Credit: Nino Munoz/The CW © 2013 The CW Network Photo: You’ll Never Guess Who Was Supposed to Play Elena Gilbert on The Vampire Diaries! (PHOTO)

With the substantial time jump set to take place between Season 5 and Season 6 of The Vampire Diaries, we could find our cast of characters anywhere and in any state of mind. We’re especially interested to find out what Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) has been up to in the time since she seemingly lost her boyfriend and her best friend with the collapse of the Other Side in the Season 5 finale. Where will Elena be in Season 6? We speculate below!

Coming to terms

Executive producer Julie Plec told The Hollywood Reporter of Season 6: “Our characters fundamentally will have had to come to terms with the fact that Damon and Bonnie are gone forever. There are those who refuse to give up. There are those who have given up. There are those who are living in denial. All of them have found ways to move forward and get on with their lives in really unique and distinct ways.” Which of those groups will Elena have fallen into? Hard to say. Based on how she has dealt with the deaths of those closest to her in the past, we’re inclined to think the denial thing might be a likely option. However, given that much time has passed and TVD will most likely want to surprise us with Elena’s (and everyone’s) reactions after the time jump, we’re not so sure. Perhaps, Elena has “come to terms” with her loved ones deaths better than we might have predicted.

At Whitmore College

If everything went according to plan, Elena will be enrolled in her second year at Whitmore College (and, hopefully, will be attending more classes than she did in her first year there). There’s certainly a lot of evidence to suggest that this is where Elena will be. Not only will many of her friends be there (perhaps even Stefan, who — as a supernatural — can no longer live in the magic-free Mystic Falls). Nina said that Elena and Stefan will be “in a settled place" for Season 6, which implies these two have spent at least some time together. Furthermore, Alaric will be back “as a friend and as emotional support” for the Gilbert kids, which further implies that Elena will be hanging in Virginia — and, again, given that as vampires both Elena and Alaric can’t live in Mystic Falls, Whitmore College is looking likelier and likelier as Elena’s location.

Far, far away

On the other hand, just because Elena will end up hanging with Alaric and, potentially, Stefan in Season 6, doesn’t mean that’s how she’ll start the season. The use of a substantial time jump gives TVD the opportunity to do something they’ve never done before: send Elena away from her home for a long period of time. Though Elena has taken short trips out of Mystic Falls over the past five seasons, because of the nature of the show and the breakneck pace of its plot, Elena has always been tied to Mystic Falls. Having her spend time dealing with her gried far, far away from her home would not only give us a whole new Elena full of new experiences to get to know, but also tie in with what seems to be the season’s intended theme of reclaiming home.

Where do you think we will find Elena come the Season 6 premiere? Share your theories in the comments below!

Kayti Burt is a contributing writer for Wetpaint Entertainment with a penchant for all things pop culture. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!