The Trials of Dreams and Reality
The most vivid memory from my early teen days: me wandering around what then seemed like the vast halls of my high school and telling my best friend, “I wish the world would end before I have to apply to university.” However, other than intensified global warming and the ascension of Trump, Earth moved along just fine; and I, harrowed by the wildest dreams, applied to uni months earlier than my peers to meet the deadline for Oxford.
I received their rejection mail the day before my birthday. Then, on the evening that I turned eighteen, I received an offer letter from the University of Toronto’s Trinity College.
I submitted my acceptance with regret, relief, and curiosity. Regret because I’ve dreamed of Oxford since toddler age, relief because attending University of Toronto is far from a shabby reality, and curiosity because I have yet to see the place to which I just committed four years of my life. That night, I dreamed of my first day at a surreal Trinity. Trees with blindingly rosy flowers welcomed me at the door and spiralling staircases transported me past fancy schmancy windows.
Back to reality a few months later, my band travelled from Ottawa to University of Toronto for MusicFest. When we were herded off the bus, the fatigued me failed to realize that we were on the campus, my campus, until my boyfriend informed me that Trinity is around the corner. I ordered him to “hold my hand at this thrilling moment” and clutched at him with clammy fingers as the steepled building came into view.
Its resemblance to the place in my dream rendered me breathless. The same vigorous pink trees bedecked its front, and sunshine glinted off the same latticed windows. At that moment, I knew I would never compare Oxford with UofT, just like how I would never compare Casa Loma with home.