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Felicity’s College Life v. What College Was Really Like

by Meghann on October 24, 2011

Give me a random assortment of food – any food – and I promise I’ll make a meal out of it.

At least that was the logic behind today’s pit stop for lunch.

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Instead of paying for fast food on the road, we decided to pull over and see what kind of meal we could piece together from the bits and pieces of food we had collected over the weekend. There were rolls, sandwich meats, yogurts, various vegetables, and a few odds and ends that could equal a complete meal if you put some imagination behind it.

I went pretty simple with what I had originally planned for breakfast – an apple, cereal, and yogurt.

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The travel cereal packaging came in pretty handy.There was no need to worry about a bowl, I just poured the yogurt over the cereal and was done.

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Other roadside nibbles included peanut butter pretzels, tomato slices, and some turkey slices with cheese.

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I didn’t end up eating the apple with the cereal and am saving it for a mid afternoon snack.

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Who says lunch has to be difficult? Sometimes it’s easier just to work with what you have.

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Felicity: 10+ Years Later

I finished the final episode of Felicity last night! I wasn’t a fan of the last few episodes (they left me sad and confused), so I’ll just pretend the show really ended with the graduation episode and leave it at that. Problem solved. πŸ™‚

The first time I watched Felicity it was 1998, I was 13, and college was just a distant dream. I remember watching the first few episodes on the WB and being mystified with the new journey Felicity was about to embark on with school. Suddenly, I couldn’t wait to move away from home, be on my own, and experience college life just like Felicity had.

Re-watching the series ten+ years later, I realized there were a few holes with what Felicity had taught me about college life versus how it really was.

What Felicity got wrong:

  • There were no cute male RAs who wanted to be my best friend.  

    • I lived on an all-girl floor and our RA pretty much kept to herself. I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to remember her name with not much luck and I sincerely doubt I could pick her out from a line-up.
  • Our dorm common areas weren’t bustling, happening spots with students studying, chatting, or hanging out.

    • The common areas were actually pretty quiet. We all stayed in our rooms with the doors securely closed and locked. I always heard the dorms with shared bathrooms were more social, but I’ll take a private bathroom over a social floor any day.  
  • The dorm rooms weren’t large spaces.

    • I’m sorry, but Felicity and Meghan’s room was NOT a double – it had to be at least a triple. My suite-style dorm room (that included two rooms, 4 people, a common area, and bathroom) was the same size as Felicity’s spacious room. πŸ™
    • While, we’re on the subject of housing – Felicity’s ‘on-campus apartment’ was a bit misleading as well. Derek lived in an ‘on-campus apartment’ and his bedroom was only big enough to fit the little twin bed and desk that came in it.

However, with the wrongs were a few truths.

What Felicity got right:

  • College friendships.

    • I started college a lot like Felicity – barely knowing a soul when I arrived on campus. By the end of the four years I had met an amazing group of friends I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
  • The feeling of fear of not knowing what to do next.

    • Graduation is the feeling of excitement mixed with ‘what the heck comes next?!’ I had several friends (including myself) with no clue what we were going to do next. I know graduating and moving on with your life comes easy for some people, but it’s a crazy, twisted road for most.

Do you have anything to add to either list?

1 Gavi @ Gavi Gets Going! October 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Felicity definitely provided an idealized view of college life, but one thing from the show did prove (somewhat) true–my fiance was my RA my freshman year!
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2 Shannon October 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I was an RA for part of college and we HAD to be social. It was a lot of fun getting to know the few people who actually wanted to be social back! LOL As far as our common areas, they were eerily quiet as well, but some of the dorms kept their door wide open and inviting – which can be a bad thing, too – ha!
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3 Krissy @ Shiawase Life October 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I never watched Felicity, but I had to LOL at your dorm room comparisons! I was an RA for two years and an assistant hall director for one and it really brought me back…

P.S.
Our school DID have cute boy RAs…and sometimes they were a little TOO friendly with the residents…but that’s another story…haha.
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4 Sarah @ The Dirt Road Dreamer October 24, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Although I would’ve sold my sole for the type of dorm you are talking about, I lived in an older co-ed dorm with shared bathrooms and a crazy common room. There were always people out and about. So I think the experience may be directly correlated to the type of situation you are living in.

But you are correct about the space, it was TINY!

And for a little icing on the cake, my good friend Becky, who had the room two down from mine married the RA in our dorm πŸ™‚
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5 Jessica@TWB October 24, 2011 at 3:41 pm

What about the loft? I know it was supposed to be rent-controlled but it was HUGE and so stylishly furnished, haha.

6 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife October 24, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I never watched Felicity! But I am sure they probably didn’t study as much as I did!! Haha.

I LOVE random lunches. So delicious and satisfying!
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7 Amanda October 24, 2011 at 3:52 pm

I had a fairly spacious dorm room freshman year (at least by college standards), but sophomore year I transferred and shared a quad with 3 people I had never met before, and the room was so tiny! I’m honestly surprised we didn’t kill each other, but for the most part, we all got along. I even went on to get an apartment with a couple of them for junior and senior years. So much nicer than a dorm and I didn’t have to solely rely on dining hall food! Good for my bank account and my waistline!
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8 Bethany @ More Fruit Please October 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I watched all four seasons of Felicity again over the summer and what I found so intersting about it was college life before small technology devices and social media! I wonder how things would have gone differently if they were on Facebook and Twitter and could text each other? Felicity wouldn’t do her tapes with Sally and instead would have a blog. Julie would have been a hit on Youtube with her music. And Noel would have been all over Twitter!
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9 Corey @ Learning Patience October 24, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Hmm….several bloggers are watching Felicity these days…I never watched that show…interesting! I think I have to give it a try! Cruise starts on Friday…so excited
xoxo from Trinidad
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10 Michelle @ Crazy*Running*Legs October 24, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Some of the stuff about college WAS true for me — like hanging out in the halls. And there WERE huge dorm rooms (I think in Deviney and Dorman) but then FSU did major renovations. Maybe it’s because I was in college when Felicity was on?

I love that show — I need to rewatch it!! I’m sure it will make me super nostalgic.

11 meredith (pursuing balance) October 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm

i think i was lucky going to a small school (just 800 girls) . . . there was a lot more trust, and the honor code was taken very seriously, so i don’t think any of us really locked our doors! we were pretty social πŸ™‚

12 Krystina (Organically Me) October 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I never watched Felicity, but I love when shows give a totally over-exaggerated version of college. For me, it was never a bustling abyss of social awesomeness.
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13 Tania @ The Health Macadamia October 24, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I feel bad – your three Felicity “untruths” were so totally spot on for my college experience. The lounge areas were ALWAYS popping with some birthday or some event or group or clique or something; their room WAS a bit big but we had apartments that size on campus for 2 as well; and I had SUCH a crush on the RA for the floor under us and he had a crush on all the ladies too lol. I miss college!
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14 Marion October 24, 2011 at 4:58 pm

This list/idea looks mighty familiar… Oh, I know! I read it here last month: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2011/lies-felicity-told-me-about-college/

(Also, not to nitpick… But the sentence structure of your title is all wrong. Yikes! How about the original article’s title of, “Lies Felicity Told Me About College”?)

15 Hillary October 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm

That’s exactly how I felt about Dawson’s Creek and Gilmore Girls the college years. My dorm room was the size of a closet. “Nuff said.
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16 Kara October 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm

The title of this blog post makes my inner English major cry.

I’ve never seen the show, so I can’t really add to this to discussion. Just my point about the title. πŸ™‚

17 Mary October 24, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Haha, I thought I was going crazy when I read it…but then I suck at grammar & would probably make similar mistakes if I didn’t proofread everything I write multiple times. I don’t remember much about the show itself, but Felicity definitely led me to believe that anyone could cut all of their hair off & still be cute…not true.
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18 MelissaNibbles October 24, 2011 at 5:42 pm
19 Meghann October 24, 2011 at 11:00 pm

I never read/saw that link and now want to check it out.

20 MelissaNibbles October 25, 2011 at 5:36 am

Read saw?

21 Meghann October 25, 2011 at 10:00 am

read/saw

22 Jules October 24, 2011 at 5:49 pm

yeah, I have to agree. The title…just wow.

23 Ellie October 25, 2011 at 1:23 am

Hahahaha. You changed the title of the post, but the URL has not changed. Are you sure you are a writer? A college graduate? A high school graduate? A literate human being?

24 Caitlin in MD October 25, 2011 at 10:02 am

That is an incredibly rude comment.

25 Meghann October 25, 2011 at 10:08 am

You’re right – I’m dumb as nails. Sometimes I wonder how I graduated high school with honors or earned that funny humanities degree from Florida State. How did I pass my AP english tests and earn credit for ENC1101 + ENC 1102 at the same time?! Or earn As on the majority of the papers I wrote in college? Crazy stuff.

26 Bri October 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Sorry to add to this already-long-enough comment thread, but I just wanted to point out that citing high school or even undergrad performance really undermines your point here. Your writing should speak for itself; you shouldn’t need to reach back to 11th grade to “prove” your intelligence. Even though I took AP Calc in high school and got a 5 on the test, I would say without a doubt that I suck at math. High school just isn’t that difficult.

27 Meghann October 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I was just following up to her questions on whether I did in fact graduate from college or high school. You’re right – my writing does speak for itself and I know my grammar is awful and my proofreading skills are subpar, but I speak from the heart and I’m a real person. I’ll just leave it at that and walk away from this.

28 Carla @ I Run, You Run October 26, 2011 at 12:46 am

Meghann, I think your reply hit the nail on the head — we all make mistakes (some sillier than others), but proofreading usually catches that. If you know what the problem is, and how to fix it, maybe start proofreading? It takes more time, but it prevents things like this from happening. You can still have a passionate post and write from the heart even if you proofread (proof of that is all over the internet/books/magazines). I don’t make my living off my blog, and certainly never will, but I definitely take the extra time it takes to proofread. Sure, I might not always catch everything, but it makes a difference in the end product. Not trying to add fuel to the fire (I’d be writing anonymously if that was my intention), it’s just a thought.
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29 Chloe (In Fine Feather) October 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm

I think the point here Meghann is that your readers recognize that you make grammatical errors and spelling mistakes nearly every day, and because of that you are losing your readers due to easily fixable mistakes. This is your job and you should treat each post as something you would want to hand into your boss (in this case your readers), and not some “hobby” blog because clearly you do this for a living.
Maybe take these suggestions – as other bloggers have in the past – and try and improve instead of writing off somewhat snarky comments as being total BS.
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30 Meghann October 26, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Thank you Chloe. I do take these comments seriously and continually work on improving my grammar, but sometimes the comments get the best of me and I lash out. Trust me, I know I have these errors and it kills me every time I see them. I re-read posts three times now (the ones I write at home – sometimes it’s hard while traveling) and some still sneak by. The title here was written without giving much thought, right before I hit publish in a McDonalds parking lot that I had my parents pull over into so I could get a post up during our road trip. I couldn’t fix the error immediately and now I’m here banging my head against the wall for it. I’m usually not snarky, but sometimes it gets the best of me and I respond before thinking about it. It’s human error on my part.

31 Jessica October 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm

As much as you all enjoy picking on Meghann for poor grammar, she regularly acknowledges the fact that she doesn’t proof read.. like to proof read.. etc. She writes passionately and from the heart which lends itself to such errors when done quickly. Do I think she could be neater about it? Yes, but again, she acknowledges her faults so there is no need to harp on her about it constantly. When it comes down to it, I know (as I’m sure she knows) you’re upset (or even jealous) that she is making enough money from her blog to keep her from having to work, typos and all. So what? Give it a rest. She’s clearly doing something right regardless of whether or not you are disgusted by her writing skills.
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32 Tiffany October 25, 2011 at 6:41 pm

” she is making enough money from her blog to keep her from having to work, typos and all”

EXACTLY. This blog is one of her jobs and it shouldn’t matter whether or not she likes to proofread. She needs to make more of an effort to do so, especially since she doesn’t have the benefit of having a professional editor look over her work. Yes, she puts her heart into her blog. But if this blog generates income for her, she needs to put together a more polished presentation. Just because she’s own boss doesn’t mean she’s exempt from the rules. I certainly know that my own boss wouldn’t accept work like that (I’m not a writer but have a job that requires

There are lots of “professional bloggers” out there who put their hearts into their blog, but still take the time to look things over and proofread. It makes a world of difference in how things are presented, and it makes it easier for me to take them seriously.

Meghann, so many people have told you that you need to be better about proofreading your blog entries (some may have been more/less constructive in their criticism than others). Please, please, please consider doing so. Not only will it stop people from commenting about it, but it’ll make your blog look so much cleaner and more professional.

/stepping off soapbox and away from blog

33 Jessica October 26, 2011 at 10:40 am

This was constructive and I agree. What I have an issue with is people harassing her about it constantly. Like I said previously, I just think it’s a moot point. You can’t help people who don’t want to help themselves. If Meghann is cool with the way she posts, then whatever. If people eventually can’t take her typos anymore and they stop reading, then maybe she’ll reconsider her posting style.. but YOU can make a choice to read or ignore her blog. If you think she’s a bad writer, make your point by not reading it or drawing attention to it. That’s the only way you’re going to get her ‘off your internets’.

I choose to read it because regardless of whether or not she makes typos, I’ve known Meghann for a really long time (as in, before she had a blog) and think she’s a genuinely sweet person/good friend and now that I don’t live in FL anymore it’s nice to see what’s going on from afar from time to time.
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34 Anne October 25, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Should bloggers who write for a living not have to meet the same standards as everyone else who writes for a living??
You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

35 kathleen @ the daily crumb October 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm

i don’t have any for the felicity list, but i have to say, having re-watched the entire dawson’s creek series, i can definitely say that show lied to me about high school!
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36 Sara October 24, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I never watched Felicity, but I did learn from Keri Russell that people get mad at you when you cut your long, curly hair.
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37 wymberley October 24, 2011 at 8:29 pm

I remember being really sad when she did that!
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38 Alicia October 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Meghan, are you watching Felicity online, or downloading? Where are you finding it? I would LOVE to find it online and watch all of these (again)…it was one of my favorite shows when it was on.

Thank you!

39 Meghann October 24, 2011 at 10:59 pm

I’m watching it on Netflix via instant play. Love it!

40 Army Amy* October 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I never watched Felicity, but I’m having fun recalling the good ol college days. I was an RA my sophomore year, and there were some pretty cute male RA’s on staff.*
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41 Becca October 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Our RA’s name was Andrea! She was best friends with my best friends older sister! So I hung out with her at bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and weddings! I always brought up how weird it was hanging out with her so many years later! Just thought you would like to know! πŸ™‚

42 Meghann October 24, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Ha! I would not have picked that name out in a million years. Even reading it doesn’t sound familiar at all, I’m glad you remember though. THe only thing I remember about her was that she had brown hair and her boyfriend stayed over a lot. πŸ™‚

43 Aleyta October 24, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I re-watched it recently as well and loved it. It’s funny how old shows can do that…Dawsons Creek anyone?? πŸ™‚
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44 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Haha I agree with the room thing, I remember watching Gilmore Girls and thinking my suite would look like hers.. um not. And that’s what I love to do for road trip lunch! Healthier food that I know I like, and it’s free! Win win.
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45 Mary @ Bites and Bliss October 24, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Real college life is hardly ever how it’s portrayed in media. Same goes for high school and work, too! They make it seem so happening..when really, it’s full of people who do like to socialize (of course), but we’re not partying 24/7 and throwing spit wads at professors.
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46 Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) October 24, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Oh Lordy, I totally agree w your assessment.. I’ve actually been watching Felicity too (and for the first time- I never watched it when it was actually on tv), and as someone who went to college in NY, those dorm rooms are the size of a CLOSET. Forget dorm rooms- all apts someone her age would afford haha.
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47 wymberley October 24, 2011 at 8:28 pm

I knew one person my first day of college. I was married my Junior summer. I WISH i had lived on campus longer, I only lived there my freshman year. I loved my apartment off campus…good ol #55. I made many friends but only a few lasting ones. I wish i was more vested it the experience, I was in such a hurry to get out there! What an idiot!
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48 Marie October 24, 2011 at 8:59 pm

i enjoyed reading your memories of college. i have never seen felicity but am currently in the second month of my first year at college in ireland and am enjoying every minute of it!

49 mi-an d. October 24, 2011 at 9:01 pm

i love felicity~ i started college same time the show started and i was also premed! but yes, the ending was not as good as it should have been. totally agree with what she did right, friendships especially. my 3 bff’s today are my college roommates. we had the best time!

50 Ashleigh @ simplehonestreal.blogspot.com October 24, 2011 at 9:38 pm

You have me wanting to watch Felicity! I have never seen it but clearly need to!

51 Jessica October 24, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Mine would be the complete opposites of yours, lol/

52 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries October 24, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Loved this post as I am watching Felicity on Netflix as I type this! πŸ™‚ I just started season 4, and I’ve been addicted since I started it. Ha. I definitely didn’t have a cute guy RA either. Girls had girl RA’s and guys had guy RA’s at my school. I’m going to be so sad when it’s finished!
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53 Sara@RunningInPinkProject October 24, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I havent watched Felicity in ages. πŸ™‚ I was more of a 90210 and then Dawsons Creek girl personally. Im probably totally showing my age but I remember when Carrie Russell was still on the Mickey Mouse Club with Justin Timberlake and Brit Brit. I stinking loved that show.
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54 Ellie October 24, 2011 at 11:03 pm

I had a very small room (but it was a single). The size of rooms is definitely exaggerated on TV shows. However, my dorm had a common area that EVERYONE used – most people had to walk through it to get to their rooms so it really fostered a social atmosphere. The dorm was super social and we knew each other well enough to at least be able to have a real conversation with pretty much everyone else who lived there. I really feel sorry for people who didn’t have this great dorm experience because it was perhaps the best part of college, for me.

55 Carla @ I Run, You Run October 25, 2011 at 4:13 am

Uh, did you get the idea from this post? http://thoughtcatalog.com/2011/lies-felicity-told-me-about-college/
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56 Meghann October 25, 2011 at 8:51 am

I didn’t, but you’re not the first one to mention it in the comments, so now I feel dumb for not knowing it was out there.

57 Sophie October 25, 2011 at 5:41 am

I’ve never seen Felicity, but I definitely remember the ‘omg what do I do now?!’ feeling at graduation!
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58 Cait's Plate October 25, 2011 at 10:28 am

I’d also say the maturity level of everyone in Felicity was a little too advanced. Haha. There is NO WAY the whole Noel/Ben/Felicity thing would ever have happened and they all would have stayed on somewhat decent terms! That said, I ADORE Felicity. I own the whole series on DVD (which I might have already told you) – SO good.
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59 Jessica October 25, 2011 at 7:59 pm

No, not at all.. I just think it’s a moot point. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themself! I’m not trying to be rude to meghann here either, I just think you all should let her do her thing.
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60 Ali @ Ali Runs October 26, 2011 at 7:54 am

I’ve never watched Felicity, but one of my best friends went on a kick and watched the whole season recently and loved it. I re-watch a lot of Gilmore Girls!
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