5 Fictional Characters Your Geeky Kids Should Admire & Emulate

Buffy GroupIt takes a while for kids to define themselves in school. They have to go through a variety of twists and turns in their personalities before discovering Who They Are. This is natural. This is not to be feared. (Though it probably IS to be watched…)

When doing this, kids will often choose other people to model themselves after. If they like sports, they might try to act like the captain of their favorite team. If they like theater, they might walk the halls pretending to be their favorite movie star.

But sometimes, a kid might need some help finding the right role model. That’s what we’re here for. Any of the following fictional students would be GREAT for your kids to emulate.

Film & TV (And Novel) Characters Who Were Great Students

5. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series)

Hermione GrangerI’m sure there are those of you out there yelling (politely, certainly) at the computer, wondering why I chose Hermione over Harry. Harry is courageous, Harry is smart, Harry is…The One.

Yes, he is, but Hermione is someone who fought to become the brilliant student she was. She came from Muggle parents, she never had the notoriety with which Harry was bestowed before even knowing he was a wizard at all. And without Hermione’s studious and serious attitude about her school work, the three Hogwarts heroes never would have been able to claim victory in their annual fights with He Who Must Not Be Named or His minions.

Hermione Granger is an excellent role model for your young students because of her thirst for knowledge, her own brand of courage, and the way she always stuck by her friends. Even if that meant running away from school and living with them in random shacks and tents in the woods while they did nothing but pout for like 200 pages (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows).

4. Simon Tam (Firefly/Serenity)

Simon TamSimon Tam always had a bright future ahead of him, not only because he came from a wealthy, Alliance-allied family, but because he took his schooling very seriously. Always near the top of his class, Simon became one of the youngest resident trauma surgeons in Capital City.

All this is well and good, but little did Simon know that the society in which he was excelling, that of the Alliance, was not a particularly altruistic one. They had committed atrocities galore while he was in school and continued to do so long after he got out.

Eventually, he came to join a group of people who were united against the Alliance, officially criminals by trade and unofficially saints by nature.

Simon was able to see right from wrong and use everything he learned in school to help a truly great cause.

He also risked his life and forsake his career to save his sister. Which, you know, is a pretty wonderful thing for your kids to look up to.

And just in case you decry my choice of Simon Tam on this list because he wasn’t a student on the actual show, I will beg to differ. In a flashback episode, the young Simon Tam, a student doing homework, is portrayed by that yucky dude from High School Musical. You know the one. This guy:

Young Simon Tam

3. Peter Parker (Spider-Man)

Peter ParkerI’m pretty sure I don’t even need to make a case for this one. We’re all in agreement, right?

No matter which incarnation of Spider-man you’ve watched or read, at least a portion of the story has Peter Parker in school. He’s bitten by a radioactive spider on a trip to a science lab and thence forward becomes…Spider-Man!

But his role-model-ability is less about the fact that he became a superhero and more about how he came into his own. He was able to face his demons, stand up for himself (and others!), and win the girl. Not, I argue, because he was Spider-Man, but because he was a good kid who learned that his place in the world was just as important and righteous as anyone else’s. He stood up and said: “I am me. I am here. And I am going to stay.”

And also, probably, “I’ll shoot webs at anyone who doesn’t like it!” But that’s just a bonus.

Just don’t let your kid touch the Venom stuff, or else he or she will turn into a horribly insufferable emo-version of Peter Parker that NO ONE wants to see, hear, or know…

Emo Peter Parker

2. Will Hunting (Good Will Hunting)

Will HuntingGranted, during the course of the movie, Will Hunting is not an official student of MIT, but he’s still a student. Even un-enrolled in courses, Will takes every opportunity he can to learn and expand his already-extraordinary intelligence.

Will’s best friends aren’t necessarily the type of folks to hold high on a pedestal those who love the world of academia. In fact, they are far more apt to beat up a smart kid on the playground than they are to take him for a beer and a bit of convo.

And that makes Will’s desire to learn all the more commendable. And that makes him an excellent role model for your little students. Just, you know, keep them away from South Boston fistfights. Or any fistfights at all, really…

1. Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Bufy SummersIn my opinion, the only good stereotype is a massively broken one. In the ’90s and early ’00s, Buffy Summers routinely shoved a stake through society’s idea of what a girl should be, all while making the grade (mostly…) at school.

If your little geek is of the female persuasion, there is absolutely NO REASON that she should think she’s capable of being any less badass than the Slayer. Life in school is about much more than pink lipstick and designer dresses–it’s about discovering who you are as a human being (gender aside), embracing that person, and proudly displaying her in front of peers.

If your li’l geek is a li’l dude, this is no less true. He doesn’t need to wear a letterman’s jacket, play football, and push around those who are different. That doesn’t make him a man. He must take a cue from Buffy’s playbook and carve out his own path.

Even if your kids aren’t Chosen Ones, they ought to understand that being themselves, being DIFFERENT, is no less heroic. Slay the stereotypes and save the world from their blood-sucking, soul-shriveling, evil-minded and claustrophobic bass-ackwardness!

Do you have a favorite student from movies, TV, comics, or books that you think kids ought to look up to? I’m sure there are more, so lay them on me!

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About Perry Rosenbloom

Perry Rosenbloom is a Geeky Dad trying to raise a Geeky Son. He is the founder of GeeksRaisingGeeks and enjoys everything from killing orcs & trolls to building ergonomic workstations. When not at his Sit/Stand desk, he can be found adventuring throughout Colorado with his family.

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