Get ready for a Gilmore-inspired first term

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When you hear the words ‘study inspiration’, perhaps one of the immediate reactions would be to think of a teenage favourite for many, Gilmore Girls. Although somewhat limited in its cinematic genius and its slightly cringe-worthy writing, its popularity remains intact as its light-hearted nature makes for a show that is easy to tune into after an intense day at the library or whilst eating dinner.

The series begins with one of the two female protagonists, Rory Gilmore, whose lifelong dream of studying at Harvard and pursuing a career in journalism is already underway. Aged only sixteen in the initial episode, we follow her through seven seasons, gripped by her journey through school, university and professional life, admiring her intense academic ambition and perhaps sharing in her experience of an often tumultuous personal life. Whilst the overarching theme of the show is undoubtably her relationship with her mother, Lorelai, it’s almost impossible not to absorb the opaque valedictorian trope weaving through each episode.

Effortlessly encompasses the warm yet preppy feelings that are easily attributed with autumnal university life

Rory is driven relentlessly by her ambition to succeed, and whilst she occasionally stumbles along the way, she always manages to climb back on to the path she needs to be on. There is a satisfaction in watching Rory achieve academically upon hours of hard work, one which can only inspire the viewer to mimic her and absorb her passion in some ways. The various shots of Rory arching over a textbook in a coffee shop, or absorbed in a thick book in the library, are supplemented by her extracurricular pursuits. She works tirelessly for her college newspaper, acting as editor in her final years of university, which only enhances her student experience. The show perfectly examines the different elements of student life in preparation for future careers, and the difficulties this can present. Through Rory’s characterisation as a well-rounded, put together protagonist, the idea of engaging in societies and student groups somewhat livens the image of the academic year.

Another perfect facet of the show is its tendency to base its episodes in the autumnal months. There is something so cosy, and so comforting, about beginning a new academic year in the cooler months. It’s the time to appreciate thick woollen jumpers and the steamy hot coffee. Gilmore Girls creates a similar feeling to watching a Harry Potter film in preparation for October classes to begin, partly due to the warm hues and images of libraries stocked full of dusty texts. Studying in autumn is the perfect time to romanticise your years as a student, with the earlier sunsets and frosty walks to lectures. Gilmore Girls effortlessly encompasses the warm yet preppy feelings that are easily attributed with autumnal university life.

Relax into a world where academia consists of aesthetically pleasing study spaces

Rory’s persistent desire to one day study at Harvard serves to act as a reminder of the privilege it is to study at one of the country’s top universities. It is for this reason, that the show consistently puts me in the mood for the up- coming academic year. I cannot help but feel a sense of duty towards my studies, to continue to work at something that I too had dreamt of when I was the same age as Rory in the initial season. To then see her gain entry to Yale, and excel in her university life, allows me to reminisce on the last few years of my own, yet somewhat sadly provokes the realisation that one day I won’t have a new academic year to look forward to. So, seeing Rory move through the ups and downs of university life and make it through to the other side acts as a poignant reminder of how fleeting the experience really can feel.

Even though the reality of my academic year probably more so resembles numerous empty cups of coffee on my desk in the Billy B at 3am, with 1,500 words left of my essay due for the following day, it’s harder to romanticise such moments. So, I turn over to television and allow myself to relax into a world where academia consists of aesthetically pleasing study spaces and passionate discussions about literature. That, I can romanticise.

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