Written by: Katie Scott and Chris Jancelewicz
With the arrival of September comes that familiar chill. We’re not talking solely about the weather, either; we’re referring to that dread of having to return to the halls of your school, to have to attend classes and get used to your new teachers.
Thankfully, throughout the years, TV and movies have provided us with hundreds of fictional schools, and among them are many we wish we could have attended instead of our stuffy, boring places of academia.
In no particular order and in honour of the Canadians heading back to the grind, here are 15 schools we’d actually be early for every day.
1. Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is the British wizarding school, located in the Highlands of Scotland in the Harry Potter films.
Hogwarts holds a feast for every occasion, there is so much food. The opportunities are endless when it comes to pranks people could pull while wearing the invisibility cloak. Plus, you get your own owl and house elf.
Who wouldn’t want to spend their afternoon playing in a Quidditch match in the magical world, flying around on broom sticks and going after the golden snitch? — KT
2. Community’s Greendale Community College
Greendale Community College (GCC) is located in Greendale County, Colo., in the show Community, which follows a cast of characters played by Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Ken Jeong, Chevy Chase and Jim Rash.
GCC is an open-admissions college, which means everyone gets accepted. It’s also a school where a “No More Than 64” policy is in effect, meaning students never pay more than $64 per credit.
This college takes pride in adhering to the five As which are: accessibility, affordability, air conditioning, awesome new friends, and a lot of classes.
This college has an annual paintball tournament and is a place where a bunch of strangers from all walks of life can come together and become extremely close with their study group. Plus, who wouldn’t want to hang out with Troy and Abed? — KT
3. The Magic School Bus’ Walkerville Elementary School
Walkerville Elementary School is the school in the show, The Magic School Bus, where students ride on the shape-shifting yellow bus that seems to have a mind of its own sometimes.
Ms. Frizzle is the third-grade teacher who teaches her students scientific concepts by using a variety of unusual magic devices.
Who wouldn’t want to take field trips and travel through time and space on a magic school bus while learning science (except Arnold)? — KT
4. Grease’s Rydell High School
Rydell High School is the school from the film, Grease. This high school seems like the place to be, especially if you’re part of the T-Birds or the popular clique of girls referred to as The Pink Ladies.
The school dances look insanely fun, there are some intense pep rally bonfires and you get a carnival for graduation.
The students also frequently break out into song and choreographed dances during lunch and get to throw pies in their teacher’s face for only 25 cents. — KT
5. Recess’ Third Street Elementary School
Third Street Elementary School’s playground is the place where students seem to learn more about the real world than in any classroom in Recess.
The playground has its own set of unwritten rules and a class structure, especially since a sixth-grade student named Bob serves as king of the playground.
Spend your recess time hanging out with “The Ashleys,” playing kickball with T.J., Vince, Mikey, Gretchen, Gus and Spinelli or tattling on other students with Randall.
Who wouldn’t want to go to a school that puts that much emphasis on recess? — KT
6. Mean Girls’ North Shore High School
Surround yourself with the plastics, the jocks and the nerds at Mean Girls’ North Shore High School.
Regardless of who you hang out with, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to vent your frustrations with high school cliques in the infamous burn book.
Who wouldn’t want to have Tina Fey as a teacher or attempt to predict the weather with Karen (Amanda Seyfried). Don’t forget, on Wednesdays, we wear pink. — KT
7. Boy Meets World’s John Adams High School
What we wouldn’t give to go to school and hang out with Corey, Eric, Sean and Topanga at Boy Meets World’s John Adams High School.
With Mr.Turner as your English teacher and Mr. Feeny as the principal, high school would be much more fun.
Plus, you could hang out and go on dates at the infamous Chubbie’s Famous, which was the cheap restaurant where students and teachers of John Adams High often hang out. — KT
8. 10 Things I Hate About You’s Padua High School
10 Things I Hate About You’s Padua High School teaches us the concept of being whelmed and the subtle differences between like and love (“I like my Sketchers but I love my Prada backpack.”)
This high school offers the craziest parties and a lot of high school romance.
The chance of catching Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) serenade Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) with the Frankie Valli hit, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, while running up and down the bleachers and taking over the P.A. system is very entertaining. — KT
9. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s University of Los Angeles
The fourth season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air shows Carlton beginning college at ULA, where he eventually becomes the school’s peacock mascot. Will withdraws from school briefly to sell used cars but his mother scares him into re-enrolling.
The best spot to hang out on campus is the school’s student centre, known as “The Peacock Stop,” where Will works. — KT
10. Degrassi‘s Degrassi Community School
Degrassi’s Degrassi Community School has had a lot of notable students come and go. From Jimmy Brooks (Drake) to Mia Jones (Nina Dobrev), it would be fun to walk the same halls as these successful stars.
This school opened in September 2001, and was the school that held the Degrassi High reunion. It’s known for their school dances, many intense situations and their power squad, which is their cheerleading team.
The fictitious address of the school is 240 De Grassi St. This would put the school near the corner of De Grassi Street and First Avenue in Toronto. — KT
11. Breaker High‘s cruise ship
Hmmm… school in a boring old building, or a school on a cruise ship? The answer is obvious. Did we mention that Ryan Gosling (as joker Sean Hanlon) is also onboard for the duration of the school year?
One of the best parts of going to this “school” would be your easy excuse about why you’re late: You haven’t gotten your sea legs yet. — CJ
12. Saved By The Bell‘s Bayside High School
This school may not have been the best if you weren’t part of the cool group, but really, that consisted of four members, not including Screech: Zack, Kelly, Jessie and Slater. Aside from the whole clique thing, Bayside would be pretty fun, because the teachers (for the most part) were forgiving and seemed to be a lot of fun.
Bayside had multiple pageants and dances, and it felt like the gang was never really in class, so hey, we’ll take it. Not to mention The Max, the local diner/coffee shop — a perfect place to escape the doldrums of high school. — CJ
13. South Park‘s South Park Elementary
If you like the idea of a school where the teachers really don’t have any control over their students, and half the time, don’t even look like they know what’s going on at even the most basic level, then South Park Elementary is for you.
From Mr. Mackie to Mr. Garrison to PC Principal, the teachers are far more concerned with their own messed-up lives than the education of their students. With lives that messed up, it’s perfectly understandable. — CJ
14. The Simpsons‘ Springfield Elementary School
It feels like we’ve all been students at Springfield Elementary this whole time, considering the show has been on since 1989. Principal Skinner, Groundskeeper Willie, Edna Krabappel (RIP) and Superintendent Chalmers are all incompetent, but somehow, the school manages to stay standing.
We’ve watched Bart and Lisa go to this school for almost 30 years, and judging by the hilarious pranks and occurrences within its halls, it would be a pretty fun place to not learn a thing. — CJ
15. Beverly Hills 90210‘s West Beverly High
West Beverly High may not look like a fashionable locale, but back in the ’90s, trust us, it was. Silk shirts and large, pleated pants were a thing, OK? Kelly Taylor and her crew were the height of cool, along with bad boy Dylan McKay, and they ruled the school.
When Minnesotans Brenda and Brandon Walsh move to Beverly Hills, they don’t know what they’re in for, but they quickly adopt the West Coast ways and become part of West Beverly’s elite. While we wouldn’t necessarily want to attend the high school ourselves — unless you’re into drama — there’s no denying we’d get a little thrill pulling into the parking lot.
(Fun fact: West Beverly High doesn’t exist, and Beverly Hills High School, which does exist, rejected the show’s producers when they asked to shoot there. Beverly Hills, 90210 was ultimately shot at Torrance High School in Torrance, Calif.) — CJ
Now that we’ve distracted you for far too long — get back to studying!