At Hogwarts, as McGonagall said, your Houses become your homes; where you eat, sleep, work and socialise. No matter where you end up, you’ll soon feel at home, and you’ll quickly be defending your house against others during Quidditch games!
As most of your time is spent in your Houses, many of you will find that they form the basis of the majority of your friendships, although don’t worry inter-house friendships are also very common! When it comes to making friends, be yourself, and make an effort to talk to as many people as possible; you never know where you’ll find your next best friends: in your dormitory, in Charms, on the Quidditch pitch, or even fighting a Troll!
Friends can be made in all sorts of places, and one way to meet new people with similar interests is by joining clubs. Hogwarts boasts an exciting array of extracurricular activities; from academic interests like the Astronomy club or Duelling club, to the Choir, Gobstones or Chess clubs, and not forgetting our Quidditch teams! There’s something for everyone, and if there isn’t anything to suit your interests, start one of your own!
Of course, coming to Hogwarts isn’t all about the fun and games. Whether your interests lie in Charms, Potions, Divination or Transfiguration, there’s a hefty workload. So do yourself a favour now, crack open your copies of Hogwarts: A History, Most Potent Potions, or The Standard Book of Spells to get a head start on the year and impress your Professors by working your way through the recommended reading lists.
For many of you, coming to Hogwarts will be the first time away from home. This can pose a number of problems, from homesickness to learning how to do things for yourself for the first time. Homesickness can be particularly fierce during your first few weeks, but the important thing to do is not to panic, everyone feels the same, and by the end of your time Hogwarts will also feel like home. Surrounding yourself with home comforts, like pictures and posters in your dormitory is a good way to make your new rooms feel like home. For those who are particularly struggling, speaking with the Madam Pomfrey in the Hospital Wing can also be helpful. Remember that there are always people you can talk to, whether friends, tutors or members of the peer support team, if you are particularly struggling, help is always given to those who need it.
Students at Hogwarts are often thought of as particularly messy, so an important skill to learn before coming up is to cook, clean and care for yourself. Not only does this help you to become more independent, but it will also help you to avoid arguments over whose turn it is to clean up, and it helps to give the House Elves a break too!
Living away from home can also prove a challenge financially. Many students find it useful to make a budget and withdraw only what they need for each week from Gringotts. However, for those in need of extra assistance, there is support available, just ask your Head of House upon arrival.
Finally, coming to Hogwarts should be an exciting adventure, but if you’re feeling nervous at all don’t hesitate to send an Owl, we’re happy to answer any questions you have! We look forward to meeting you at the Sorting in October!