“Who cares if I’m pretty if I fail my finals?” is a popular Rory Gilmore quote used in study motivation edits on social media.
The niche of students using characters from various shows and everyday objects to romanticize their academic lifestyle is everywhere. This aesthetic, however, can be very consuming — in more ways than one. Frankly, it’s beginning to become problematic, and here’s why.
Hermione Granger and Rory Gilmore are characters glorified by this romanticization. According to such edits, pretending to be Hermione studying at Hogwarts or Rory studying at Chilton will automatically make you love academia.
Other tips include listening to music with wired earbuds to make you feel like a movie character with a book and a coffee cup to appear mysterious all while taking pretty lecture notes. Countless posts on my TikTok include tips that will make the school year glorious. These videos often use audio from “Twilight” or angelic music paired with random pictures of seemingly put-together students receiving perfect grades.
Why it’s unrealistic
As fun and cute as these tips may sound, it’s also a highly unattainable aesthetic to reach. Most of these so-called tips will set up a student for a disappointing year. First of all, there’s a massive issue with pretending to be a certain type of character. In theory, it sounds like a great idea because maybe, just maybe, you’ll maintain the motivation to study. However, this only works if you live in an error-free life. In life, days aren’t always picture perfect. To fake your way to such an expectation is utterly unfeasible.
The issue is when people attempt to mimic overachieving characters who, mind you, aren’t even real. In the end it sets up unrealistic expectations and as a result, discouragement. The pressure to overachieve and constantly “grind” just because your favorite character does is toxic. An actual human being can’t study 24/7. Yet, if it’s shown on screen, many individuals expect themselves to do the same. Eventually, guilt will creep in if a student does anything other than study. Feeling unproductive therefore meets inevitable burnout. However, these sentiments can be avoided with proper care.
If you truly do want to encapsulate this mindset, be sure to take breaks. Self-care is important! Instead of being so extreme and feeling the need to be Rory Gilmore holding a book and coffee in the hallways, there are ways to take these tips more lightheartedly. For example, use the character you want to be as a reference, not a lifeline! Make sure your caffeine intake is healthy and avoid excessive library time.
If you want more reasonable tips for romanticizing your life as a college student, read this piece. Romanticization of monotonous situations such as school, for example, can be fun to do. Just be aware of its negatives, too! The Clog and I wish you all the best of luck this school year!