The story starts by showing the principal (Dean) Yogendra Vashisht (Rishi Kapoor) of a high school, St. Teresa, who has fallen ill after retirement. Eight of the students, once friends, are shown calling each other to inform about the fatally ill principal. As they talk about their past in the college, they stumble upon old memories. They can clearly recall many events they havent gotten over yet.
The story revolves mostly around three characters, Abhimanyu, Shanaya, and Rohan. Abhimanyu (Sidharth Malhotra) is shown as a new, middle class kid who has planned to be achieve success, which will be led by him winning the Student of the Year trophy. Rohan Nanda (Varun Dhawan) is the son of a business tycoon who shares a complex relationship with his father, which can only be changed by his win of the trophy. Rohan and Abhimanyu have the same goal (to win Student of the Year) which they will later fight for. Their rivalry takes an unexpected turn to friendship when Abhi takes blame for a prank Rohan played on the coach.
This softens Rohans heart and a friendship happens to bloom. When introduced to Rohans father (Ram Kapoor), Abhi admits that he wanted to be like him, which prompts Ashok to say that hed rather have Abhi as a son, not Rohan. Things are further knotted up when Shanaya (Alia Bhatt) enters the equation. While Shanaya and Rohan are childhood sweethearts, Abhi is attracted to Shanaya at first, but when confronted by Rohan, dismisses her as not his type. Tanya (Sana Saeed) continues to try and weaken the relationship of Shanaya and Rohan by flirting unabashedly with Rohan who enjoys her attention, upsetting Shanaya time and again.
She seeks the help of Abhimanyu to make Rohan realize what he is missing out. As Shanaya flirts with Abhimanyu to try and reclaim Rohans attention, which she eventually does, Abhi falls in love with Shanaya. Shanayas friend Shruti (Manasi Rachh) tells her about Abhis one sided love. Abhi lets go of his feelings by saying he only wants to focus on the Student of the year competition. Meanwhile, Abhimanyu invites Rohan to come to his house for dinner.
After the dinner, Abhimanyus grandmother (Farida Jalal) suffers a heart attack. Rohan and Shanaya are there to cheer up Abhi. Due to this, Shanaya gets attracted towards Abhimanyu. Abhis grandmother soon dies. Shanaya goes to Abhimanyu to show empathy for his loss.
They end up kissing. Rohan catches them and they start fighting over who Shanaya loves. Following all of this drama is the Student of the Year competition, which is won by Rohan but he refuses to take the trophy. After graduation, Shanaya and Abhi get married; Rohan becomes a musician. While at the hospital, Rohan and Abhimanyu engage in a fight.
It comes out to be that Abhi let Rohan win on purpose after seeing that his father would be happy at his sons failure. They both forgive each other and start joking. At the end, they decide to give their friendship a new chance.
Siddharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Rishi Kapoor
Hiroo Yash Johar
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