Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nightmare on College Street

Last night, I had a horrifying a dream.

In it, I dreamt that I was in a distant land, inhabited by thousands of young adults. The size of this land was rather small, spanning about two miles from one edge to the other. Several buildings with completely different architecture styles were scattered about this two mile region, and every fifteen minutes one of these structures played loud music high up in the air.

As my dream went on, I observed the young adults meandering from building to building, every day, for many hours. In these buildings, the young adults sat in orderly fashion while staring at white, brown, or black boards. Occasionally older looking adults would write things on these boards, while the young ones watched, in a dazed state.

It seemed that these hourly sessions caused the young adults to fall into hypnosis, for after they left the buildings, the young adults repetitively studied nothing but what was preached by the older adults. Creativity was nonexistent, and the humans seemed more like parrots, repeating everything that was taught by the older adults.

As time went on I occasionally tried to communicate with some of the inhabitants. I asked them about their experiences and desires for the rest of their lives. Why were they going to these buildings? Would they ever do anything else with the rest of their lives?

Every answer was freakishly similar. The young adults told me that they were going into these buildings so they could gain a specific skill in a specific area of study, in which they would perform over and over again for the rest of their lives. Their work, they told me, would exist outside of this two mile region. But to leave, the individuals had to sit in the buildings for a specific amount of hours, numbering in the thousands. I believe the word they kept using during this discussion was “career.”

Observing for several more days, I noticed the young adults all partook in the same religion. In this religion, each individual was required to make significant sacrifices for their god. For example, to please the god, the individuals gave up their ability to cook. If they, themselves cooked, the individuals could not devote as much time as required for their god. Time was something their god loved to consume. Similarly, the individuals sacrificed their sleep, for the more sleep they gave up, the better off their god was.

Finally, in a most dramatic fashion, the individuals gave up their entire identities, and took on the image that their god desired, ranging from the way they dressed, to what they were allowed to talk or even think about.

It was also made incisively clear to me that if anyone ever questioned the authority of the god, he or she was immediately disbanded from this society, and labeled a “failure”.

Though I may have heard this incorrectly, I am pretty sure that the existence of their god was actually in the form of a trinity: the Résumé, the GPA, and the Holy Dollar—a most peculiar set of beliefs, indeed.

Fortunately, no matter how frightening this nightmare may be, it was only a dream. But sometimes I wonder, think, and fear—what if this was reality? How bleak would it be?

- Teddy Grahams

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