We all have role models; people we admire and would like to encompass in our own personalities in some way. I think one of my biggest role models to this day, certainly when I was growing up, is Hermione Granger. Finding a character who loves reading as much as me and who was able to embark on wonderful adventures through this is far more magical than any magic spell.
In an age where technology is frequently gaining the upperhand, it is reassuring that so many people still turn to books to find comfort and hope. The Harry Potter books in particular are striking in that their impact continues to make significant difference in the world, despite it now being 20 years since the first volume of the series was published. Perhaps it is because magic is something we all need a little of in our lives. Maybe it is even because we all (not so secretly) want a student lock in at Honeydukes so we can have a midnight feast chocolate frog style. But I think it’s largely because the characters are complex enough, particularly the female characters, that they spring off the page and into real life so easily.
On instagram recently I discovered #GrangerLifeStyle which has been just the thing I needed to merge my regular days of study with something a little more fun. To know that we have the capability to unlock humanity through books and to open up our minds to new information through the words of another perspective is fascinating. It means that every time I head to the library to search for resources when essaying (ironically on the biography of J. K. Rowling) I can motivate myself by pretending that somewhere hidden in an index is the clue that will guide me to the Philosopher’s Stone itself. It might seem silly, but try it and you’ll soon see how much quicker you’re working.
Hermione Granger has taught me all sorts of things about the value of hard work and of reading. And whilst this particular period of the Potter universe is now grown up and no longer the prime focus of the ongoing wizarding world, there is still a great deal to learn from it. Embracing being an outsider, or even just embracing those parts of yourself which aren’t necessarily your favourites, is such an important element to ensuring that you remain happy and productive throughout the year. Having a character who is able to do all of these things, despite sometimes struggling on the way, is a reminder of how sometimes our greatest strength is our ability to remain motivated and focused on what we want to achieve.
So in conclusion to this monologue on the value of literary role models, don’t underestimate what a good book can give you if you find it at the right time. Find a fictional role model to help you during study season and see if you can adopt any useful techniques they practice. And when in doubt remember to ask yourself, what would Hermione do?