Sitting in your room surrounded by notes, phone switched off, sweatpants on. Neat cursive handwriting, an empty coffee cup next to you, cross referencing your sources, old school encyclopedias, a CD you borrowed from your friend, only taking a break every 2 hours, focusing on your goals.
Kitchen table, papers everywhere, empty coffee cups scattered around the room. Hair in a messy bun and pencil behind your ear, determined when you want to be. TV on in the background. Taking a break every 20 minutes for more coffee and to call your friends to tell them how boring your study is. Accomplishing your goals despite the mess.
Jamming out to rock music while you work, pigtails, your work is surprisingly organised but you find it hard to focus. You've tried the pomodoro technique but it was hard to stick to, so you take tiny breaks to air guitar when a good part of a song comes on. Getting distracted by your roommates.
Your notes are all in one notebook, scribbled in with a classic blue biro. Black coffee in a mug, reading glasses that you never let other people see, a comfy worn-in office chair, the smell of wood. Not worrying about being neat, keeping things as simple as possible. You do what works for you. It's a relaxed environment.
Studying in the library next to stacks of library books, 15 tabs open on your computer, desk full of pages. Gathering intense background knowledge of everything you come across. Calling your friends to tell them about new things you've learned. Quizzing yourself every 30 minutes, which counts as a break.
Sitting on the floor with your notes spread out around you. Four different types of study snacks. Highlighter marks on your face somehow. Switching subject every 10 minutes to keep yourself interested. Hot chocolate breaks every 20 minutes. Thriving off encouragement from your loved ones. Papercuts.
Your study lasts all day. First at the library, then at home. Work organised into neat folders, a different notebook for each subject. Straight lines and hand drawn banners. Hair in a neat bun. Glass full of different color highlighters. Scheduled breaks every 45 minutes to increase productivity. Framed photos of people who inspire you. Thriving off of competition.
Gryffindor is being emotionally driven. It is the wild grin on your face as you charge head on into a wave. It is dipping your fingers into wax just after blowing out the flame. Gryffindor is bonfires and sparklers at the end of summer; it is windswept hair and running around in the rain with friends. Gryffindor is good YA novels, the gems hidden in the back shelves. Gryffindor is brightly colored lipstick and kisses that feel like electricity, like passion, like heat. It is belting “Don’t Stop Believin” at the top of your goddamned lungs. Gryffindor is comic books. It is power outages. It is talking back to people in positions of authority because they’re wrong. Gryffindor is racing your friend for shotgun. Gryffindor is earrings that swing when you turn your head. Gryffindor is sailing under a great blue sky; it is fireworks and ginger beer. Gryffindor is summer. Gryffindor is ripped jeans and flannels. Gryffindor is knowing that failure to stand strong all the time doesn’t make you weak. Gryffindor is jumping off a bridge into the ocean with your friends. It is the scream that gets punched out of your lungs on rollercoasters. Gryffindor is hot chocolate and sweatpants; it is naps during the day. Gryffindor is New York City. Gryffindor is hard cider and caramel apples. Gryffindor is stopping mid-sentence to point out a dog across the street. Gryffindor is getting an apartment with your friends after college. Gryffindor is Steve Rogers. Gryffindor is praying that your soda won’t explode. Gryffindor is sweaty ponytails and the shaky feeling in your muscles after a good workout. Gryffindor is road trips with your best friends. Gryffindor is turning your friends into family. Gryffindor is long summer days and even longer summer nights; it is feeling like nighttime can’t stop you. Gryffindor is life. Gryffindor is love. Gryffindor is friendship. Gryffindor is freedom.
Hufflepuff is being carefree of spirit and caring of heart. Hufflepuff is comforting a friend by singing a song you both love until they’re calm enough to sing along. Hufflepuff is blasting the air conditioner so it’s cold enough to sleep under a quilt in the summer. Hufflepuff is flower crowns. Hufflepuff is activism. Hufflepuff is sticking your feet under your friend’s legs when they’re cold. Hufflepuff is cotton candy and sunsets at the fair. Hufflepuff is kissing in the rain. Hufflepuff is the feeling of helplessness that comes from not having enough power to right the world’s wrongs. Hufflepuff is hammocks. It is tattered friendship bracelets. It is getting flour on your face while baking. Hufflepuff is big sweaters and leggings; Hufflepuff is side braids. Hufflepuff is the storm that breaks the heatwave; it is running around the house to shut all of the windows and then collapsing on the floor giggling. Hufflepuff is the Aunt Friend, for when the mom friend needs a mom friend. Hufflepuff is prom night with a group of friends. Hufflepuff is strawberry frosted donuts with rainbow sprinkles. Hufflepuff is Tuscany. It is sunlight reflected in the morning dew. It is the smell of smoke on a cold winter day. Hufflepuff is understanding the value of a child’s mind. Hufflepuff is the first day of spring. It is stopping to smell the flowers. It is warmed milk with spices and vanilla. Hufflepuff is the books from your childhood that you’ve read to shreds; it is the movies you can quote with ease. Hufflepuff is brightly colored eyeliner. Hufflepuff is sunrise over the mountains. Hufflepuff is festivals in the summer with maxi skirts and fresh-picked flowers in your hair. Hufflepuff is sitting under a tree with your friends. Hufflepuff is weighing yourself down with worries to lighten someone else’s load. Hufflepuff is digging in the dirt with your hands to find the cool earth underneath. Hufflepuff is leaving cute messages on your friend’s phone when you’re in different time zones. Hufflepuff is compassion. Hufflepuff is empathy. Hufflepuff is laughter. Hufflepuff is freedom.
Ravenclaw is asking why and using the answer. Ravenclaw is reading at night with a flashlight under the covers. Ravenclaw is lightning. Ravenclaw is fuzzy socks. Ravenclaw is lying on your back with a group of friends and looking at the stars. Ravenclaw is forgetting to eat and sleep because you’re in research-mode. Ravenclaw is French-press coffee. Ravenclaw is owning more books than you could read in a lifetime. It is quick messy buns with pencils stuck through them; it is sweatshirts and yoga pants. Ravenclaw is curling up on a window seat with a book as the snow falls outside. Ravenclaw is people-watching. It is old book smell. It is watches with interesting faces and the full moon through the trees. Ravenclaw is bronze eyeshadow. It is Paris. It is hard caramel. Ravenclaw is staying up until sunrise talking about the universe. It is lying on the floor talking to your significant other about anything and everything and then rolling over and kissing them. Ravenclaw is packing your books first to make sure you’ll have room. It is running your hand through your hair to calm yourself down. It is beanbag chairs in the library. It is spending time with people of older generations and trying to absorb all of the wisdom they have to offer. Ravenclaw is the best answers in Cards Against Humanity. Ravenclaw is twirling a pen through your fingers as you think. Ravenclaw is the feeling of freedom on a windy day. Ravenclaw is ornate bookmarks; Ravenclaw is antiques. Ravenclaw is well-disguised sass. Ravenclaw is asking the perfect question to send the class off on an hour-long tangent. Ravenclaw is flirting in other languages. Ravenclaw is doing personal research instead of homework. Ravenclaw is knowing that imagination outstrips intelligence. Ravenclaw is curiosity. Ravenclaw is wit. Ravenclaw is passion. Ravenclaw is truth.
Slytherin is knowing that there are still some things more important than success. Slytherin is being asked “what do you want to be when you grow up” and answering with the same thing you’ve been saying since you were six. Slytherin is the feeling of triumph when your hard work pays off. Slytherin is blazers and sleek ponytails, but it is also team sweatshirts and messy braids. Slytherin is dark chocolate. Slytherin is fog settling in the valley. Slytherin is the feeling of meeting your idol and having them live up to every expectation. Slytherin is the Mom Friend™. Slytherin is surviving on coffee. It is a river so clear you can see the bottom if you’re still for long enough. Slytherin is London. Slytherin is classic literature. Slytherin is knowing that respect is earned. It is reminding yourself that it’s okay to forget about the future and live in the moment. Slytherin is being the designated driver. Slytherin is tattoos is discrete places. Slytherin is “The Bullpen” by Dessa. It is whispering “can I kiss you” before leaning in. Slytherin is chilled fingers wrapped around hot drinks on a crisp fall morning. Slytherin is perfectly winged eyeliner; Slytherin is good posture and a firm handshake. It is the smile for people you don’t like all that much. It is rings. It is armchairs in the back corner of coffee shops. It is the power trip of walking down a hallway in heels. Slytherin is dressing nice to go nowhere. Slytherin is freshly brewed tea in a china set. It is not getting out of your pajamas on the weekends. It is forgive but don’t forget. Slytherin is knowing that intelligence is not all that it’s cracked up to be; it’s knowing that the key is the will to do something with your life. Slytherin is the euphoria of ballet. Slytherin is hunting down anyone who has ever hurt the ones you care about. It is staying up until 4 am and sleeping until noon. It is wing-back armchairs to curl up in. Slytherin is taking study breaks to go out and stand in the rain, letting it clear your mind. Slytherin is drive. Slytherin is protectiveness. Slytherin is hard work. Slytherin is self-confidence.
Sometimes you don’t know where you’re headed until you get there.
God. I swear at some point I’m going to do something besides messy pencil bust portraits. (But at least it’s having done something, and that feels better in the morning than “meant to do something but did nothing, again”.)