Lady Gaga may be the biggest music star in the world right now, but five years ago she was just a regular 18-year-old named Stefani Germanotta, studying for exams at New York University, hanging out with friends and watching football games. “She looked so different then,” a close friend of Gaga’s tells In Touch exclusively. “She went for more of a tan, sex-bomb look with long curly dark hair.” And forget the sparkles, glitter and crazy headdresses. “She mainly wore jeans and T-shirts,” says her friend.

According to the friend, Gaga was also a hit with the boys, and always had her pick of the litter. “She was super sexy and had a really attractive personality,” the friend says, adding that she met men wherever she went, in both her classes and in clubs. “She knew how to get guys.” And aside from skinny-dipping with friends during spring break in Puerto Rico, life was pretty tame, explains her friend. “We just cooked a lot for other people on the floor, and went to dorm parties just like everyone else.” She even ate like a college student. “We would hit up Starbucks, and once, for a Super Bowl party, she brought about two pounds of buffalo wings.” Gaga dropped out of NYU after one year and would go on to sell out stadiums. But while she was a coed, she was there to learn. “She always did all of her homework and was a fantastic student. She cared about her work and would dedicate herself when she had to write a paper,” says her friend.