I blame Hermione Granger

I blame hermione granger

I’m setting up this post, not quite knowing what the point of it will be. I’m just sat, confronting my keyboard, with too many thoughts charging round my head. So here’s an attempt at setting them free.

For what felt like the hundredth time, I found myself stuck today. What over? An essay. Again.

I feel like all I ever talk about is essays, but my life is dominated by them at the moment. And it’s not that I can’t handle it – it’s just that with every single one, I reach a point before I’ve barely even begun where I just…stop. I start with my planning. I plan to the extreme. I write pages of notes and pull out quotes from every source available so that once I’m ready, I’m set, I’m confident. And yet I’m not. Because what if it’s not enough? What if I’m just not intelligent enough? And that – that thought alone – is what hits the hardest.

I’ve come to realise that over everything, it’s education and intelligence that I value most.

Personally, I blame Hermione Granger. Now you can roll your eyes at the standard shouts of “Harry Potter changed my life! / Harry Potter made me who I am!” because I know it’s a cliche. But I can’t explain this without doing so.

Picture a 7 or 8 year old girl. She adores reading, she visits the library every week. The school’s book sale days are her favourite day of the year. But it hardly matters anyway, because going to school genuinely brings her joy every single day. At that age, she is enthusiastic about homework and holds every intention to work on it immediately because she wants to “be like Hermione”. She writes pages of notes, she collects sheets of homework, she reads every book she can because with every single word she feels a little more like Hermione Granger, the person she wants to be when she’s older. She will forever remember the times when people complimented her with that exact comparison – “you remind me of Hermione” would echo through her mind and bring a beam to her face for years.


Well, that girl turned into me, and I don’t think that desire ever left. It’s become ingrained in my very core, this incessant need for knowledge. The people I aspire to be like all seem to hold the common theme of intelligence, and my longing to be so too never appears to dissipate.

And so within me is this constant coil of tension waiting to be sprung, because I’m fully aware of how rocky a situation that is. Of course I can’t know everything. But I don’t want to, I just…want to be intelligent. I want to be like Hermione Granger. Instead, I’m glaringly aware of how little I know about the world in general. Geography, cultures, and general world history definitely aren’t my strong point, having had a white-washed education which only ever seemed to focus on Britain in the World Wars or the Victorian period in the humanities subjects (as for Geography, I think we had about a month’s worth of lessons and then they just stopped? I never knew why). I’m forever grateful for my education – how could I not be? – but I just wish it was diverse. Now, I’m working on this myself, but it’s slow going when you don’t know where to start. Nonfiction books are a favoured method at the moment, but still, where do you start? *

Even smaller situations, like when I’m transcribing the subtitles for my booktube videos and I realise I repeat the same phrases over and over again instead of actually giving insightful feedback. Or in class, when I can’t express my point in a comprehensible way, or the entire class seems to know this tidbit of history that’s relevant to everything we’re studying and I’ll just nod and pretend sure, I knew that too.

Every recurring nightmare of memory relating to the times I “failed” in life leads to my lack of intelligence. I feel haunted by the time I failed a history exam because I panicked – causing me to drop the class entirely, stay “behind” a year, and start again – even though I know full well that I don’t get along with exams, AND I certainly don’t judge others who have gone through a similar route or think of them as any less intelligent for doing so. But we’re our own worst critics, right?

And so I’m stuck. Again.

But it’s an endless cycle, and I know that by the end of the week things will probably be moving forward again.

It took me awhile to even start this blog post because I immediately started thinking it’ll come across all wrong. Even now, I’m debating not posting it at all. I don’t want to sound attention seeking. I’m not asking for compliments or confirmation in any way. I don’t want to seem snobbish, like I desire to be better than everybody else. No – I desire to be like everybody else. It’s this community that inspires me every single day. All it takes is for me to scroll through any form of social media to become motivated to do something productive. Seeing your interactions, what you’re reading, writing, studying, creating, your mind sets and thoughts as you go about your general days…all of it inspires me in one way or another. And to me, that’s nothing short of incredible.

I strive to be intelligent. I value my education most of all. And while that seems a pretty standard outlook, to me it brings forth an intense and constant well of determination that almost feels painful at times.

Still, I wouldn’t give it up for the world.


* If you have any recommendations for nonfiction books that cover cultures outside of England and/or are history based across any time period (and are actually interesting reads), please let me know!!

Until next time…


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14 thoughts on “I blame Hermione Granger

  1. A very brave post, Ashleigh!

    I myself have always wanted to be the smart girl. Unfortunately, I was only good at subjects that had letters over numbers. Unfortunately, I was still never the best in any of them.

    I find it good when someone can inspire others to be smart, maybe not to the point where you want to be *that person* but enough to give motivation.

    However, it’s great that you had some form of motivation.

    And yeah, failing sucks. I should’ve been in uni when I was 17 but now I’m going when I’m 19. I felt so terrible during my last two secondary school years. However, the good side is that I have time to cope before uni. If I went before I turned 17, I would not have coped.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was 19 when I started uni this year, and was surprised by the amount of people who actually don’t go to uni straight from school! I feel the same though, I don’t think I’d have coped with it very well had I gone when you’re “supposed” to.


  2. This was a very interesting post, Ashleigh, thank you for sharing it!
    You’re definitely not alone when it comes to insecurities, and I’m sure plenty of other people will comment saying so. I know I doubt myself a lot when it comes to tests and essays. What I appreciated the most in your post, though, was the fact that you admitted that, during class, your classmates knew something valuable that you didn’t. I can relate to that, since I was completely lost in one of my classes (extra nervous because I had gotten in a month after classes started) and my classmates would know what was going on and would add interesting and valuable facts to the class, while I would just sit quietly, wanting to participate in the discussion, but with nothing to say.
    I’m sorry you’ve felt like this, and I hope things get better for you! Just never give up – Hermione would be proud of you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! ❤
      It's hard not to doubt yourself when it comes to exams to be honest. And I'm sorry to hear you feel that way in class 😦 Hopefully you still manage to participate to some degree though, and I'm sure not *everybody* in the class knew the super helpful information (that's what I tell myself at least). And hey, at least you know it now! Hope you start feeling a little better about it yourself ❤


  3. This is a very brave and open-minded post…

    I don’t think being smart is the only way to feel admired by everyone, but unfortunately at times, I feel the need to alway want people’s approval through that. It’s really odd for me because in some situations I feel so smart and proud of myself but then when I’m with others much smarter than me, I feel like I haven’t done good enough.

    Anyways, this is just what I’ve experienced with being a ‘Hermione’. Other than self-doubt and fear of failure, being smart do obviously have its advantages. And I think people need to see that you just have to be the best of you and even if you aren’t just yet, at least you’re trying. 🙂

    I hope you give yourself a pat in the back, you’ve done amazing and I can tell from just reading about how you keep trying. Please give yourself a break and know that it’s okay when failure does come. You’ll feel better, I promise. ❤

    (Also, I do recommend this book called 'The History of Palestine' by Fawzy Al-Ghadiry. It's a look of the long history in Palestine and also the Middle East that's not meddled or given false information, unlike for ex some of the 'hollywood' or 'western' versions. I don't know if you'll like it but I hope you give it a try. I can send you the link for the ebook if you want to 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      It’s definitely not the only thing that matters, or even something to strive for in order to be admired – it’s more of a personal thing for me, something I want to achieve for myself rather than for others. It’s hard not to want people’s approval though at times.
      Thank you so much for your kind words ❤ They mean a lot! And thanks for the recommendation too, I'm just about to check it out now! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you. Thank you this post.
    I strive to know more, I’m the curious person who just enjoys learning but sometimes it gets to a point where you are just stuck.
    I have never known how to express myself completely but this post basically sums it up.

    Liked by 1 person

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