“Dumbledore put you up to this, didn’t he?”

“Harry Potter rocks!” shouted Draco Malfoy.

No, this is not a line from the new Harry Potter movie -?rather, it was Bill, a college student dressed as Harry’s rival. Surrounding him, witches and wizards of all ages mingled with muggles at a midnight release for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. But what would possess college students to abandon their frat parties and textbooks to spend a night in costume waiting for a PG-rated movie?

“It makes us feel like we’re not in college,” said Jordan, UVU’s own Hermione. A wizard trying to look like a muggle (also known as BYU student Davis) echoed the sentiment when he asked, “Who wants to grow up?”

This is the generation that grew up with Harry. Many of today’s college students were the same ages as the main characters while the books were being released. As such, many feel a special bond with the series. “I didn’t read books before Harry Potter,” Alex the Gryffindor explained.

“Harry Potter transcends every age,” explained Erica, a recent graduate who confesses to have written all of her college papers on Harry Potter. She attended the movie as part of a Quidditch team composed entirely of cousins and sisters. “Every experience they have still reflects our experiences. It brings people together – once you find someone who loves Harry Potter, there’s an instant connection. It’s like coming home.”

Despite its PG rating, the movie is not child’s play. Now in their sixth year at the magical school of Hogwarts, Harry and his cohorts are faced with major decisions about careers, education and responsibility. To complicate it all, humorous romantic subplots provide ample distraction. It’s not a stretch to say that college students will relate to the story as well as, or better than, their junior high siblings.

Whether it’s escapism, love of the characters, personally relating to the story or just plain having fun, taking a break from a world of math tests and part-time jobs is a simple pleasure. As Quidditch captain/student Adam said, “It’s all about the experience.”

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