The Emma Roberts Effect


So, the girl is gone. No more celeb spotting on campus. She skipped the majority of her classes, tweeted “College would be a lot more fun if I were being played by Sarah Michelle Gellar,” and then promptly returned to her world of parties and paparazzi. The presence (and consequent absence) of a famous person in our midst serves to highlight a variety of Sarah Lawrence truths.

As much as we love our cocaine binges and city escapades, Sarah Lawrence is ultimately a dedicated education for misfits. 1,300 of us eat quesadillas at the pub, hunker down for conference in Raushenbush, and struggle to walk up Bates Hill in the snow. Our campus is not conducive to limousine parking or last-minute lunch at Nobu. Coming to Sarah Lawrence requires some degree of humility and an understanding that Danny Kaiser will make no exception with his scolding should you mention who your parents are.

We’re a small school. People magazine will likely never stake a spot at Slave to the Grind, but undoubtedly some smartphone photos were taken of Emma Roberts during her time here. As with most other Sarah Lawrence social scenes, we were trapped in a conflict of not caring and in fact caring a lot. “OMG, she just walked past us!” and then, “Fuck, my paper on Imaginary Media is due in two hours!”

Fandom is hard-pressed for attention when there’s a very specific reason we didn’t apply to NYU in the first place. Our education is intimate and demanding. We don’t have time to talk to our friends, let alone distant strangers. While hyper-vigilence and consequent judgment is a Sarah Lawrence student forte, we tend to forget (“forget”) our interactions fast. We might have remembered the guy in Heimbold who outlined his next project: a set of Jeff Koons-esque robotic squirrels with matching Mylar nuts, but Emma Roberts turned out to be much less memorable. Another skinny, chain-smoking fashionista? Step into the line at the blue room.

More than anything, Emma Roberts’ quick turnaround was simply a blip on our rushing radar. Small we may be, but we’re not lacking in intensity. Sarah Lawrence immerses its students in academia and those who choose to ignore it will find themselves out of place.

We will go on to dominate New York City art, music, and party scenes; for now, in Bronxville, we are students. Celebs willing to embrace that seriousness are welcome, but with Emma Roberts as a leading example, they may find the experience to be unfabulous.

Image from Google Images

Ella Riley-Adams (Founder, Editor-in-chief) comes from a small town in Southern Oregon. She enjoys champagne, soccer and swimming in ponds. When not immersed in Sarah Lawrence affairs, Ella works for NYC marketing and tech blog The New York Egotist and The Faster Times. Follow her on twitter @ellarileyadams.


  • Reply November 23, 2011


    Wait I thought our paper on Imaginary Media was due after break? :)

    nice piece and enjoy thanksgiving.

  • Reply November 27, 2011


    The Emma Roberts Effect is this a joke? The depravity of this article is unjust and it longs to the bounds of the gates of hell aka you’re writing if you can call it that. If this is what my daughter is engaged in I am pulling her from this school.

    • Reply February 22, 2012


      I’m sorry. Who’s Emma Roberts?

      Whether or not she’s famous, sounds like she was a) a bad fit for Sarah Lawrence, b) a bad student, and c) a good example of the phrase “who the fuck cares?”.

      I think this is an excellent article; unafraid to voice in a very SLC way (read: unabashedly honest and judgmental) a reaction to a current event.

  • Reply December 10, 2011


    Love it! Thanks, Ella (@james, not sure what you mean here…)

  • Reply December 10, 2011


    Hey guys,

    I realize this is meant to be a silly, harmless article, but it strikes me as quite unkind. One of the things that really upsets me about SLC is our tendency to forget about kindness towards each other. Yes, Emma Roberts left SLC. The reasons for that are her business. I didn’t know her, but I do know that her association with celebrity made a lot of people here feel like they had a right to speculate about her personal life and make uninformed judgments about her. This article just feels like an extension of that mentality. If this is the kind of attitude she was encountering here, I don’t blame her for leaving.


  • Reply December 10, 2011


    My thoughts echo Liam’s on this one. This article might claim to be anti-celebrity, but in reality, all it does is play into the same old stereotypes. Plenty of other students skip classes, turn in work late, and get up to all kinds of wacky shenanigans. If one of them dropped out, would you be writing an article on them? It’s not my intent to shame anyone, but let’s not forget that we’re all attending the most expensive school in the country. Complaining about someone else’s use of their privilege is not a good way to take advantage of your own. Perhaps the energy spent on this article would’ve been better served finishing up your conference work or partying with a few good friends while you still can.

    “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” –the Dalai Lama

  • Reply December 12, 2011

    A friend

    Ella, I have to say, I was really surprised to see your name at the top of this article. You’re such a kind person, and this article is straight up nasty, judgmental, and cruel. Really? Cocaine binges? Even if this is some kind of understated satire, it’s downright mean, unfortunately editorial, and hateful towards a person whom, based on the way this article is written, I doubt you were friendly with. Who are you–or any of us–to judge this girl when our interactions with her were so undoubtedly limited? This is SLC cattiness and judgment at its absolute height.

  • Reply February 6, 2012


    I mean… yeah the article’s mean, but like… this is what everyone was thinking the entire time. It was pretty spot on if you ask me. Good work Ella. Maybe we’ll sleep together.

  • Reply May 6, 2013


    Who fucking cares?

  • […] instead it made her realize that maybe normal for her is a movie set and a particularly scathing blog post hammered home this idea. Roberts joked that ”I do have high hopes. When I’m 30, […]

  • […] kind of public bullying that non-celebrities mercifully don’t have to face. One especially harsh blog post by a fellow student particularly struck a nerve. “I was being bullied,” she realized. […]

  • Reply June 1, 2013


    Regardless of which school you go to and who you go to school with, it’s important to grow to accept different people. Trashy minds like yours don’t even deserve to be called educated, and you obviously missed the point of attending school by far.

  • Reply February 11, 2014


    This is a celebrity who publicly announced that she will be attending college a few times in interviews. Of course others will judge. She decided to apply and supposedly make the commitment to do the required coursework. She did not even seem to try and didn’t even last a year. She tweeted, “College would be a lot more fun if I were being played by Sarah Michelle Geller.” Well, we’re sorry college did not live up to your “fun” expectations.

  • Reply December 2, 2016


    I know this is old and no one’s going to see this but imagine taking time off your day to write a post about a celebrity dropping out of college. Tragic.

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