dark space, I saw only bills. Our plain white mailbox had received the majority of my attention for nearly three weeks, as my 11th birthday approached. The envelope I was going to receive would arrive any day, bearing its emerald ink and curvy handwriting. My name wasn’t Harry Potter, but I was expecting my letter of acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to read similarly to his.

For years I felt like an outcast; I didn’t know who I was, or who I was supposed to become. Set apart from the kids I knew at school by my mismatched socks and unkempt hair, I was an outsider--even to myself. I was different, and as a result, I was ashamed. Uncomfortable in my own tan skin, I spent my summers in the fictional world J.K. Rowling created, a world I undoubtedly belonged in. I wanted to be in a place where it was ordinary to see a flying car or a three headed dog, where the eccentric and strange were normal, the weird and the extraordinary acceptable. It would mean that everything I embodied and everything I stood for was okay.

As Harry’s story progressed, so did my self exploration. His lightening-bolt scar became a beacon of hope for the wizarding world, and for me as well. He didn’t hide the jagged wound branded on his forehead; it was a mark of character and strength. Things weren’t easy for Harry--Voldemort made sure of that, but the scar never faded. Slowly I became acquainted with myself, my dreams and my talents. I loved my red cowgirl boots and my purple leggings; I loved that they made me me. I learned to face the pressures of school, proudly wearing my lucky socks in gym and eating tomato sandwiches at snack time. I embraced what set me apart--my unrelenting geekdom. Rowling helped me find myself through Latin-based spells and bubbling potions, but it was Harry who sustained me through my gawky adolescence. I learned not to hide who I am because my spirit was a gift. What set me apart became a pivotal part of my character, and people learned to love it.

As my high school transcript clearly demonstrates, my letter never came. Instead, Hogwarts sent me a sense of self. I was empowered by my own desires and imagination ignited by cauldrons and quidditch. Now, I am decisive in my decisions and firm in my beliefs, which will allow me to grow into a proud, responsible member of society. I’m lucky I found all of this for myself--a Hogwarts post-owl would never have been able to carry it all the way from London.

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This article has 1 comment.

.rauha said...
on Mar. 16 2010 at 7:27 am
Wow, this is really amazing. I love the deep emotion that's woven into the writing. I too am a lover of Harry Potter, and I also waited for my letter when I turned 11. I can relate. Great job, I love this! :)

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