We all make mistakes as teenagers. For some, these involve substance abuse – luckily, the biggest life-changing mistake I made was joining fandom.
I am doubly lucky – in this day and age, it’s cool to identify with things that, in the past, would have had you labeled as a "nerd" or uncool. I was uncool in high school when I first made the discovery of Harry Potter fanfiction, and at that point in my life I was still finding my footing around in what interested me and what didn’t.
You could say, if we’re keeping with the metaphor, that Harry Potter is like the fandom gateway drug: it enables you to join other fandoms. My generation has read the books, or at least seen the Potter movies, so it was easy to build friendships through this common interest.
The friends I made in the Harry Potter fandom shared their other interests with me, as I did with them. There was a sense of security whenever someone told me to read a new book or watch a movie I’d never seen before, simply because it was a recommendation from a good friend. I was more inclined to start reading new books because my friends always tried to push me into their fandoms.
I branched off into the Doctor Who fandom after Harry Potter. I had a friend from work who, when we weren’t making wand jokes in front of customers, told me how the actor who played her favourite character, Barty Crouch Jr, played the tenth Doctor Who on the popular BBC sci-fi series (she was talking about David Tennant).
After I cried about that TV show for a long time, I had to fill the void created by the show’s 11-month hiatus. That was when my excitement for The Hunger Games movie surfaced (I had read the books in high school) and everyone had gotten into a new TV show, Game of Thrones, based on a popular book series.
Finally, after much convincing, my sister and I watched all eight seasons of the show Supernatural. Most of our sibling bonding during those months happened because we watched two brothers fight demons and save each other. Now, I’ve comfortably settled into the Supernatural fandom, and added it to the collection of other fandoms I’m part of.
is a 20-year-old student. In her spare time she likes to watch a lot of TV. Her favourite shows are Doctor Who, Supernatural, and Game of Thrones. She has been a part of fandoms since she was 14. She has also written a lot of shameless fanfiction, and you can get over it.