“There is no passion to be found in playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – NELSON MANDELA (A muggle political leader)
Dear students we are leaving our precious home to,
Though you may feel small in a school so big, with so many others, and doorways that feel made for giants… Know this, you are in fact not small, you leave your mark on the school with each passing year whether it be a memory, a literal mark, or achievements in academics and sports. So many of you have left your mark on me in the form of memories. Memories I will carry with me and look back fondly when I remember my time at Hogwarts, my home. The Ravenclaws have been my family and our common room my oasis, but this doesn’t mean the Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, and yes even Slytherins have not also become my family.
In the past, the head students always share with you lessons. These lessons are for surviving Hogwarts and your classes but I don’t think you need lessons on surviving. We have proven time and time again that Hogwarts students are the best and brightest and will always persevere through dark times. So, with that being said I will impart some wisdom nonetheless.
Always take a walk. I can’t count how many times I spotted a portrait I never knew existed before, even now with seven years at the school it still finds a way to surprise me. You’ll learn shortcuts, hidden ways, and even find some unlikely friends along the way.
Always be creative. You never know when a little creativity will come in handy on this road to graduation. An excuse there, some glitter here, maybe even some stitches and charms for flair! Creativity is one of the best tools in our arsenal.
Never take this time for granted. This hardly needs explaining I think.
Now, with the wisdom out of the way, there’s a few people I’d like to specifically thank. My head of house, Professor Green you have been there for us to guide our paths and take detours on mistakes we might make. Though some may call you harsh, you never let us off without a lesson in why our punishment was caused. Professors Durmorney and Drache Blume, for which my love of plants have cultivated throughout my years thanks to your lessons and your willingness to allow me in the greenhouses on occasion. I will be forever thankful. Professor Blightly and Professor O’Keeffe. For stepping up when tragic events led their way into our lives and keeping us safe when I’m sure many of us had lost our brains. To my house, Ravenclaw, I will always remember you all and the fun we’ve had. The late-night chats, the stories, the memories. Don’t drive our head of house too over the edge, yeah? My dorm mate October, thank you for letting me invade your space a few times with my various herbology projects and I promise, no that flower was not poisoning you. Our prefects this year, you’ve all been wonderful and merlin knows what Eric and I would have done without you.
To my best friends, Rora and Skylar. Rora, we crossed together and we’ll cross again together. It’s been my privilege to know you and be your friend. Thank you for those endless nights of patrolling, get-togethers to decompress, and more importantly, being a shoulder I can cry on and someone I can lean on. Skylar, although we are leaving you, we’re also waiting for you on the other side. You’ll do great and grow to be extraordinary. I just know it!
Finally, to my head boy. Eric, we’ve come so far from first year. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect partner for this role. We did it! Off to explore the boundaries of life and grow up more. Words can’t express my many thanks for your support and words.
Now, over the years we have shared many classes, tears, laughter, and even heartbreak. I will always remember showing first years how to properly replant a mandrake, fifth years to prepare for a transfiguration exam, second years on which dress would make them look more grown-up for the winter ball. Out of these memories, I will remember most of all, that boat ride with my fellow seventh years at the start of our adventure. As we prepare to embark on our last crossing of the lake, I would like to wish you many things. Happiness, success, and most of all, adventure. For as Mr. Mandela has stated we cannot settle for a life that is less.
With the honour of being the year 2028-2029 Head Girl, I will miss you all and look forward to the year each of you crosses back over that black lake to join us in the adult world for your many new adventures.
Head Girl 2028-2029
To the whole of Hogwarts,
Life is a curious thing, full of all sorts of paradoxes, and in my final days of schooling, I find myself facing yet another. It seems as though a lifetime has passed since I first set foot at Hogwarts seven years ago, and yet in so many ways it feels like it was only yesterday. The memory of piling into the boats still flashes vividly in my mind. Of gliding through the water, with the students who would become my best friends, to catch our first, awe-inspiring glimpse of the castle. If you had told me then that two future head students were sharing the same boat, I may well have called you crazy. And yet, clearly, I am no seer, for just that has come to pass. Six times before have I read these letters, absorbing the wisdom past head students wished to impart, and never did I think I would have a hand in penning the seventh. Long have I reflected on what lessons I might pass along, but not until recently did I settle on what I thought most important.
Those who know me might expect survival tips, and I would not blame you for thinking that. However, I have seen firsthand the resilience of the students this year, in very difficult times. I may be a worrier at heart, but I know you can and will make it through your hard times. My lessons come instead from a desire to help you do so together. To feel happier and less alone in a world that sometimes does its best to pull us apart. These are just a few tidbits I’ve learned that I hope some of you might find comfort in.
You are not alone. When my badge arrived in the post, I didn’t feel ready. I had my memories of the past head students, and I certainly didn’t fit the mold. I remembered the awe they inspired in my first year. How calm and cool and collected they seemed in the next. And yet I came to realize that perhaps my feelings… the worry of whether I was up to the task, the fear of letting the school down, the indecision I felt deep down. But I soon realized, it wasn’t unique to me, it was something they’d all experienced in some form or another. We all have our flaws, our own fears, our own insecurities. It’s important to remember, whatever you’re going through, there is someone else out there who can empathise.
Our greatest regrets come not from the things we do, but those that we do not. This isn’t to say that I wouldn’t take back things I’ve done. Everyone makes mistakes. But as I look back upon my life, it is the roads not traveled, the choices not taken that haunt me the most.
Failure is the harshest, but most effective teacher. To fail is inevitable, and if you show me, someone who has not, I can show you someone who has never taken a risk. We can learn far more from our downfalls than our triumphs. There is no shame in failure, only in failing to learn from them.
Be the change you wish to affect in the world. It can be hard to push on in the face of overwhelming adversity, and one look through a copy of the Prophet can give one much to feel despair about. Yet you cannot let that discourage you from your own good works. What you do in life may feel insignificant, but it is imperative that you do it anyway. Every action, no matter how small, leaves our world changed, even in ways we may not be able to see. And last but not least…
Leave nothing important left unsaid. We always assume we will have time. Another day, another month, another year. Nothing is guaranteed. Let those important to you know that they are. And with that in mind, there are just a few more things I would like to say.
As my Hogwarts journey nears its end, I would be remiss if I did not take the time to properly thank those who’ve been with me through it. Those who provided guidance and support, and without whom I wouldn’t be the person I am today. First and foremost, I would like to thank my head of house, Professor Green, both for her guidance and for putting up with my occasional antics through the years. I would like to thank all the professors who’ve educated me throughout the years. Professor Banks, for nurturing my talents in Transfiguration and allowing me access to more advanced course material. And I would especially thank those who have been with me since the beginning; Professors Dracheblume, Dumorney, Priaulx, and Reuter. I can scarcely picture a Hogwarts without them. It would be criminal not to thank Professor Blightly and Professor O’Keeffe, for their steady guiding hands through many difficult times. For making sure we were all well cared for, well-fed, and well educated, even through the Grecession. And for entrusting Zaira and me to wear the mantle of head girl and boy.
To the students who enriched my time here in school, I must also convey my deepest gratitude. To my house of Ravenclaw, where I’ve made my nest these seven years. To my Quidditch teammates and friends. To Alison, Jamie, and Riven and the others who’ve allowed me to help mentor them. To all of my friends in Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin, of whom there are too many to name, but I hope you know who you all are. To the prefects, it’s been quite a year, not always in a good way, and yet I’m incredibly grateful for each and every one of you. You made it possible for us to succeed, and I am proud of the growth you’ve all shown throughout this year.
To Jesma and October, the two best friends a bloke could ask for. All the classes and meals we’ve shared, the late night study sessions passed out in the library, the incredibly clever pranks we’ll take to our graves; I don’t know if I could have made it through school without you. And of course, my girlfriend Annie, who supported me all year, never once complaining when my duties cut into our free time, and whom I cannot thank enough for her patience and grace.
And lastly, to my counterpart, our wonderful Head Girl, Zaira. I never thought I would get to share this privilege with a housemate and a friend, but I’m very glad I did. I could not have asked for a better partner this year, and I only hope you’re half as proud of me as I am of you. Bet you never thought that scrawny kid with the bad haircut you shared a boat with would be your fellow head student one day!
It has been perhaps the greatest honour of my life to serve as your Head Boy this year, and if I made a positive impact on even a single person, I will consider my tenure to have been a success. Despite the hardships we all faced together, know that I look back on my time with nothing but fondness. Though I will dearly miss Hogwarts and those who inhabit it, nothing lasts forever, including farewells. And so I say goodbye not with a heavy heart, but with an eye towards the future, when I know we will meet again. Goodbye Hogwarts, and thanks for all the memories.
All the best,
Head Boy 2028-2029