Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
For this week’s back-to-school freebie, I thought it would be fun to revisit some of my favorite fictional institutes that I wish I could have attended! From wizards and witches, and superheroes and villains in training, to It girls on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, walking the halls with these characters would have certainly made school a lot more interesting.
01. Greek (TV Series, 2007-2011)
Alma Mater: Cyprus Rhodes University
Key Characters: Rusty Cartwright, Casey Cartwright, Cappie, Dale Kettlewell, Ashleigh Howard, Evan Chambers, Calvin Owens, Rebecca Logan
Why? I didn’t have the traditional or typical college experience that Greek portrays. I transferred a lot. Almost all the schools I went to after my 1st semester were commuter schools–a lot of the students were working adults and didn’t live on campus, and neither did I. They didn’t have traditional sports, homecomings, Greek life, and all that stuff. If I could do it all over again, I think I would love to go to a traditional school like University of Alabama, live on campus, and get wrapped up in all that Roll Tide school pride and whatnot.
02. Gossip Girl (TV Series, 2007-2012)
Alma Mater: Constance Billiard School for Girls / St. Jude’s School for Boys
Key Characters: Serena van der Woodsen, Blair Waldorf, Dan Humphrey, Nate Archibald, Chuck Bass, Jenny Humphrey, Eric van der Woodsen, Vanessa Abrams
Why? When it comes to me personally, I’m adverse to drama, but when it comes to watching other people go up in flames, I’m all for it–get me a large popcorn and Coke Zero and start the show. Going to school with the Upper Eastsiders would have been watching a gasoline truck crash into a trainwreck that’s already on fire, and it would be spectacular.
03. Sky High (Movie, 2005)
Alma Mater: Sky High
Key Characters: Will Stronghold, Warren Peace, Layla Williams, Gwen Grayson
Why? Two words: Warren Peace. Hello. But seriously, it’s a school full of kids with super powers. I want to be a super
04. Carry On (Book, 2015)
Alma Mater: Watford School of Majicks
Key Characters: Simon Snow, Baz Pitch
Why? Because Simon Snow and Baz Pitch are the most perfect two people in the whole world…? Seriously, I’m just so in love with Rainbow Rowell’s writing and the worlds that she create. I’d transplant myself into any of her novels.
05. High School Musical (Movie, 2006)
Alma Mater: East High
Key Characters: Troy Bolton, Gabriella Montez, Sharpay and Ryan Evans, Chad Danforth, Taylor McKessie, Kelsi Nielsen, Zeke Baylor
Why? Anyone that tells you they don’t love High School Musical is a liar and they can’t be trusted. Not to mention that being a Wildcat also means you automatically know complex dance sequences and musical numbers, and that dear reader, is the real American Dream.
06. Sweet Valley High (Book Series; TV Series, 1994-1998)
Alma Mater: Sweet Valley High
Key Characters: Elizabeth Wakefield, Jessica Wakefield, Todd Wilkins, Enid Rollins, Lila Fowler
Why? I read Sweet Valley High books religiously as a pre-teen and teenager, and I loved, loved, loved these characters. All I longed for was to go to a school like Sweet Valley High and have, what I now realize were unrealistic and crazy, adventures like Elizabeth and Jessica.
07. Harry Potter (Book Series; Movie)
Alma Mater: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Key Characters: Harry Potter, Hermoine Granger, Ron Weasely
Why? During Harry’s years, Hogwarts was a dangerous, hot mess that literally got blown to smithereens and most of Harry’s classmates died, but in spite of that, it still somehow seemed to possess this really intimate place where you could meet your soul mates and make friends for life and just feel like, “This is where my people are. This is where I belong.”
08. Saved By the Bell (TV Series, 1989-1992)
Alma Mater: Bayside High
Key Characters: Zack Morris, Kelly Kapowski, Samuel “Screech” Powers, Lisa Turtle, Jessie Spano, A.C. Slater
Why? Saved By the Bell represented what I thought the high school experience should be and that I craved. It was a feel good show, mostly, and I loved the bond that Zack and the main characters had. Also, unlike Sweet Valley High and Boy Meets World, and a lot of the shows I was obsessed with in my youth, the main cast was actually diverse and Lisa and A.C. weren’t written as absurd, offensive stereotypes. I related to Lisa Turtle in a way that I couldn’t with most Black girl representation on TV at the time. Cosby was before my time, A Different World was too grown-up for me at the time (though I watched re-runs faithfully later in life), and Moesha and Sister, Sister, etc. didn’t come for a few years later.
09. Boy Meets World (TV Series, 1993-2000)
Alma Mater: John Adams High
Key Characters: Cory Matthews, Topanga Lawrence, Shawn Hunter, Eric Matthews
Why? Who didn’t want a friendship like Cory and Shawn’s? Or a relationship like Cory and Topanga’s? I loved this group of friends and their dynamics. Obviously, I was ecstatic when they added Angela to the mix. (Also, hello Matthew Lawrence.)
10. X-Men (Comics; Cartoon Series; Movies)
Alma Mater: Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngers
Key Characters: Professor X, X-Men
Why? Anyone who really knows me understands that my deepest desire is to develop or unlock an X-Men like mutation. I couldn’t even choose one I’d want most though because they’re all so amazing. I think I’d want Jean Gray’s powers, but I also don’t want to snap and kill literally everybody.