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Dream 01_200006

Dream of the Month (June 2000)
  1. Title: Graduation

  2. Date of the Dream: 1995 (mailed Friday, 26 May 2000)

  3. Dream: Over the past five years I've had a recurring dream that comes a couple of times a year. In the dream, I feel as though I have not graduated from college. I always wake up very disturbed; feeling as though I need to call my college and get copies of my transcripts to satisfy myself that it was just a dream! My husband has told me that I sometimes talk in my sleep and ask him what year it is. As I am dreaming I am struggling with this, doing the math to prove to myself what year it is now, to try and have evidence that I have already graduated from college. Just last night I woke up, got out of bed, and asked my husband what year it was. He watched me as I struggled with in an apparent mental argument against something indicating that I had not graduated from college and did not have a degree. I feel this is an argument with different sides of myself, and I struggle to win the argument and prove I have already graduated. It has become disturbing (sometimes comical) only because I have no idea why I have this dream, what it means and why it repeats so much. One strange fact is that my father has a similar recurring dream in which he has failed a French class (but in reality he did very well).

  4. Significant life event: I am unaware of anything.

  5. Personal concerns/issues: I am unaware of anything.

  6. Associations: None.

  7. Categories: Seemed Real and Recurring

  8. Pen Name: Bananas

Dr. Holloway's Comments:

Striking Characteristics: Graduation symbolizes mastery of psychological territory and a passport into different ways of dealing with challenges.

Variations of this dream abound among high achievers and people with well-honed approaches to problem solving. Since those who have this dream are usually the same people who discovered their strong wills and keen minds in school, they are both appalled and mystified by these recurring dreams. These are the last folks who would ever bungle a single class and lose their entire academic record because of it. However, these dreams have nothing to do with literal college (or high school) credits. Instead the dreams are reflecting the need to expand and move forward in a more general sense. Typically dreams of this sort suggest that even though you have moved on and succeeded in numerous respects, there is still some coping style that acts as your “default” response to challenge or stress. It is here that we all “fall back” into habits that could be updated or expanded to advantage. This style is the thing from which you have not yet graduated, and it is likely to be a strength of which you are justifiably proud. Yet the recurring dream hints that your life will be enriched if you “take this course over”. That is, learn different ways to look at problems, communicate or cope. Quiz friends and loved ones who are your opposites in temperament and find out what perspective allows them their flexibility, assertiveness or detachment. By opening yourself to “study” other styles, you will build on areas of mastery and have additional recourses on hand for further creative solutions.

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