At her high school graduation, Felicity Porter works up the nerve to ask Ben Covington, her longtime crush, to sign her yearbook. On a whim, she decides to follow him to college in New York City, abandoning long-established plans to study medicine at Stanford. Her parents try to convince her that she is making a huge mistake, and refuse to provide her with financial support. Felicity moves into the dorm and (eventually) meets roommate Meghan, a standoffish girl with a decidedly alternative lifestyle. Her resident advisor, Noel, is much friendlier; he quickly develops romantic feelings for her.
Felicity befriends Julie, an aspiring guitar player; and confesses her reasons for coming to New York to Ben. He is flattered, but understandably frightened. Felicity tells him that she has realized how strange her behavior is, and just wants to be friends. Hoping to learn more about Ben and get closer to him, she uses her job at the university's records office to read Ben's application essay. She is touched to read of his desire to make his dead brother proud.
Although she claims to be fine, Felicity is actually put off by the mutual attraction between Julie and Ben. Her jealousy shows when she catches Julie at Ben's loft. Ben freaks out when Felicity claims that he "made" her fall in love with him. She determines that she has made a huge mistake, and decides to go back home. Noel tries to talk her into staying. Ben confesses that he lied in his essay; he never had a brother. He apologizes to Felicity for disappointing her.
Felicity's parents are thrilled by her decision to transfer to Stanford. However, she determines that she must learn to make her own decisions, instead of letting her parents run her life. She tells them that she is staying in New York.