Alongside eventual castmates Lo Bosworth, Kristin Cavallari, and Stephen Colletti, Conrad was educated at Laguna Beach High School. In 2004, they starred in Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, an MTV reality television series which documented their lives during high school. During its production, she was often referred to by the initialism "L. C. ", although she has since expressed her distaste for the nickname. The series proved successful for the network; she described the lifestyle it imposed on her as being "definitely a different way to grow up". The first season notably focused on the love triangle between Conrad, Cavallari, and Colletti, and the subsequent feud between the former two. Upon the conclusion of the first season, Conrad appeared on an episode of MTV Cribs. After graduating from high school in 2004, Conrad attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco for one semester, where she met Heidi Montag. Conrad left the series after the second season, during which period she moved back home and transferred to the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles. After her sister Breanna became a primary cast member, Conrad made a guest appearance on the series during the third season in 2006.