Celebrities Who Went To College
Claire Miles - August 11, 2021


By Greta Zwaan

I sought for joy in peace, and rest to ease my weary mind,
Stressed out by such a heavy load, rest I just had to find.
My endurance could hold no more, my limits had been met,
I needed time to stand aside, sweet time to just forget.

But where to find the road to peace, an obscure trait to me;
My hectic lifestyle can't comprehend a way to set time free.
I've always rushed from A to B with no side glace allowed,
I had my life so well controlled; in truth, I felt quite proud.

No one could tell me what to do, I was a self-made man;
My schedules were controlled by me, I had a thorough plan.
'Twas good when all things went my way and no one interfered;
I had no one to answer to, my way was always cleared.

But years of this brought me no joy, though fortunes I'd amassed;
It seemed that all the things I owned would oh, so soon be past.
I had no friends that knew my plight, I kept myself at bay,
They all had troubles of their own; besides, what could they say?

They envied me with all my wealth, they never saw my pain,
I had life altogether, what more was there to gain?
But loneliness is terrible and emptiness is sad,
There seems no purpose for each day, no reason to be glad.

So now I wait; why? I don't know, but life for me must change.
There must be more than fortunes, a way to rearrange.
There has to be a purpose, and someone surely knows,
Why life is complicated, and days so full of woes.

Perhaps you have the answer, perhaps you know the route,
Perhaps you've traveled here before; if so, please help me out.
If need be, I'll be patient, I'll even take advice;
I'll gladly make the changes, no matter what the price.

I don't need independence, I've had my round of that;
I long for understanding, to know just where I'm at.
Someday I hope to thank you because you saw my need,
Perhaps with greater meaning, with purpose, not with greed.

I don't know how I got here, what lies ahead of me,
I'm grateful there'll be changes, I'm grateful to be free.

If we’re being honest with ourselves, it can be hard to imagine glamorous celebrities who walk the red carpet sitting in a lecture hall. But many Hollywood stars did actually go to college just like us! From Taylor Swift to Kim Kardashian, here are some celebrities who hit the books just like everybody else.  


Emma Watson


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Harry Potter fans know and love Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, the cleverest wizard in her class! But you may not have known that Watson is actually just as smart in real life. The actress graduated in 2014 with a degree in English literature, and she also took classes at Oxford University.



Lupita Nyong’o


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Talk about being successful! Lupita Nyong’o starred in “12 Years a Slave” before finishing a three-year degree in acting at the Ivy League school in 2012. She attended Hampshire College for her undergraduate degree.


Conan O’Brien


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The late-night talk show host and comedian Conan O’Brien was a student at Harvard. And not only that, he was the editor in chief of the Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper. O’Brien majored in American History and graduated in 1985.



James Franco


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So actually James Franco went to a lot of different colleges. First Franco went to the University of California at Los Angeles and dropped out before going back in 2008 and finishing his undergraduate degree. Franco attended New York University, Columbia University, Brooklyn College, and Yale University as a master’s student.


John Legend


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This might seem hard to believe but John Legend turned down a scholarship from Harvard to go to the University of Pennsylvania! Legend graduated in 1999 and served as president of a co-ed a capella group.



Mindy Kaling


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The comedian and actress majored in theater at Dartmouth University. Mindy Kaling also illustrated a daily comic for the student newspaper called “Badly Drawn Girl.” Kaling was an intern on Late Night with Conan O’Brien when she was 19 years old at Dartmouth. Kaling joined The Office when she was 24 years old and was the only woman on a staff of eight!


Natalie Portman


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Natalie Portman was a student at Syosset High School when she starred in “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.” After starring in Star Wars, Natalie Portman went to Harvard University. graduating in 2003 with a degree in psychology. And as if that wasn’t enough to brag about, Portman’s academic work has been published twice in scientific journals.



Matt Damon


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Okay, seems to us like a lot of celebrities attended Harvard University. Who knew? Matt Damon actually came up with the idea for “Good Will Hunting” while at Harvard. It actually makes a lot of sense then that the movie’s plot is about a gifted janitor at Cambridge school M.I.T. But Damon dropped out before graduating in 1992 to pursue acting. He did end up receiving an honorary degree in 2013, though.


Mayim Bialik


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The Big Bang Theory actress is apparently just as smart in real life as she portrays in the show! vThe actress received an undergraduate degree in 2000 in neuroscience with a minor in Hebrew and Jewish studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. And in 2007, Bialik was award a PhD in neuroscience at UCLA!



Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal

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Maggie Gyllenhaal graduated in 1998 from Columbia University while her brother dropped out his sophomore year at the same university to pursue his acting career.


Jessica Chastain


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Jessica Chastain attended Julliard in New York City because of a scholarship funded by Robin Williams, who had graduated in 1976. Chastain said she was concerned about being dropped from the prestigious program since she spent most of her time reading and watching movies. But she did end up graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2003!



Ken Jeong


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We all know Ken Jeong as a jokester from his days in the epic movie, Hangover. So it might be a little difficult to imagine hi as a licensed obstetrician! In 1990, Jeon graduated from Duke University and obtained his medical degree in 1995 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.