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The Best Fictional Characters Who Went to Northwestern

After I got into Northwestern, one of my absolute favorite things to do was point out fictional characters who attended the university. I loved seeing some of my favorite stars wearing beat-up Northwestern crewnecks or talking about how amazing their time was at Northwestern. It always seemed like my favorite nerdy-awesome characters who made it to the big screen also made it into Northwestern. So here’s a list of some of the best (and worst) fictional attendees of Northwestern University.

Peter Callahan, While You Were Sleeping 

Set in Chicago during the younger years of Sandra Bullock, While You Were Sleeping follows Lucy, a ticket taker at an El station. Every day a handsome passenger (Peter Callahan) comes to her station, and she thinks she’s in love with him. While she’s working on Christmas, she watches as Peter gets mugged and falls onto the tracks as a train is coming. She leaps onto the tracks and rolls him out of the way of the moving train, saving his life. Although (spoiler alert!) she doesn’t end up with Peter and he is in a coma for most of the movie, he is still a super wealthy lawyer with an awesome apartment in the city. So clearly Northwestern did something right.

Bianca Piper, The Duff

This is a newer teen rom-com that came out in 2015, which was just after I got into Northwestern, so the casual mention of my new home was super exciting to me at the time. Bianca, a sassy teen whose wit carries her throughout the film, rides away into the sunset in a Jeep with a really hot guy, mentioning that she will be attending Northwestern, and her man candy is going to Ohio State. She doesn’t have her degree yet, but Bianca is already crushing life. If she were real, she’d be in the Northwestern class of 2019.

Josie Geller, Never Been Kissed 

At the onset of this Drew Barrymore classic, Josie Geller is a successful, somewhat nerdy, copy editor for the Chicago Sun Times. She even has her own office and assistant, and she’s the youngest person to ever hold the title. Pretty cool, right? Later in the film, when she’s undercover in a high school, she meets a girl whose dream is to go to Northwestern. She responds, saying, “I went there!” Not the best undercover job in history, but Josie’s journey was more about finding herself than anything else.

Andy Sachs, The Devil Wears Prada 

Andy’s post Northwestern journey is more difficult than many of us would like after college, but we can ignore that fact and focus solely on the fact that she shares breathing space with Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt’s flawless characters. Andy comes into her own, though, and ends up discovering who she wants to be as a journalist and even as a person. Sometimes the lessons we need to learn come after our time at NU.

Aaron Samuels, Mean Girls

Okay, so Aaron was terrible at Math, and he still got into Northwestern, so that’s an accomplishment in and of itself. But Aaron seemed to frequently leave the campus of Northwestern to go sit on the front lawn of “North Shore High” to hang with Cady and Co. Talk about living in the past. I hope for his sake that Northwestern helped him mature past the peaked-in-high school kid with the swoopy hair we all know he was.

Whether they studiously dove headfirst into Northwestern’s curriculum or not, these characters comprise the ups and downs of life in and after college. Hopefully we, like our fictional counterparts, can find happiness, success and cool sweatshirts in post-grad life!

Gifs Courtesy of Giphy

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Meg Biederman


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