For most youngsters, the school year is well under way and there’s something exciting about it: it’s an opportunity to start fresh in new classes with new clothes and new school supplies. The fall season is upon us, which for students means winding down from summer fun and focusing back on studies.
We believe learning is fun, too, even when it’s challenging. Acquiring new knowledge is exciting and empowering, especially when shared with fellow students. Fictional schools from literature seem to effortlessly encourage this feeling — more so than real school, which students sometimes dread. We put together this list of fictional schools that we wish really existed in honor of the power of learning. While you can only attend these schools in your imagination, we hope you find this list inspiring for the new school year.
Full of mysteries to be solved and corridors to be snuck into, Jordan College is the school where main character Lyra’s guardian is the Master. Jordan is known for being a prestigious place for the best minds of England to study and a pinnacle of collegiate architecture. Lyra experiences a different side of Jordan college, exploring its rooftops with Roger the kitchen boy, uncovering its dark secrets, and saving the life of her uncle, Lord Asriel.
If you’ve ever wished school were about playing laser tag and video games everyday, then you might want to transfer to Battle School. It’s not all fun and games, though. In Card’s fictional, futuristic universe, humans are at war with aliens and military training starts young. Battle School is all about preparing the next generation for fighting the “buggers,” an education that includes academic subjects as well as battle simulations.
Wayside School is not for the faint of heart. Built 30 stories high with one classroom per floor, both the infrastructure and the administration of the school are a bit shaky. School is never boring at Wayside, where teachers become reincarnated as potato salad and mosquito bites are cured by turning them into numbers. With absurdist and supernatural events being the norm, it’s a wonder students learn anything (and yet they do).
Schools emphasize hands-on learning for an experiential education. Ms. Frizzle, the wacky red-haired teacher from the Magic School Bus series, got this approach right. What better way to learn about dinosaurs than to travel in the past, or explore the human body than by shrinking yourself and going inside of it? When you’re a student at Walkerville Elementary, you don’t just go to school — you go everywhere.
A magic school as exclusive as it is secretive, Brakebills is an elite college for wanna-be magicians. Magic, it turns out, isn’t easy to learn, and can sometimes get in the way of itself. One must choose a magical specialty early on and concentrate with intense focus — which can be difficult when The Beast is roaming campus and time-travel gets involved.
There are always some students who feel like they don’t quite fit in. Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters is a place for kids who are “different” in a mutant sort of way. The school serves as the training grounds for mutant children to understand and hone their mutant abilities, and to eventually become one of the X-Men, using their talents for the greater good. You can imagine how well-behaved students must be when their teachers can turns things into ice, win at mortal combat, and read minds.
We saved the best for last: Hogwarts is the school where anyone who’s read the books, watched the movies or even heard of the Harry Potter series wants to be. Even Potions with Professor Snape looks like fun when you can change creatures into other creatures, levitate objects with the flick of a wand, and go to the Quidditch World Cup. With the opening of Universal Studio’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in 2010, you can now get the real Hogwarts experience without the exams or impending doom.