1. Natalie Portman, Harvard
Natalie took a few years off of her insanely successful acting career to go back to school, and where else but to Harvard? Bob Trahan ('04) remembers her as "very gracious," and incredibly "down to Earth." Yes, apparently she did eat at the Harvard dining halls, and no, she didn't live in dorms all four years - just for the first two. Apparently, the Harvard dining hall is a pretty decent place to grab some noms and to bump into celebrities. Casual.
2. Emma Watson, Brown
Emma finished her degree in English literature at Brown not too long ago. According to Nicholas Ritter ('10), "everyone [at Brown] did a great job respecting her privacy and treating her like any other Brown student... She was like any other friendly, inquisitive Brown student that I've met."
And, get this: apparently they tried to recruit her for the men's rowing team as cox, because "she was the perfect height and size." Sounds legit. Apparently, she shared a co-ed dorm and shared a bathroom with 8 other people. In case you thought you have it bad.
3. Meryl Streep, Vassar
Meryl Streep did most of her 4 years at Vassar College, with the exception of a semester at Dartmouth. For you Vassar students, check out Davison House, reportedly where Streep spent her college years. What did Vassar teach her? "43 years ago, [Vassar] was a single-sex institution... And I made some quick but lifelong and challenging friends. I got up and got outside myself and I found myself again... I could be goofy, vehement, aggressive, and slovenly and open and funny and tough and my friends let me. I didn't wash my hair once. They accepted me like the Velveteen rabbit."
4. Sprouse Brothers, NYU
Freshman year found Dylan and Cole Sprouse at the Third North Dorm at NYU. According to Hannah Orenstein, Dylan Sprouse's next door dorm neighbor, he was "surprisingly normal. He hung out with his roommates a lot and liked to listen to music. I heard him playing video games late at night (he studied video game design). He didn't have parties or a parade of girls over."Apparently, they were frequently spotted around campus dining halls (#score), and were caught ordering sandwiches. Ah, celebrities... They're just like us.
5. Lena Dunham, Oberlin
Dunham graduated from Oberlin back in 2008 with a degree in Creative Writing. Now a filmmaker in the Big Apple, she recently made waves criticizing her alma mater's dining hall options, saying she was in discussions with Oberlin representatives regarding "whether the dining hall sushi and bahn mi disrespect certain cuisines." Lena, you're awesome, but while we all know the dining hall sushi isn't the most authentic food ever offered, it's really the only edible thing we college students can afford. Or would you rather we go back to mystery meat Mondays? (Please, no.)
6. Michelle Obama, Princeton
Imagine the girl next door becoming the First Lady of the USA. With Michelle Obama's dorm mates, that's exactly what happened. Back then, she wasn't Michelle Obama yet: she was Michelle LaVaughn Robinson. Apparently, the ceilings of her dorm room weren't high enough (apparently, the First Lady is much taller than she appears on TV) and recounts not bringing the right size sheets for her new mattress (which happens to the best of us)."That first night I slept with my legs sticking out past the end of the sheets, rubbing up against one of those old plastic mattresses. And I ended up sleeping that way for my entire freshman year. But here's the thing, I may not have had the right sheets, but I learned pretty quickly that I had what it took to succeed in college." You go, girl.
7. Sacha Baron Cohen, Cambridge
Sacha Baron Cohen, the genius behind movies like "The Dictator," "Borat," and more, holds a college degree from Cambridge University in history. While in college, he was very active in the Cambridge University Amateur Drama Club, where he played in theater performances like Fiddler on the Roof and Cyrano de Bergerac. The Cambridge Dining Halls are pret-ty swanky, offering soups of the day, pasta, fresh salads, rotisserie chicken, daily deserts, BBQ, and local favorites like fish n' chips. Not a bad place to eat.
8. Prince William, University of St Andrews
The future King of England went to college at the University of St Andrews, where he and his future wife supposedly met freshman year of college (in their freshman dorm, St Salvator's Hall, no less). According to most accounts, the Prince was pretty normal, making friends at meal times and participating in sports like water polo and surfing.
Although he and Kate were probably pretty excited to get out of their freshman year dorms, because after freshman year they moved to nearby Hope Street, where they got a flat and most likely cooked for themselves. Definitely the way to do it.
9. Tina Fey, UVA
The famous lady behind Sarah Palin impersonations, SNL, and 30 Rock, Tina Fey is definitely one of our favorite ladies. And, all you need to know about her college career are these amazing photos of her in her college play. Boom.
10. Rachel Bilson, Grossmont CollegeRachel Bilson attended Grossmont College, a community college in a suburb of San Diego, but dropped out after one year to pursue her acting dreams full-time. Did it work? Heck yeah it did.
11. Julia Stiles, Columbia University
Another drop dead beautiful person who is also a genius, we totally wish we could be Julia Stiles. In 2005, she graduated from Columbia with a degree with English Literature, #respect. What did Stiles think about college? She said "In the beginning, it was hard, because I wasn't fully aware of what people were saying. ...I would get people coming to my door, knocking on it in the middle of the night. But it pretty much died down.
12. America Ferrera, USC
After spending 10 years at USC, America Ferrera graduated with a degree in International Relations. It even made huge headlines when she did it. But #realtalk, there's no way she survived 10 years on caf food. Anyways, if this doesn't prove slow but steady can still win the race (and be insanely successful), nothing will.
13. Mayim Bialik, UCLA
Think Bialik's character on The Big Bang Theory is a genius? So is the lady herself in real life. She graduated with her BA from UCLA in 2000, and went back to get her PhD, which she got in 2007. While balancing an insanely successful acting career. See, you can have it all
14. Lisa Kudrow, VassarBefore she was Phoebe on Friends, Kudrow graduated from Vassar with a biology degree. How'd she end up on Friends from there? She says "I had a job lined up with my father who was a headache specialist... I was on my way to getting published, then onto a graduate program... [But] six months after graduation I dumped the plan and decided to become an actress. Then I was cast on the show Friends, and now I'm here, any questions?"
15. Mindy Kaling, Dartmouth
Kaling graduated from Dartmouth in 2001 with a playwriting degree, and since then, she's done pretty well for herself. What'd she do in college? "I was at the D at like 3 am, outside in my car while it was snowing and I'd just put my blinkers on and sit there drawing. I don't know how I kept up with everything.
So, the next time you hit that university dining hall, keep your eyes peeled. You never know when your favorite celebrity may be nearby!