71: Academic Nightmares

71: Academic Nightmares

The title just says everything.

I woke up around 6 am because the morning light was streaming in through the window, but I didn’t need it, and also I felt the need to take a photo of the (late) sunrise, but I went back to sleep.

I had a terrible nightmare, where several things happened. I think I’ll try to list them in chronological order.

I was sent to a mental institution although I am consciously aware that I am not suffering any apparent mental conditions (probably teenage mood swings but that’s it, nothing else, and I am hoping I’m not bipolar). I was having a rough time there; the nurses tried to convince me that there was something wrong with me mentally even though that wasn’t the case. I was terrified. At the mental institution, there was a little girl with brown-blonde hair and she was very excitable. She would always stare at me, talk to me in her own gibberish and try to be close to me. For some reason at the mental institution, my phone would always go off at some point in the day. I would look at the screen and it would be the name of my best guy friend trying to contact me, but I never had the chance to pick up the calls, because as soon as they came in, they disappeared. I didn’t know why.

Once I talked back to one of the nurses and she sent me to a room. I asked for pen and paper which she provided me. On the window was a creative writing task: “Write …” I can’t really remember what it was anymore. Afterwards I had written about something else and it was completely unrelated to the task. I had mumbled the words of the task to myself, but I didn’t care at all. The little girl was there with me, watching me as I wrote. It was terrifying, but somehow soothing.

After a while, I got sent home with a physical illness, and probably was diagnosed as “no apparent mental conditions” or something like that (I’m not exactly sure how it works in real life). I forgot about the little girl with the brown-blonde hair and my mom showed me a letter.

Okay, just to give a little context here, at the end of Year 12 there is a set of external exams which contribute to what is called the HSC (Higher School Certificate). It determines our UAI (??) and ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) which means it is a score which allows us to either get in or not get in our desired university course. Every year the schools in NSW (New South Wales) are ranked from 1 to…something, depends on how many high schools there are in NSW, but I always hear about the top 100 or 200 schools in NSW.

Point is, I attend the school with the second best school state ranking, and just so happens to be “the best all-girls’ school in New South Wales”. Nothing special, I suppose. Yes, it’s nothing special until my mother shows me a letter from Ravenswood, something about 2016 enrolment. I start swearing, cursing, whatever, “get that away from me!”

“Mom, what are you doing? You’re sending me to a lower ranked school, what are you doing?”

“Chill, I have connections. I know what I’m doing. You can make some ‘white’ friends.”

“Oh my god mom no, they are rank 17 or something. Where we are already it is rank 2, isn’t that good enough for you? Don’t let me go, please don’t let me go, okay?”

Cut out again, and this time on Skype, chatting with my best guy friend when he confesses to me that he has a crush on me.

And all I say is, “cool, OK”.

When will the nightmares stop?

And why am I having academic nightmares now? I usually have them before my maths exams.

The life of an academic student is catching up to me already, and there are only 39 days left of the summer holidays.


~ Serendipitous

Update made at 12.03 pm of the same day: Ravenswood School for Girls is actually rank 33. I don’t know how that makes me feel, upset, whatever. Actual rank 17 is some private school I haven’t heard about. I feel somewhat horrible for letting something like school HSC ranking affect me, but at the same time, all schools aren’t created equal, and despite what I say about my school, I actually do like where I am because of the community of girls around me.


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