Recurring Dream

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I have this recurring dream. I've been having it for years. And to be honest, up until now, I have never given it much thought.

I am always a senior in college, just a short time away from graduation. And at some point in the dream, I always discover that I am not going to graduate because I am going to be a few credits short. And the reason I'm going to be short is because I'm going to fail a class (or sometimes two). Why? Well, because in these dreams, I simply forget that I had ever registered for the course, or I repeatedly forget that I'm supposed to be in class on X day at X time.

In some versions of this dream, once I realize what is happening, I actually make an attempt to go to the classes, write down the dates of tests and big assignments in my planner, and then try to turn the situation around. Ultimately, I always end up forgetting about the classes again, resulting in my failure to turn in the assignments or take the tests.

The types of classes are all over the place in these dreams. Sociology, math, history, whatever. It's always different. Sometimes the professors are teachers I had in high school or professors I actually did have in college. None of them are ever people I would have considered my "favorites" or professors that I think often about. They are always the random ones that I had once, maybe twice.

The anxiety that I feel in these dreams, the fear of failing, the fear of my GPA dropping (not to brag, but I was pretty close to a straight A student), not graduating... it all feels very real. So real, in fact, that I often wake up thinking to myself, "Wow, I need to figure out the deal with that missing class..."

It's only after I really become fully conscious that I realize, Wait. I've been out of college for five years. And then? Then, I feel a tremendous sense of relief. This dream, even though it has fooled me many times, is of course, never real.

But this morning, as I sat and ate my breakfast and thought about it, I realized how weird it is that I keep having this same dream. Different variations of it, but always the same setting, the same situations, the same problems. I cannot think of another dream that I have ever had more than once. It's strange.

And I'm just left wondering... What does it mean? The mind is so fascinating.


Laura March 11, 2009 at 9:27 PM  

i've been out of college for 4 years and i have a similar dream to yours on a monthly basis. i'm always in a class that i haven't been in for months or that i just forgot to go to. AND it's always the day of a test. i always wake up relieved that i'm not in school anymore. i'm glad i'm not the only one!

Anonymous,  March 11, 2009 at 10:35 PM  

I've been out of college for 7 years and I have a similar dream at least every 6 weeks. I think it has to do with a feeling of not being in control or a general fear of failure...I think it's directly connected to my slightly perfectionist tendencies : )

noisy penguin March 12, 2009 at 12:21 AM  

So that sort of happened to me in real life. My last quarter of college I only really needed to take one more writing class to graduate, but for some reason I felt the need to take a throwaway psych class too. I think I felt weird not having a full schedule when I wasn't able to up my hours at work. Anyway. I killed the first midterm while not ever going to class, so I continued to not go. Then one morning I glanced at the class schedule, thinking, "I bet there's another mid-term coming up soon." And it had been the day before. I ended up dropping it in the 7th week because I wouldn't have been able to make up the missing points. Whoops.

Ms. Nearlywed March 12, 2009 at 9:54 AM  

So weird that you should write about this, another blogger wrote the same thing today.

I think a lot of it is people being stressed out with the current state of the economy and pressures from work, either from feeling like they are loosing their jobs or from having extra work due to co-workers being laid off.

Blablover5 March 12, 2009 at 10:05 AM  

It's crazy how much school gets ingraned in your psyche but then again it is something you do for most of your life.

I've heard of rather senior people who still get depressed around August because it's school time again.

Megan March 12, 2009 at 11:43 AM  

I had the exact same dreams in College and have them still (out of school 10 years). So bizarre. For me it's always Theology class that I'm missing (went to a Catholic college) - I can only begin to interpret what that must mean!

Wawa Blackmore March 19, 2009 at 8:01 AM  

You are definitely not the only one.

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