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Ever since I was a kid, I have always loved to read. 

There’s just something about going to different worlds, seeing the interactions between characters, all without leaving your house (or the library, the bookstore . . . You get the idea) that has always been fascinating.

When I was in fourth grade, everyone that I knew was either talking about or had read this series called Harry Potter, I didn’t really know what it was about and I didn’t have much experience reading any series’ by that point, but I was curious.

So, I checked it out of my local library, but for some reason, I just couldn’t get into it. Maybe it was because I didn’t know what to expect, or maybe because the fact that the series was seven books long was daunting.

Later that year, I spotted a copy on the bookshelf of my elementary school’s library and thought that I would give it a chapter or two and if I didn’t like it, I would just return it to the library.

 Needless to say, I was hooked. Harry Potter was this eleven-year-old boy who went to wizard school? That was amazing to me, and I couldn’t get enough of Harry and his adventures with his two best friends, Ron and Hermione, at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

I read the rest of the series after that, not sure how I couldn’t get into it at first. Before I went to sleep at night, I would turn on the lamp beside my bed and read my favorite passages, my favorite books, over and over again. 

It was my favorite thing to do.

Eventually, my love for reading grew even more, which was something I didn’t know could happen. I read other series and other books, different genres, but Harry Potter was the one that I always go back to.

I still do, even years after reading the first book. I brought the fifth book with me to college last year, and I would read it whenever I just wanted to feel a little closer to home.

The characters and the world that they inhabit just means so much to me. Harry’s resilience, Hermione’s empathy, and Ron’s humor are just a few of the things that I always try to carry with me as I go through life.

Hailey Semchee

Cincinnati '22

Hailey Semchee is a third-year English/Rhetoric and Professional Writing major at the University of Cincinnati. She loves being creative in any way possible as well as traveling, watching movies, or drinking a lot of tea. You can follow her on instagram @haileysemchee.
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