Sometimes you romanticize something so much that you set unrealistic expectations for yourself, and a slight deviation from your vision always disappoints.
The group got a glimpse at what their college futures might hold on Never Have I Ever Season 4 Episode 5 after a class trip took them to New York, and they visited their prospective schools.
Most things were a great shock, but none as shocking as Devi learning that her high school idol had flunked out of college.
Never meet your idols has never rung truer than at that moment.
It is pretty easy to theorize what Devi thought her future at Princeton might look like. Her arrival would be a momentous occasion, and everyone will feel it.
She would ace all her classes impressing her professors and showing her fellow students that she was not one to be played with.
Her extracurricular activities would involve partying with the most exclusive clubs in the school and having all the hottest guys at her feet, begging for her attention.
A chance to meet Blair, who was just like her, would be a great opportunity for her to confirm this. And for a short while there, she was living her best life.
Wow, you guys, I can’t believe we’re basically gonna see exactly how our lives are gonna be next year.
The best thing about college is the freedom it affords someone. You decide what you want to do when you want to do it. You can do anything without anyone watching all your moves or breathing down your neck.
And that’s also the worst thing about it. So much freedom can be intoxicating and disorienting even. It can be overwhelming for someone whose life was structured and most things taken care of by someone else.
Have you ever had to make decisions as easy as what you’re going to eat when you’ve made that decision a few times in your life? Now imagine that daily occurrence where every major and minor decision is in your hands.
Devi: How do you go to college and then just decide to stop trying?
Blair: I don’t know, Devi. I was so burnt out after high school. I mean, you know what it’s like. You do a million extracurriculars, and you take all the hardest classes just to get into a school like this. Then once you’re in, what’s the goal? You’re certainly not gonna be the top anymore and you don’t have your mom here to badger you. It’s easy to get lost.
Blair: The hardest part about college isn’t the schoolwork. It’s being on your own and not knowing who the hell you are.
Unfortunately, some things are bound to slip through; in Blair’s case, it was coursework.
It is something shocking that brings everything into perspective and made Devi question how she had treated Paxton when he quit ASU on Never Have I Ever Season 4 Episode 3. He must have gone through something Devi could never understand.
Devi was shaken to realize that flunking out was on the table because she had never contemplated that happening.
Ben was getting a reality check while that crisis happened in Devi’s world.
He’d gotten used to being the resident-informed guy who could argue the sky was green and come out on top.
Yet he was beaten in every argument within the first few minutes of conversing with someone at Columbia.
Student 1: Oh, hey, we were talking about that article in The Atlantic on, uh, dark money lobby regulations. You guys wanna sit?
Student 2: Yeah, I mean, it’s a complete farce. Basically, Big Oil’s writing all of our laws at this point.
Ben: Totally. It does seem like a lot of automakers are turning to electric though, so that’s good.
Student 3: Well, Ben, you know electric cars are just as bad, right? I mean, heavy-metal mining is a serious human rights issue. Without a clean grid, what’s even the point?
Ben: Right, right, yeah. I… I just mean hopefully one day, we can just, like, run cars on corn.
Student 3: Yeah, come on, Ben. We certainly don’t wanna incentivize monoculture farming any more than we already do.
Ben: No. No… Of course not.
Student 2: Do you guys wanna order some food? Ben, you’re our guest. What are you in the mood for?
Ben: Food? Uh, I just want something that’s sustainably sourced, carbon-neutral, and preferably delivered by someone who’s paid a living wage.
That was another thing that happens. People internalize some false things about themselves because everyone in their immediate environment has reinforced them. If you’d asked Ben, he’d say he was one of the smartest people without skipping a heartbeat.
In college, almost everyone who gets there thinks they are the smartest. And at an Ivy League school, that might be true.
It was no surprise that Ben was shocked that everyone appeared smarter than him. They were the kind of people who could convince him that the sky was not blue but didn’t exist.
Many kids get a culture shock in college when everything they thought was true is challenged. For some, it makes them better people; for others, they fall into a bottomless pit of self-doubt and depression.
Speaking of self-doubt, Eleanor was gobsmacked by what Julliard did to her after she auditioned on Never Have I Ever Season 4.
Eleanor: I don’t have a chance, do I?
Judge: Miss Wong, I assure you, we have not made any decisions yet.
Eleanor: But you have though, right? You can give it to me straight. I can take it.
Judge: If I’m being honest, I’m not sure Juilliard is the right place for you.
Everyone from her friends to her not-so-smart ex-boyfriend told her she was the best actress. She was going to be successful. She will have Viola Davis on speed dial.
But even her audition at Julliard was not only unimpressive, but it was also deemed outright bad.
There was a fair chance it was a bad audition, but that didn’t make her a bad actress. Maybe it was the choice of audition material, or she was nervous. Maybe the judges were absolute idiots for not seeing her as she was.
Failure is part of success, as you cannot define or conceive success without success.
All that matters is you get up after falling, dust yourself up, and try again, just like when learning a new game on the playground.
While they saw unexpected versions of their futures, nothing could keep these nerds down. Even Devi and Ben have never been able to keep each other down despite how mean to one another they can be. I bet anything can keep them down.
While that was happening in New York, Nalini was also having a glimpse of the future of the house when Devi was off to college. It was not as peaceful as she had anticipated. It felt empty.
Mohan’s death and the void it left were still felt, even after she focused on raising Devi and her career.
Fabiola’s lie was becoming bigger daily, and it was becoming harder to justify keeping that secret for so long. There wasn’t a better time to come clean about applying to Princeton than when at Princeton.
Since the truth always has a way of coming out, it will be much more hurtful if her friends learn it from someone or something else. There is no telling how they might react.
Kamala’s instincts are usually pretty spot on, and even under anesthesia, if she thought she heard Len talking to someone, he must have.
- Nalini and Andres were digging each other’s company, and things were heating up slowly. I’m here for it.
- Ben and Devi decided to be friends. Them? Friends? Now that’s a dream. They either remain nemesis or go steady because anything else would be too confusing for them.
- We need to know why Paxton quit ASU and what Trent’s plans are.
“… been to New Jersey” was another good episode as it significantly progressed the most important storyline.
What did you think? Hit the comments section.
Denis Kimathi is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He has watched more dramas and comedies than he cares to remember. Catch him on social media obsessing over [excellent] past, current, and upcoming shows or going off about the politics of representation on TV. Follow him on Twitter.