Aug 22, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

Waiting for an owl to crash through your window with an acceptance letter to your top choice of school? Join the club!

It's that time of year where you are getting ready to pack up and head out for another semester.

What if that owl did show up? What if you really were the missing member of an elite squad of superheroes?!

Join us on an imaginary tour of whimsy and hope, and envision yourself in one of these 15 fictional schools.

1. Brakebills

Based on Lev Grossman's 2009 literary masterpiece, The Magicians, Brakebills is a school for talented and aspiring magicians. Are you a moody, privileged teen with the academic credentials to be considered for Princeton, an obsession with fictional worlds, and a talent for slight-of-hand?  You too may find your college interview leading you down a non-descript alleyway to join Quentin Coldwater and the rest of the physical kids in the secret, magical world that lurks behind our dingy reality. Just beware the Beast!

2. Oxford 

No, not the real one. The one of Lyra Belacqua's magical world in Philip Pullman's classic trilogy, His Dark Materials. Lyra's Oxford, touchingly similar to the Oxford we all know, has a few main differences. First, Jordan College is Exeter College. Secondly, no one is running around with daemons, or animal versions of their souls, or traveling by Zeppelin. Thank goodness, though, the glass case with trepanned skulls is real. 

3. Unseen University

From Terry Pratchett's Discworld fantasy series comes Unseen University, or UU, a school of wizardry in the fictional city of Ankh-Morpork. Led by inept, old wizards, the series focuses on their exploits and blunders through the modern, invisible world. The school's official motto? "Nunc Id Vides, Nunc Ne Vides," which loosely translates to "Now you see it, now you don't." Sounds grand, doesn't it?

4. Starfleet Academy

Trekkies, unite! Starfleet Academy is now accepting students for the incoming class in 2161! Get your applications ready! Don't you want to command a starship in a galaxy far far away? Get a jump on the competition and get your application materials together now.

5. Battle School

If the military vigor of Ender's Game is more your style, rest assured you can find a way into Battle School, the brainchild of author Orson Scott Card. While it's not an easy place, you learn how to fight in zero-g and fire stun guns from just about anywhere. Cool!

6. Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters

Hurry now to learn the secrets of the X-Men superheroes. The faculty at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters can't wait to teach you how to avoid fistfights by fighting with ice, lightning, claws, and other mutant abilities. Early applicants get extra flight time in the invisible jet. 

7. Sunnydale

With Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's leading character, Sunnydale High School is that much safer. In Sunnydale, California, directly beneath the high school lies a mystical portal that draws in some of the most dangerous vampires, witches, gigantic insects, and other mythic baddies around the world over. Study hall won't ever be boring.

8. Barnett College

Apply to be a part of the world of Indiana Jones and attend the fictional Ivy League institution, Barnett College. This is where Indiana Jones, world-renowned archaeologist, was approached by a stranger who sought help with a mysterious artifact -- and who later robbed Indiana. There Indiana's adventures began -- and so could yours!

9. Wayside School

From Sideways Stories From Wayside School comes a chance to attend Wayside, where your teacher might just turn you into an apple... or worse! Fret not, you would be with some of the best, brightest (and funniest) middle schoolers that you ever met.

10. The Magic School Bus

If attending Ms. Frizzle's class and shrinking down to an appropriate size to see the mysteries of science appeals to you, be sure to keep The Magic School Bus on your list. 

11. Welton Academy

Wanna 'carpe diem'? Register now and sound your barbaric yawp at the fictitious Welton Academy, home to the Dead Poets Society. There are worse things than shouting poetry from the rooftops. 

12. Bronson Alcott High

If you're more worried about clashing a plaid and a stripe while you fall in love with a step-sibling and mock frumpy teachers, Clueless' Bronson Alcott High may be the place for you. Plus, you'd get to hang out with Alicia Silverstone. You might even learn how to pronounce "Haitians."

13. Riverdale High School

Archie comics fans, rejoice! You too can attend the fictitious Riverdale High. Based on the real-life Haverhill High School of Haverhill Mass, which Archie cartoonist Bob Montana attended from 1936-1939, Riverdale High features some caricatures of some very real people, including our favorite Mr. Flutesnoot, the chemistry teacher. 

14. Greendale Community College

Based on the hit show Community, which aired on NBC from 2009-2015, Greendale Community College features courses like Conspiracy Theory, The History of Ice Cream, and Sailing. Looking for a motley set of life skills? Apply now to this fictitious school where you, too, can attend the weirdest study group ever. 

15. East High School

Hello, High School Musical fans! Get your groove on at East High School where you can burst into song and dance at a moment's notice. Be the diva. You know you want to...

 

 

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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