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College started off like Mean Girls, now I'm just one of the girls -- Holly

TOP model Holly Carpenter has compared life in college to being an extra in Mean Girls.

Holly, who is dating Irish rugby player Cian Healy, returned to the National College of Art and Design in September after taking a 12-month break from her studies.

But the 21-year-old told the Herald the art school has different 'cafeteria cliques' just like the cult teen movie.

"It's like that canteen scene in Mean Girls," said Holly.


"There are all these different groups. It's a real artsy crowd, but it's split into different groups depending on what you're studying."

In Mean Girls, Lindsay Lohan's character Cady Heron is given a crash course in high-school hierarchies when she's introduced to the Desperate Wannabes, the Burnouts, the Girls Who Eat Their Feelings and the Sexually Active Band Geeks.

And according to Holly it's a similar set up in NCAD. There are different sets sporting very different looks.

"If you're doing sculpture, all the students are going around on skateboards and have dreadlocks," she said.

"If you do ceramics you just sit on your own with your headphones in. You have to wear old clothes and you don't really talk."

Initially, Holly was worried about fitting in to the super girly textile clique.

"In the beginning I felt so old compared to everyone else. They all wanted to go out every night and I felt like an old woman because I was thinking 'How can you go out so much?'"

But it wasn't long before the former Miss Ireland star was firmly in the fold. "They're so funny and so nice. textiles is really girly, there's 30 girls and only one guy in the class. We all wear nice clothes and sit at a big table and chat. We're all friends."

Despite gearing up for a future in fashion, Holly's fellow students are unfazed by her celebrity status and seem to be completely unaware of Dublin's modelling scene.

"They don't know about the modelling scene, and that's actually lovely. It's really nice."

And the Raheny native admitted it's taking a while to get back into the swing of things after her long break.

"It's harder than I thought it was going to be. I have so much to do; I get up at 7.30 and go to the gym, then go to college, then do some jobs. It's all a bit frantic."

But Holly also says it's nice to return to an academic discipline. "It's nice having that structure in my life, more of a routine. Last year I never had any idea what I was doing one day to the next."

Once she's left school, Holly wants to launch her very own lingerie line.

"Originally, I wanted to do jewellery but now I'm thinking more along the lines of lingerie. I think I'd really like going down that route."