05/30/2014 12:05 pm ET Updated Jul 30, 2014

Why Emma Watson's Graduation Is Important for Teenagers


When I think of mega-successful childhood actors and celebrities, there's one thing I don't typically think of: college. And it isn't without lack of reason, either. When was the last time you were strolling through Georgetown and saw Miley Cyrus wearing a heavy bookbag and a pair of Norts? And could you imagine Zac Efron going to his professor's office hours at Northwestern? It seems like it's just not a typical thing. It seems like some childhood celebrities have enough money in their bank accounts to match Harvard's endowment. What good is a formal education going to do for them?

There are many celebrities that are defying this principle, though. The Sprouse twins and Dakota Fanning are currently pursuing an education at New York University, and Miranda Cosgrove is doing the same at the University of Southern California; and Emma Watson is helping to blaze this trail.

Most teenagers would gladly offer up the words "stunning" and "flawless" to describe Emma Watson. It seems as though a huge percentage of teenage girls would like to be Emma Watson, and an equally large portion of teenage boys would like to be with Emma Watson. (I may have proposed to Emma on Twitter before... several times... but I digress.) Now, this girl that we all idolize has something to add to her package: a degree in English literature from an incredibly prestigious university.

Emma has become a beacon of light for so many teens in so many ways, but Emma's education is probably my favorite thing about her. It's likely that the shoes she wore to Brown's graduation were more expensive than Brown's tuition. No, Emma didn't need the education in the same terms that so many teenagers seek an education. She's definitely financially secure. She may not even do anything with her education -- in the same terms that you or I might think of doing something with an education -- but Emma wanted the education. She knew that it would make her a better version of herself.

I am so glad to see each of these celebrity students in college. It's enormously inspiring to see a person earning an education not because they need it for financial security, but because they desire it. I'm thankful for Emma Watson, the Sprouse twins and all the other celebs pursuing an education. Through their leadership, I've realized something: when I fly back to Connecticut this fall to stay (shout-out to Wesleyan University '18!), I won't look to college for a money-making diploma. Like Emma, my ultimate goal will be to graduate from college as a better version of myself.