During my college years, I suffered from test anxiety. No matter how much I studied and felt prepared, the moment the test was placed in front of me, my hands began to sweat, my heart raced and my mind would temporarily go blank. Thankfully, after a few moments of some heavy breathing and reading over the questions, I was usually able to relax and move forward.
The anxiety from many years ago still haunts me today in my dreams, which did not begin until years after graduation. At least once or twice a month, I dream I am back in college. I discover there is a test that I am not prepared to take because I have not been to class in several weeks. The dream varies. Sometimes I do not know there is a test because I forgot I was registered for the class. Another version, I find myself wandering the halls because I cannot remember where my classroom is located.
Those of you who have experienced a dream similar to this know the stress and anxiety you feel when you wake up. The panic state that invaded my dream is with me in the first moments I awake. It almost feels I’ve lost my sense of time and where I am in life. The feeling fades, but I am left wondering why I have this recurring dream.
The reasons for our dreams have always been of interest to me. I majored in Psychology however; my coursework did not cover much on dreams and their interpretations. Recently I had this dream again, so I decided to do some research on the topic. To my surprise, this is a very common dream and the reasons behind it did not surprise me in the least.
Although there were numerous interpretations such as; the end of something significant in your life and there is low confidence about the future. Another suggested it is a time of regret of past actions or inaction that prompt one not to put off something until tomorrow, that can be done today. These were logical, but I did not feel they applied to my dream. Then I came across an interpretation that resonated with me and I knew I had discovered the reason for my recurring dream.