For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Mar 10 2016
by Natalee Gustin

Freshman Year as Told by 'The Devil Wears Prada'

By Natalee Gustin - Mar 10 2016

Before you go off to freshman year of college, you think you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into -- you’ve watched enough movies about ambitious young people embarking on their endeavors in higher education, and your journey will be just like that, right? There will be class, tough professors, hours of studying, but there is an air of glamor when we romanticized the college life. Well, being an assistant to the most sought after magazine editor in New York City seemed pretty glamorous and uncomplicated to Andy, and it turns out that her experience was pretty similar to our freshman lives (well, minus the free Louboutin shoes, of course).

1.  You arrived eager and ready to face the challenges ahead. How hard could it be?

You found out you were mistaken pretty soon into arriving at school.

2. You felt like a total outsider at first.

3. You were quickly thrown into the thick of things.

"To do" lists became essential right from the start. No "trial period" to be found.

4. Your desk basically became your lifeline.

Like Andy, you pretty much became “chained to that desk” and if you left it for any reason, catastrophic events were likely to follow, including a complete depletion of focus resulting in missed assignments and late nights. In order to keep your sanity, you had to repeat words of motivation over and over again.

5. You felt like you were doing great, until you asked a ridiculous question. 

There are no stupid questions, they said. Ask anything, they said. Well, clearly they weren’t serious, because the glares you got from asking that question about cell division in biology was definitely on the list of “stupid” questions.

6. Exhaustion inevitably creeped in.

It probably became a habit to oversleep and roll out of bed 10 minutes before your class that is a 15 minute walk away. In order to on time, you may have had to miss a few steps of your morning routine.

Anything with caffeine = lifesaver.

7. Finally, someone with more experience came to your rescue.

Just like Nigel did for Andy, an upperclassmen probably let you in on some campus secrets so you didn’t feel like such a freshman.

8. You realized that everyone around you was essentially a genius and they overwhelmed you with their knowledge.

9. After some motivating pep talks, you revamped yourself, totally shocking everyone.

Second semester has rolled around, you've finally gotten a grasp on this new life. You have learned from the past and you are ready to tackle the challenges that lie ahead of you.

10. You now know to expect the unexpected.

11. You have to make sacrifices to get your schoolwork done.

All of the jumping through hoops to do the seemingly impossible, it's not uncommon that you’re either too exhausted to go out or are desperate to get ahead on the never-ending mountain of assignments.

12. After all of the change and stress, you realize that in the end, the most important thing to be is yourself.

Andy went through a huge personal transformation because of her professional life, and we have changed plenty since we came to college, too. Despite the exciting and crazy new lives we have, it is important to rely on your true self.

So, maybe our lives are not filled with designer clothes, trips to Paris, and terrifying bosses, but Andy's journey and transformation in the fantastic "The Devil Wears Prada" is very similar to freshman year.

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Natalee Gustin - University of Minnesota Twin Cities

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