December 07, 2004

Post-College Post-Traumatic Dreaming Disorder

How long have I been out of school? Seven or eight years? Then why, precisely, am I still having nightmares about college?

Background: Chris' Startling Insight Into Education
Let me back up a second. I wasn't an exceptional student. That's a pretty applicable statement whether I'm talking about elementary school, college or anything in between. Frankly, I was bored most of the time. I mean, I think I was learning stuff but I didn't really feel like anyone was telling me anything I didn't already know. (Yes, I know they were now but that didn't help then.) And I didn't always see the importance. I initially began my education in a private school and the only thing they really taught me was how to memorize then regurgitate Bible verses. Oh, and that my family was somehow inferior since we didn't go to church. Oh, and that racism can be fun and educational too. By the time I got my parents to pull me out of that slice of hell, I was in the fifth grade and didn't know what a fraction was. Then there was the rest of my illustrious school career. Why, for instance, would I ever need algebra? Have I used algebra since I last took it? Nope. Do I ever diagram sentences? Well, yes, I do but that's only because me done be a grammar freak ;-)

Cactus Goes To College
Anyway, where was I? College. Yeah, so in college I skipped a lot of classes. I mean a lot. Despite that, I ended up with a 3.0 so they couldn't have been too important. Plus I had some serious drinking to do. And sleeping...or not sleeping as the case may be. But I graduated, I did okay, and I'm a reasonably smart person. It could have been worse. Take the case of my friend Brian. He never went to class, drank way too much Malibu (seriously, dont) and ended up with a 0.64 GPA at the end of his freshman year. Still, the whole skipping class thing had some sort of psychological impact because I'm still dreaming about it.

Dreaming 101: An Intro To Post-College Paranoia
Last night's dream was a classic, one that I'm sure everyone has. I'm sitting in my room or apartment or whatever and someone (it was my officemate, in real life) tells me that its time to go take a final...and I've never heard of the class. I've never been in the classroom. I've never once met the professor. So, I get there, take a seat and the professor starts clarifying some of the test questions and its shit that doesn't even come close to making sense. Then I bullshit the entire test which largely consists of short essays. I'm not sure what happens because, at the exact instant I've reached the most problematic question and consider chucking the whole thing and walking out, I wake up.

For the record, this never happened to me. Sure, I didn't see the inside of some classrooms for weeks on end but I was always marginally prepared for finals. Yet, this is one of the reasons, when people ask me if I'm going to grad school anytime soon, I say "hell no!" Can you imagine what would happen if I did? I'd be dreaming about this shit until I'm 80. I don't need that. Higher education? Done!

Posted by Chris at December 7, 2004 08:50 AM
Comments

Interesting dream. According to the dream dictionary, dreaming of tests could mean that you're in a period when your knowledge is being challenged. Not that I believe in that stuff. lol

Posted by: groovebunny at December 7, 2004 09:57 AM

I always have dreams about being back in college or high school and I need to finish one class before I can graduate. Or I dream of moving into my dorm room and none of my friends (from real life college days) are there...and I'm too old to still be in college. I think when we dream of school it usually has to do with anxiety and/or change. At least I think that's what it means for me.

Posted by: Missy at December 7, 2004 10:08 AM

I had the exact same college experience...and my nightmare is that I've slept through my final (and my mom actually called my hungover tail from 500miles away to make SURE I went to my college finals). That said, a couple of masters degrees cures most of that...what's a final or two in the big picture. AND...I wouldnt do college ANY other way. For me it was about social learning rather than classical physics (the former being a truly important life skill...one I have yet to master).

Posted by: Lily at December 7, 2004 10:37 AM

Mine always have the added stress of not knowing where the classroom is.

Or I have the dreams where I'm going to school and I can't find my schedule so I don't know where I'm supposed to be.

The test ones I always hate though. I always have the feeling that it would be better to skip it because the professor knows I hadn't been there and won't let me in anyway.

Do you ever get the flashbacks to high school where you can't find your locker, or you do and have NO clue as to the combination?

Posted by: Amy at December 7, 2004 11:11 AM

Chris, those test-taking dreams will NEVER STOP. My dad says HE still gets one once in a blue moon, and he's like 762 yeas old, so...

Also, how in the hell did you skip all the time and still get a 3.0? Did we not go to the same school? I studied every single minute and still felt underwater. Did you major in anthropology or something?? :)

Posted by: supine at December 7, 2004 11:51 AM

I've had the can't-find-my-schedule dream at least once every few months since I left school. It's always a little disconcerting. Also? How weird is it to have been out of college for eight years?? It doesn't seem that long ago, huh?

Posted by: Heather at December 7, 2004 12:03 PM

dude you know grammar??? I know me nones of dat fer serious!

Posted by: stinkerbell at December 7, 2004 12:18 PM

oh and one more thing... what is it with college and the drinking.
I like vodka, no I dont want no Monarch shit. It smells like freaking rubbing alcohol before I down the shot. What do I look like Kitty Dukakis???

Posted by: stinkerbell at December 7, 2004 12:21 PM

Hmmm...I wonder what the dream means?

Posted by: Swt GA HunnyB at December 7, 2004 01:18 PM

My best friend went to catholic school and swears she learned the vowels as: A E I O U and sometimes Y and W. What the hell?

Posted by: JuJuBee at December 7, 2004 01:55 PM

I used to dream two things about school:
1) I had to rech to the back of my locker at highschool to get a school paper and somehow fell into it and couldn't get back out, then realised that the locker opened up into an alternate reality that was totally freaky and thngs were chasing me all the time. OK YES I was a sci-fi geek, not too many of us women who are LOL
2) I was in college and was in class, when the teacher asked for our assignment that was due today, which we had had a month to finish, and realised I knew nothing about the assignment!! I would reach into my backpack and look, and a bra would fall out then all these papers but NOT the one I needed.
Seriously, writing those down made me realise I stopped therapy way too soon LOL

Posted by: Nina at December 7, 2004 09:45 PM

i cycle through the can't find the right room, don't have a copy of my schedule, did i really miss this class all semester dreams. it's been 12 years (gulp) since i've been outta college, you'd think i'd dream of more important things! and how do current people get put in past places or past people in current ones? that freaks me out.

can ya cut me some slack? my grammar sucks donkey woohoo...

Posted by: monique at December 7, 2004 10:48 PM

I keep having dreams about going back to college and how I don't remember how to use the library or write a paper. The last one I could fly and all the people sitting in the library on bleachers were people from high school. I never ever wnat to go back to school again.

I too did little class, lots of drinking and make-up-sleeping and the such. I only graduated with a 2.67. Hmmm.

Posted by: Jazzy at December 8, 2004 05:54 PM

oh man!! I totally have that dream too. What does it mean? I have no idea... but it causes me to freak out and I remain freaked out for the rest of the following day!

Posted by: Snidget at December 8, 2004 07:01 PM