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    I Went To British Boarding School, And Yes, It's Actually A LOT Like "Harry Potter"

    Writing this article was very Ravenclaw of me.

    Hi, I'm Lizzy, and I spent my formative years at a British boarding school.

    When Harry Potter first came out, I saw so many similarities to my school life that I I, in fact, a witch?

    Warner Brothers / Via

    1. For starters — and this is a big one — we actually wore cloaks.

    Lizzy Bradford

    Yes, this is me romping around in my school cloak as an adult.

    2. Everyone was assigned to a house, and house colors were an integral part of the uniform.

    3 purple neck ties laid out
    Lizzy Bradford

    I may or may not have chosen my house just because I like purple.

    3. We could only change out of our uniforms after 6 p.m. or on the weekends.

    Harry, Ron & Hermione from the Harry Potter movies in a woodland clearing with some others
    Warner Brothers / Via

    We called our casual clothing "mufti." (Don't ask me why.)

    4. Every house had a reputation.

    In a nut shell the most accurate description of the Hogwarts House traits. #HarryPotter

    Wizards and Whatnot / Via Twitter: @Wizards_Whatnot

    My house was known to be the theatrical one. Probably because we won some theater competition one time about 50 years earlier.

    5. Interhouse sports were very competitive.

    6. And if you got a Bludger to the face, there was indeed a mini-hospital in the school where you could get fixed up.

    Fotocelia / Getty Images

    We called it the "san," short for "sanatorium" — which is a retrospect.

    7. We were always surrounded by dramatic architecture.

    8. And when your school building is hundreds of years old, there are most definitely ghosts.

    Vintage photograph taken circa 1870 of Eton College a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18
    Duncan1890 / Getty Images

    9. The freezing temperatures and clunking pipes in the bathrooms always seemed particularly suspicious to me.

    Old school sinks in a school washroom with pegs in the distance
    Henfaes / Getty Images

    10. We spent a lot of time plotting ways to sneak out of bed at night without running into any teachers.

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    Got caught every single time.

    11. And there was a small woodland on the grounds for further shenanigans.

    12. Our snacks may not have hopped around like Chocolate Frogs, but we did keep them in special little trunks called tuck boxes.

    A ginger cat sitting on a small blue trunk with gold latches
    Lizzy Bradford

    Cat included for scale. And don't judge the sticker choices of my 11-year-old self.

    13. Speaking of pets — we could bring them to school.

    A small white and brown hamster in a wheel
    Elladoro / Getty Images

    But only small animals like hamsters. I had a Russian dwarf hamster who liked to bite people so much that he may, in fact, have been an Animagus in hiding.

    14. When you were old enough, you were allowed to go out into town with your fellow boarders.

    Filmcameraaddict / Getty Images

    Perhaps for a butterbeer.

    15. And we celebrated the end of every term with a midnight feast in the dorm.

    husband is fast asleep = i have the urge to cause great mischief or have a midnight feast. boarding school habits die hard

    16. But the big social event of the year was a formal ball.

    17. During the holidays, you kind of just sat around until you could go back and be with your friends again.

    Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter sits on a swing looking glum
    Warner Brothers

    18. All in all, it was a pretty magical time that is hard to explain to the Muggles.

    A set of photos of teen girls in pajamas and having fun
    Lizzy Bradford

    Let me know in the comments how bad you think a rain-soaked cloak smells on a scale of 1 to 10!

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