Getting Over Your Hermione Granger Complex

For all of our young lives, we're taught that we have to do well and we have to get the best grades possible. Failure is something that is rarely spoken of—as if it’s something that rarely happens. But what happens when we do fail? How are we supposed to cope with it when we’ve never been taught how to?

Throughout our time in school, we develop study habits, push ourselves to take the harder classes and begin to realize what we’re truly passionate about. Sometimes growing to find what sets our soul on fire can mean taking classes with material we've never seen before, or admitting we need help when we’re not used to doing so.

I’m not here to bash Hermione Granger and her super brain. Really, I’m not! Hermione is hands down my favorite literary character of the 20th and 21st century. It's for that reason I feel completely at liberty to point out that she’s just that: a character from a fiction novel. Her superior intellect is something that was made up, not that of a true person.

Hermione Granger is one of the first widely-known bookish characters young girls are exposed to, and it's from her that many develop their love for school. She teaches young girls that brains can be your biggest asset, and it’s okay to love to learn.

However, there are also a few things her character doesn’t quite show us. Admitting when you’re wrong and accepting failure and coping with hard losses are some areas her character falls short on.

Throughout the years, we never truly see Hermione fail. She doesn’t get an Outstanding in one class, and that is considered failure to her. Big whoop. What does that teach little girls? If you ask me, all it says is unless you’ve got the perfect grades, test scores and academic profile, you’re not doing enough. That idea is what I like to call the Hermione Granger Complex.

Not knowing how to react to not getting the marks we wanted or not getting the internship we fawned over is one thing. Not knowing how to cope with it is another. Getting over having a so-called Hermione Granger Complex isn’t something with a five-step list, rather it's learning how to celebrate your highs and learn from your lows. It takes time and patience, but in the end, we all need to learn how to not be so hard on ourselves.

As time goes on, we take on more and more responsibilities, both professionally and personally, that being able to dedicate equal amounts of time to each is impossible. Taking the easy way out can seem like the best option, but fearing getting a C may mean we never realize what exactly it is were meant to be doing.

College specifically is the exact time we’re supposed to be finding where our passions lie and what we want to spend the rest of our lives doing. Our job is to quite literally try new things and go out of our comfort zone. If you’ve never taken a computer coding class before and you don’t think you’ll end with a 4.0 GPA, should you still take it? Um, OF COURSE. Hermione Granger probably didn’t understand alchemy on her first try (we just didn’t get to see it.)

Hermione Granger was written to inspire little girls to learn to love knowledge and the power it can have. She wasn’t necessarily written to be the best indication of healthy pressure to place on yourself.

Going through these four years we should all try to take on a personality more like Ron Weasley: Excited to learn and tackle new things, but if it doesn’t work out on the first try, head to the dining hall for some comfort food.

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