The Story of Emma Watson's Path Towards Higher Education

Emma Watson is one of the biggest stars in film today. She is remembered fondly for portraying Hermione Granger in all 8 films of the Harry Potter franchise, and now she’s taking on yet another mega role this spring when she’ll appear as Belle in a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. While Watson accomplished her dream of becoming a successful actress, she had to work extra hard to achieve another goal that so many of us take for granted. Watson wanted an education.

Emma Watson was just 9 years old when she earned her role as Hermione that seemed to vault her fame overnight. She auditioned 8 times before she finally got the role. This would lead to working for twelve years on one of the biggest film franchises in history. She carried on with a massively busy schedule until she seriously considered her future outside of Hogwarts. Watson wanted a real education, which was not conducive to her shooting schedule on the Potter films.

Watson made her intentions clear and fought hard in order to go school in a more traditional fashion. For the sixth film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the shooting schedule had to be altered so that Watson could take her exams. Watson was appreciative of the gesture but was still hesitant to sign the contract for the final two films, which would subject her to yet another intense filming schedule. However, Watson ultimately signed on due to the love she had for her character, Hermione.

Watson was enrolled at Brown University before ultimately having to leave due to filming the last two films. She worked hard to balance a budding film career and earning an education that she wanted so badly. Another aspect of her education was that it promised a semblance of a normal life. “I’m not going to school for the academics. I wanted to share ideas and be around people who are passionate about learning.”  Watson said. She refers to her college years as a sort of rebellion to do normal things, like rooming with a complete stranger in a dorm and sharing a bathroom with 8 other people.

Watson continued her career, starring in films like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Bling Ring while re-enrolling at Brown. It wasn’t a clear path, and it involved a lot of time and effort, but Watson worked incredibly hard to realize a dream that would make her incredibly happy. She knew it would be a challenge, but she welcomed it and worked hard to accomplish something that few other people in her field do. “I don’t want the fear of failure to stop me from doing what I really care about.”

Watson graduated in May 2014 from Brown University with a degree in English. Soon after her graduation, Watson became a UN Goodwill Ambassador. In September 2014, she addressed the UN introducing an organization called He for She, which strives for worldwide gender equality. One of the big focal points of He for She emphasizes giving the right of education to girls who don’t have it.

Watson didn’t let life get in the way of her passions, and now she’s doing everything in her power to make the world a better place, well-served from the education she worked hard for.