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Tales from the Trip

1st February, 2023

Tripping: falling, floating, flying. Pop culture depictions of psychedelic experiences are kaleidoscopic, glittery with the potential for mind-expansion. Puddles become waterfalls, potholes become craters, everything amplifies, and emotions intensify. Those trips sound incredible, and while they aren’t completely out-of-reach, what’s more likely to happen is something confusing, ridiculous, and simply funny; something akin to the below submissions by Oxford students of their trippy times…

The Human Sacrifice Incident

From my perspective, I started seeing what I could only assume at the time was extra dimensions. The only explanation was that I had reached apotheosis, and so I saw myself and the other people in the room I was in, as cosmic deities. Being gods, it seemed necessary that we had to make human sacrifices. I sourced a human body  in order to perform some sacrificial ritual; I was on my knees clutching my vape in two hands as it if were a blade and (at an incredibly slow speed given how high I was), plunged it into the chest of my friend… who was just on the floor laughing and going with it. Then, I collapsed on the floor like a limp corpse.

The Great Sheep Abduction of 2020

It was August, just before uni started. At the end of the pandemic, me and my mates decided ‘right we can kind of go out a bit more now’. So, we all rented a farmhouse by Brighton. And this farmhouse was pretty big, and it had quite a bit of land attached to it. The first night we get there and we all drop pills. Later on, everyone had gone to bed and I was still feeling it a bit, so I decided to go on a walk. I started walking into a field, and in this field there were loads of sheep so I was kind of running to get through it because, in my paranoid state, I didn’t want to get attacked by sheep or have a farmer catch me or whatever.

I get to the end of the field and it’s one of those fences you have to hop. So, I hop over the fence and as I’m turning to come back down the side of the fence: no sheep in the field. Completely empty field. I went back the next day: completely completely empty field. But then two days later, when I pinged again, I went back to the field to see if it was just hallucinations. And it was, but this time I saw a bunch of alien ships taking the sheep away like when I wasn’t looking. I turned away and I turned back again really quickly and there were a bunch of aliens there taking the sheep.

The Kaleidoscopic K-Hole

Joe and I just lie in the caravan and wait for our bodies to start moving. You eventually get flung hundreds of metres into the air and look back down at Earth, allowing your mind to give in to the experience and not be afraid of the height. Body straight, you then start to plunge down again, slowly flipping forwards as you go and you fall into the song and colours and random images from memories you don’t even know you had, like that time in Croft Road where I woke up crying because I had a dream (that was all in crochet cross-stitch) of a girl stood next to a Ferris wheel crying. You then continue to zoom and flip through textures, patterns, colours, sounds, and memories before slowly being returned by your guide to the caravan. Pretty fucking cool.

The Kidnapping Survivor

So, I’m at a house party in year twelve and I eat a whole edible around 9pm . Two hours later, it still hasn’t hit so I  have another one. The party ends and still nothing has happened. These must be bad edibles. My friend’s mum comes to pick us up and I sit in the back of the car. One second, I’m sitting in the back of my friend’s car, and then the next second I’m convinced that I’m being kidnapped by her mother. I’m panicking, staring out the window trying to remember the trees so that when I jump out I can find my way home. I don’t know where she’s taking me, and I don’t know what she wants with me. I feel like I’m in a Taken movie. Paralysed with fear, I’m staring at my friend in the front of the car wondering why she’s turned on me – why isn’t she stopping her crazy mother from taking me hostage? Thirty minutes later we pull into my drive and the nightmare is over. She must have changed her mind about the whole kidnapping thing. I walk into my house with a new lease of life, and pop on the regularly watched YouTube video of ‘how to make myself un-high’. A bit of googling in the morning reveals to me that my dosage should only have been half an edible. Another day, another slay. I’ve made it out alive. I’m a survivor.

The Yonder Yogi

When I get high I always feel really in tune with my body and all I want to do is stretch. However, I’m not exactly someone who does yoga regularly, so what ends up happening is that I instead perform these incredibly unimpressive and mediocre yoga poses, and yet I feel like I’ve contorted myself into a pretzel. My boyfriend tends to take a picture of whatever silly pose I’ve put myself in while I’m thinking that I’ve achieved new levels of human flexibility, then we have a good giggle about it in the morning.

The Structural Sublime

My friends and I took edibles and went on a day-long walk around Oxford on a really sunny day last Trinity. We entered Keble and, upon walking into the main quad, I experienced the sublime at its architectural beauty.

So, there are some magical moments amongst the weirdness and terror of tripping. Either way it’s no surprise that when the sublime eventually was reached, it happened in Oxford’s most impressive college…

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