Emma Watson has moved on from the Harry Potter franchise to star in films such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Noah but she’ll always be Hermione Granger in the hearts of many geeks. Like her character, Watson has always been devoted to her academics. Therefore, it’s no surprise that she graduated on May 25th from one of America’s most prestigious schools with a degree in English Literature. To those of us struggling to survive college or high school, her ability to balance her studies at Brown with her successful film career is nothing short of incredible. When Watson wasn’t taking classes in Rhode Island, she was attending film premieres in Europe and Los Angeles. In addition to her time in Providence, Watson also spent a year studying at Oxford. I’d say that she was using a Time-Turner but we all know that the Ministry’s complete stash was destroyed during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in 1996.
Emma Watson: Beauty, Success, and a College Degree
The Guinness Book of World Records named Emma Watson the highest grossing actress of the decade in 2009. Most of that money is from Harry Potter but Watson still has a bright future as an actress even though that series has reached its end. Clearly, she didn’t need to receive a college degree in order to support herself financially. She also didn’t have to choose a rigorous program at an Ivy League school. But being an over-achiever is just another character trait that Watson shares with Hermione. J.K. Rowling has stated that Hermione returned to Hogwarts to finish her schooling even after helping to defeat Voldemort and his Death Eaters. She probably could have accepted a position as an Auror immediately, like her friends Harry and Ron, instead of going back to take her NEWTS. Instead, she graduated and went on to hold positions in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures and the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
We’ve never had the opportunity to see a Hogwarts graduation in either the books or the movies. We know what career paths Harry and his friends chose but we know less about the options for the average students who neglected to become pals with Harry or to gain experience battling dark wizards during the war. Are there wizard internships? Does the wizarding world have problems with unemployment? It seems unlikely that the Ministry of Magic would have enough open positions for all of the graduating students who were interested. For every Hermione, there were probably several witches and wizards who struggled to take their next steps in the real world, much like today’s college graduates.
In short, we can’t all be as intelligent as Miss Granger or as talented as Emma Watson. Many students struggle to manage their time and to complete assignments without procrastinating. Maybe we’d rather play a video game or perhaps a game of Exploding Snap, if you’re a wizard. But at least we’ll have inspiring role models. Congratulations on graduating college, Emma. Thanks for making us all look bad.