The 10 Things I Hate About You actress recalled the "really funny, weird moments" when Hollywood and higher education collided during her days at Columbia University.

By Joey Nolfi
July 08, 2021 at 10:48 AM EDT
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From "humbling" college experiences to Hustlers, Julia Stiles has cornered both Hollywood and higher education throughout her career. But as the star recalled in a recent interview on the PEOPLE in the '90s podcast, she couldn't always escape her celebrity status while studying at Columbia University.

"It put things in perspective a lot. My peers were all studying to become doctors, so that's humbling," she said of her time at the New York City institution, from which she graduated in 2005 with a degree in English literature.

Still, there were "some really funny, weird moments" for the actress, who at that point had already landed star-making roles in movies like 10 Things I Hate About You and Save the Last Dance — like, she said, "a limo for the MTV Movie Awards pulling up in front of my dormitory with my name on it."

MTV Movie Awards 2000 Julia Stiles
Julia Stiles attends the 2000 MTV Movie Awards.
| Credit: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

Stiles added that college "insulated" her from the "huge change" of becoming a celebrity at a young age. "People would go, 'Oh, you're in that movie, right?' But I think, very quickly, I was able to focus on school," she explained.

Listen to Stiles' full interview on PEOPLE in the '90s. New episodes drop Thursday mornings on iHeartMediaApple podcastsSpotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

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