Elena is a dedicated, serious and tenacious student who aspires to become a doctor. She is very competitive and always wants to be the best, possibly stemming from feeling she has to succeed in life and can only rely on herself, since her relationship with her father isn't great and her mother died when she was young. Despite having to grow up fast and not wanting to rely on others, Elena is an incredibly loyal friend. She's also very direct and honest with her friends.
Elena arrives at UNY wanting to ace every test and become the best possible doctor. Apart from her ambition stemming from having to look out for herself from a young age, she also loves medicine and finds great joy in the medical field. While on this track, Elena befriends Felicity, a fellow pre-med student, though not nearly as dedicated to medicine as Elena. Elena's also very focused on things being fair to her, as she gets annoyed when Felicity wins a free mini-fridge because Noel and Felicity have a thing; Felicity eventually gives Elena the fridge. Elena also seeks out Noel, the resident advisor, on occasion and they eventually become friends, although they mostly argue. Elena's Dad never let her trick or treat as a kid, so she feels insecure about Halloween and complains to Noel when he decorates the dorms and she gets a witch pinned to her door. Noel asks Elena if she wants to go to the Halloween party at The Loft with him and she says yes. Noel later shows her that he got them costumes as Subway employees, which irks Elena about the holiday even more, and Elena has to go alone, as Noel never shows up.
She does meet Blair at the Halloween party, dressed as the Tin Man, and they spend the night together. Noel goes to her room to apologise and finds her serious demeanour hilarious as Elena doesn't want anyone finding out about her personal life. This is the start of her and Noel's friendship.