What would prep do?

October 28, 2010

Even if you haven’t heard of the College Prepster, if you go to Georgetown you’re familiar with her style. College Prepster is a blog run by Carly Heitlinger (MSB ’12), a junior with a passion for sharing her love of all things preppy with the world. Snapshots of the Rugby storefront, Lilly Pulitzer dresses, and pictures of the crew team all make the blog—for better or for worse—extra Georgetown-y.

This fall, Heitlinger expanded from blog posts to books with her self-published work, The Freshman 50. The book—which is available as an e-book—is composed of various anecdotes and pieces of advice for incoming college freshman told by the Carrie Bradshaw-esque big sister you never had. The lessons range from dorm life to hookups, and delve into academics with advice for coping with a challenging college curriculum. Others caution against unfortunate freshman faux-pas, like being the creepy guy who friends the entire class on Facebook before setting foot on campus.

If you are looking for the details on the wild side of college, this is certainly not the place to look. The goody-two-shoes tone of the book is best suited for readers who are like Heitlinger herself: preppy girls at elite universities with big aspirations. Much of the advice is Georgetown-centric, and may not apply to students entering a different-style college, like state schools, community colleges, or any place outside the northeast.

Her advice overlooks the typically frugal college student. Though she clearly means well, her counsel often comes off as snobby and know-it-all-ish. Not every student can afford to dine at D.C.’s finest restaurants, to take a cab to the metro, or to own two (yes, two) Burberry jackets that they just can’t live without.

While the book isn’t a riveting read for someone who has already been there, it does offer some sound, if occasionally overly responsible, advice for incoming freshmen. Heitlinger suffered through the indignity of freshman year so you won’t have to—which is unfortunate. After all, most of the fun of freshman year was figuring out what the hell to do with all your newfound freedom. But, while she certainly won’t be breaking any stereotypes about the preppy crowd at Georgetown, Heitlinger’s willingness to laugh at herself and serve as the crash test dummy to guide you through those embarrassing freshman moments in The Freshman 50 is admirable.

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