On average, I have somewhere between 1-3 dreams a night. Sometimes – and these nights are typically strange – I can have up to 10 separate dreams, but those nights are rare. Among my many midnight tales, stress dreams tend to wiggle their way into my REM rattled brain. The variability in these experiences is quite large, but the amount is capped somewhere in the ether of the dream world. No new stress dreams form anymore, and for that, Oh Brain of Mine, I’m grateful.
One particular dream that gives me high anxiety occurs at the strangest of times, and I can’t seem to pin down what’s going on in my life that triggers my brain to say, “Yep, it’s time for this one!” Last night I had 4 (ish) dreams, my stress dream being the last one – I had a horror themed dream for my first one with imagery that was truly disturbing, but I’ll save that for another time perhaps.
The theme of this recurring dream is college related. I graduated in the winter of 2015, and throughout my collegiate career, I attended three colleges: one in New York, one on Oregon, and one on Colorado, to finish things off at home. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many people, forming friendships and rivalries along the way. All of the time and experience I harbored comes forth in this particular stress dream. Allow me to lay the plot out for you.
I show up for the first day of school, people are everywhere. There’s beer pong, gorgeous coeds, and potential new friends, and as I walk through the crowds I feel great. This is my life! All of my old friends are there, too, and I reunite with them. We reminisce about the old times and toast to the future ones that have yet to happen. I feel great! But then realize that I’ve already graduated and I’m attending a university that has moved on. Suddenly, many of the people I know are gone; they’re out in the world living their lives.
Why am I here? I think to myself. Everyone is gone and now I have to take 4 years of school to graduate. SHIT! And then I realize that I, too, have graduated, and then it all changes for me, my whole perception of what is happening. I don’t need to be there, nor do I need to take classes. I owe nothing to the university. I decide to leave, but before I do, my friends show up. I get excited, hang with them a bit, and decide to stay. Once I’m comfortable, they go away again and all I see are strangers. Then I wake up.
Most mornings after I have this dream, I wake up laughing at how anxious I feel. It feels so real, but I know that it is simply a made-up reality. Another morning I lay in bed and think about my emotions. Sometimes my thoughts are simple, other times complex, but either way, I feel weird. Today, the dream hit me so hard that I felt like I needed to write about it. The only thing that is certain in my mind after having this stress dream is that I never want to go back to college, ever again.
– Logan –