Disclaimer: Daria and associated characters are owned by MTV. This is fan fiction written for entertainment only. No money or other negotiable currency or goods have been exchanged.
Original characters and plot copyright Richard J. Lobinske. 2004-2005.

Falling Into College Primer
Year 1, Fall

Boarding the Raft. Daria arrives at her dorm at Raft University starts to settle in. While her family is checking in to a hotel, Daria meets her roommate, Karen Myerson, a Pre-Vet major from a southern Georgia farm. Over dinner with the rest of the Morgendorffers, Daria gets the first idea of the gulf between their financial statuses. The next morning, Daria sees her family off and returns to hear Karen talking on the phone to her brother, mentioning that Daria was cute and worried about all the boys she would attract. Daria later finds a green cashmere sweater with attached note, a gift from Quinn. Finally, Daria pressed and sealed her green jacket, orange shirt and black skirt in a garment bag, ceremonially retiring them.

Returning Nightmare. Jane Lane begins her new job at Lawndale High as a Teaching Assistant for Claire Defoe, a position paid for by a grant Ms. Defoe got from the state. After the first faculty and staff meeting, Jane has a run-in with Ms. Morris, her old track coach, who thinks Jane won't last long. On the first day of class, Kevin Thompson calls her a babe when Jane's introduced. During lunch, he propositions her again and Jane publicly chews Kevin out before he slinks away to the outcast's table. After again hearing comments from Ms. Morris, Jane learns that Morris doesn't know about the honor society and decides to get even, and give Daria some recognition at the same time, with a little help from Quinn, recruited from the study hall class Jane supervises. At the Friday assembly, Ms Li announces the honor society and Daria gives a speech via telephone, and introduces Jane, who will make the formal presentation about the group. During her comments, Jane slips in a few statements aimed at Ms. Morris to say that she's lot a loser and a quitter. Ms. Morris storms out and Jane is happy.

Lindy and the Knight. Jane finds Lindy, Quinn's friend from the previous summer, asleep in the living room. After waking up, Trent explains that he and the band found her passed out by the Tank after a gig. Since her ID was missing and nobody left knew where she was staying, Trent brought her home to keep her safe. While cleaning up the side-effects of having a drunk inside Trent's car, Quinn arrives. She's looking for Lindy, after a search, having found out that the band found someone passed out. When they go inside, Lindy is clearly smitten my Trent. After talking with Daria, Quinn asks Lindy to try stopping her drinking for a month. Remembering how Trent hurt Daria when he left with Monique, Quinn doesn't trust him and tells Lindy. Meanwhile Jane, worried about her brother getting involved with another alcoholic, distrusts Lindy. Jane and Quinn agree to cooperate to help prevent Trent or Lindy from getting hurt by the other. Over dinner, Lindy asks Trent for help to not drink for a month. After he agrees, she asks him about Daria. He tells her more than he told Daria or Jane about his actual feelings. After he leaves, Lindy pulls a hidden bottle from the cupboard and empties it into the sink, saying, "If he can do that for what is right, I can do this for what is right."

Freshman Spread. After Daria complains about some clothes being tight because of a weight gain, Karen suggests that Daria not just is unconcerned about her physical appearance, but tries to hide it. Daria leaves in anger. Over lunch, Karen asks her friend Derek about what he thinks about how she tries to hide her appearance. He asks if she has an eating problem. Daria spends much of the day contemplating why Karen's comment elicited such a response from her. Becoming more worried about Daria's body image, Karen calls Quinn, learning about the old dynamic between the sisters. When they're done, Quinn feels guilty about how much she contributed to how Daria views herself. After some soul-searching, Daria realizes how she gained weight that she should apologize. Which she does, but gets angry again when Karen mentions hiding her looks. Karen builds a convincing case, bolstered by her experience at losing a friend to an eating disorder, that Daria had come to associate physical attractiveness with those that hurt her, and distrusted her own developing attractiveness while retreating behind her intelligence. Daria finally accepts the case and agrees to talk with others to get some help. Daria stays up all night reading from Mrs. Blaine's diary and writing in her own. She stays in her room the next day to think and to call Jane and Quinn. Daria admits to Quinn that she had teased her just as bad about her intelligence as Quinn had teased back about looks. Daria next deals with Helen and how Helen had contributed to the problem. Helen agrees to help Quinn deal and Daria agrees to let Karen and Jane help her. After the long day, Daria finds Karen patiently waiting outside the room door, filling out a job application. She thanks Karen for being a friend good enough to give her a good kick when needed.

Quinn the Tutor. Helen confronts Quinn about her lack of extracurricular activities and manipulates her into admitting she's been tutoring Tiffany during study hall and suggests Quinn be recognized for it and gain credit. Quinn doesn't want to embarrass Tiffany, so she agrees to tutor someone else. To help avoid a threatened lawsuit from Mrs. Thompson if Kevin doesn't graduate, Ms. Li agrees to have Quinn tutor him. Lindy, Trent, Quinn and Jane celebrate Lindy successfully going a month without drinking and Lindy getting professional help. The next morning, wearing only a nightshirt, Lindy meets Vincent in the hall. Quinn finds tutoring Kevin is harder than she thought, especially with Mr. Thompson's open hostility to his son trying to finish high school instead of working. Quinn gets some advice from Daria and has more success on the next try. After a drunken tirade from Mr. Thompson, Quinn becomes very determined to make sure Kevin graduates, remembering how David Sorensen had given her a second chance; she thinks it's her turn to give Kevin one.

Nineteen in Ninety-Nine. On Daira's nineteenth birthday, her first Melody Powers story is published and a second is accepted. Near the end of a birthday party Karen arranged with the other girls on the dorm floor, Aunt Amy arrives. After seeing Jane's gift, a painting of Daria from the beach trip the previous summer, Amy invites takes Daria and Karen out for a night on the town. On the way to visit a museum, Amy, a university professor, stops by the academic convention she's in town for to drop off the Raft parking permit she'd borrowed from another attendee. However, when they leave, two men in suits follow them, with a third following them. Daria notices then when they leave the museum and go to a restaurant. Inside, the third, dressed like a grad student, joins them and he passes a note saying he's an FBI agent. He explains that the men following them probably believe they picked up a package at the convention and want to intercept it. After Daria, Karen and Amy attempt to escape through the back of the eatery, the followers are convinced to leave by more FBI agents. The agents thank them for staying calm, but aren't allowed to explain what happened. Back in the dorm, just before leaving, Amy tells Daria how she's sometimes jealous of Helen, because she has Jake, Quinn and Daria in her life.

Home for Thanksgiving. Karen's financial problems rise to the surface when she can't afford to go home for the holiday and she worries about being able to continue at Raft. Daria invites her to spend the weekend with her family. After class, a young man, Michael Fulton, asks Daria out. Still not ready to date, she politely turns him down. Jake gives them a ride back to Lawndale. Along the way, he mentions that this was the time of year he got to know Helen, how scared he was to ask her out, and how happy he was when he asked after class and she accepted. Upon reaching Lawndale, Daria first sees her remodeled room. Helen clearly had Daria in mind in the décor, but Daria sadly knows she'll only visit the room. Karen gets to meet Jane, who announces that she'll finally have a holiday alone with a TV dinner. During the Thanksgiving dinner at the Morgendorffers, they also celebrate her birthday. Watching TV, they find out that Stacy Rowe won a local auto race…revealing to Quinn what Stacy had secretly been working on since summer. With the additional financial aid Daria was able to locate, Karen agrees to go in with Daria and Jane to rent an off-campus apartment the following year. Just before leaving, Daria tries on the green sweater Quinn had given her and finds she likes it. Jake quietly tells Daria that he knows she won't be moving back. Helen drives them back, along the way; Karen accidentally says that Daria plans to stay in Boston year-round. Helen is surprised, but understands. Daria asks Helen for her side of how she met Jake. After class, she tells Michael yes.

Winter's Eve. Nervous to start, Daria goes on her first dates with Michael and finds herself more attracted to him. Back at Lawndale, under Quinn's tutoring, Kevin passes all his courses. Under the stress of Stacy's race driving, Quinn's tutoring and the former Fashion Club members maturing tastes, Sandi loses her temper and leaves them. Ms. Morris stops Jane on her last day at Lawndale High and says that she was wrong. Daria doesn't have time to see Michael during finals week and they have a parting breakfast at the airport before leaving for the holidays, her to Lawndale and him to Detroit. He gives Daria a malachite and gold pendant as a gift, one that greatly touches her. Meeting Daria at the airport, Jane sees it and observes that happiness looks good on her.

Holiday Breaks. Back in Lawndale, Daria is surprised when Quinn starts to seriously ask her advice about boys. Quinn sees how happy Daria and has seen Trent and Lindy together. Her dating has dropped off to almost nothing, all the local boys either aren't interested in spending the effort on her anymore, or she doesn't want to see them. Jane, Trent and Lindy are invited to the Morgendorffers for Christmas. When Helen gets a little too close to the details of how Lindy and Trent met, Quinn diverts attention to get Daria to talk about Michael, whom she has been calling frequently. For New Year's Eve, Jane and Daria go to the Zon, where Mystik Spiral is playing. They meet Jodie and Mack and Daria gets to spend time with Lindy. Trent drives Daria and Jane to Boston. They stop at BFAC and Jane meets her roommate, blue-haired CC, Cecelia Czerniki. When Trent drops Daria off at Raft, they talk about Lindy and Trent slips about how long it had been since he felt that way about somebody. After he leaves, Daria realizes that it might have been her.