I have a recurring dream (this has been going on for many, many years now) that I am at my high school trying to get to my class. I cannot find my class, and I know that if I don’t get to that class and make up my work that I am not going to graduate from high school.
When I wake up from my dream my heart is pounding, and I sit up in bed and wonder if I have received my graduation diploma (which I did). Why do I constantly dream this exact same dream over and over again?
My opinion is that I wish I had tried harder and had not hooked school (missed school without permission) like I did the last two years of school.
I feel that I am way too stupid to go to college; and besides, if I failed at that, people would probably see just how stupid I really am. Perhaps I am just not satisfied with the way my life is turning out — what do you think?
-winnie, age 45, female, married, Pasadena, MD
“Back-to-school” dreams are common and perplexing. In these dreams we are magically transported back in time to our high school or college years. Suddenly, with a pang of terror in our hearts, we realize we have completely forgotten about a test or final exam. If we do not complete the exam, we will fail to graduate from school.
Usually we spend the remainder of these dreams in a state of semi-panicked confusion. Like you, we may search endlessly for the classroom, but never be able to reach it. Or we may realize, as we enter the class, that we are naked or half-dressed. (Unprepared again!) Or perhaps we recognize, with a sense of dismay, that we already missed the test. (We overslept.) As we awaken, we are aware we must repeat another year of school.