Before we go any further, I’d like to clarify that I’m most definitely not going back to University. Four years of an undergraduate degree, a one-year masters and then fives years studying for my doctorate while working were more than enough for me.
That said, last night I dreamt I was back in University. And it was truly horrible.
Firstly, owing to the way my brain works (i.e. strangely and intermittently), I dreamt I was in University in the US and didn’t understand a frickin’ thing that was going on around me. I couldn’t understand how to select the classes I wanted to attend (all codes, no titles) and other students were incredulous that I didn’t ‘just get it’.
I ended up registered for classes in physics (my ultimate nightmare), Swedish (WTF?) and Religious Studies. I couldn’t get into my preferred Japanese class and was freaked out by the daily assemblies I had to attend.
The latter were a mix of a school assemblies I remember from school in Dublin and some sort of Harry Potter-esque experience. Students (all younger than me, obviously) were routinely picked out of the crowd and beaten by some guy who looked a lot like Mike Pence. We had to sing various songs and hymns and I didn’t know a single word.
I couldn’t understand my timetable (again just numbers, no room names or directions), and regularly found myself in formal events, where the University staff were dressed in military uniforms and the students dressed like they had just stepped out of ‘Gone with the Wind’.
My fellow students all looked like they were part-time models. They were mostly hair and teeth, with perfect skin. And they didn’t hold back in their questions about my age, lack of hair, general inability to survive on campus and my accent.
Oh and did I mention that I was routinely naked?
Not in a good, beach-or-sauna-based way, but in an ‘oh my god, why am I naked in the middle of this school assembly?!’ kind of way. I was naked at an assembly and told to leave. I was naked in a lecture and had to stand up to answer a physics question and tried to use my notebook to ‘hide my shame’. I was also naked at one of the fascist/military evening events and had to sprint through a ballroom to get away from the embarrassment of it all.
This was obviously a full-on anxiety dream and I really feel like I woke up exhausted this morning.
Why the hell did I dream I was in university, never mind an American one? I’ve never studied in the US. I’ve never wanted to study religion or physics. Most of all, I never felt so useless and thick in my entire adult life.
Oh. My. God.
I’ve just remembered that I wasn’t living on campus, but had rented a room (again, WT actual F) with a Swedish family who lived nearby. The father was, of course, Stellan Skarsgård, who tried to give me motivational speeches about how I would grow as a person if I just stuck at it. I didn’t believe him, obviously, because I dislike hard work. But it was nice to see a familiar face and I felt like I new him.
He denied being an actor and kept telling me he was a language teacher. The final insult was that he gave me a deck of cards, to help me learn Swedish. Each had a cartoon picture and a Swedish word, and it was obviously aimed at toddlers.
At this point I cried.
I don’t remember much else about the dream/nightmare. I also don’t believe in dream analysis, so let’s not go looking for symbolic meaning here. Public nudity is a regular feature of people’s nightmares, as is returning to school and failing. I’ve just never had the two together.
And I don’t recommend it.
I can only blame the copious amounts of lasagne I had late yesterday evening, combined with the stress of having to visit Westfield Stratford on a Saturday afternoon to visit the Apple store.
I’m definitely meditating before bed this evening…