Emma Watson graduated from Brown University on Sunday with a bachelor's degree in English literature, sharing her milestone with fans by tweeting a cap-and-gown selfie.
The 24-year-old actress began her freshman year at the Ivy League school in 2009, and also studied at England's Oxford University and continued to make movies while pursuing her degree. She took a year off in 2011, but graduating in five years these days is pretty typical, even for non-movie stars.
In regard to her pursuit of higher education, the Harry Potter star has admitted that she was nervous about trying to blend in with her peers. "On the first day, I walked into the canteen and everyone went completely silent and turned to look at me," she told The Sunday Times in March. "I had to say to myself, 'It's okay, you can do this. You just have to take a deep breath and gather your courage.'"
Watson's prominent role in the Potter franchise made it difficult for her to go unnoticed. "I was in denial," she said in a 2011 interview. "I wanted to pretend I wasn't as famous as I was. I was trying to seek out normality, but I kind of have to accept who I am, the position I'm in and what happened."
Over time, her fears dissipated. "I've never even been asked for an autograph on campus," the star said. "I threw a party for nearly 100 students and not a single person put a photo on Facebook."
Why did Watson choose to attend Brown University? "I really like the fact that it has a very open curriculum, that there aren't any requirements," she told Rookie in 2013. "Really, I've kind of been in charge of my own education since I started out on Potter when I was 9 or 10, and I liked that I could design my own major if I wanted to, and I could take independent studies if I wanted to on subjects that weren't necessarily in the curriculum."
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
During her college years, Watson shot the final two Harry Potter movies and starred in indies like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Bling Ring. She also filmed Darren Aronofsky's Biblical epic Noah.
Watson has already begun work on the thriller Regression, co-starring Ethan Hawke, but her other plans are TBD. "When I finish my degree," the actress said while guest-editing Wonderland's February 2014 issue, "I will have a lot more time to pursue other passions, and I want to figure out what those will be. I love having something completely unrelated to the film industry. I want to find something that will let me use my brain in another way. I like connecting people who aren't part of that world, too."