Quentin Coldwater has long been a fan of the "Fillory and Further" book series and yearns to fill his life with the same adventures found in the books.
He suffers from clinical depression and checked himself into a hospital for this (this is only hinted at in the books but shown in the show), and constantly feels like he is not good enough or will never find someone to understand him. He has very low self-esteem and in the first episode is shown to be much of a loner.
Spell Casting - The ability to use magic and cast spells through complex somatic movements. Physical Magic - Quentin Coldwater falls under the discipline or category of physical magic or a Physical Kid (Magicians who's abilities revolve around manipulating matter and energy).
Note: Quentin seems to have an extreme amount of potential, but is usually oblivious to it, having very low self-esteem. However it appears to be pretty obvious to everyone around him that he is powerful beyond his years.
When the story begins, Quentin is living in Brooklyn and preparing for a Princeton alumni interview with his childhood friends, Julia and James. After he finds the would-be interviewer dead, a piece of paper moved by the wind lures him to a hidden portal that brings him to Brakebills, an elite college of magic in upstate New York. He passes an enterance exam then proves his magical prowess, and is admitted to matriculate there amongst the other studying magicians. He remains at the school for the short time before the school year starts, spending his days with Eliot, whom he met when he first arrived on campus.
Quentin Coldwater studies with the Physical Kids (Eliot, Josh, Janet, and Alice) at Brakebills.