It’s been a long time since I was an undergraduate student “in college” – forty years ago this month to be exact!
But, last night I dreamt I was an undergraduate student moving into my dormitory. It was vivid. My real roommate was there with me. We were not freshman, as we knew the drill and were setting up a large room. There must have been a reason we were on campus before other students because not many other students were back yet. There were many details about our room that I can recall this morning from the dream. The tattered bedspread. A cool light fixture. Our open door policy.
Towards the end of the dream, it shifted to a band trip that was being organized for students to go overseas. For some reason I was selected to go to Greece with one other student – someone I did not know. Most of my other bandmates were going to some other locations in Europe, as part of a larger group. I complained, not wanting to go to Greece with only one other student.
Shortly after my complaint, the dream ended. I had left a note with another instructor to give to the band teacher. I had to wait for a decision about Greece. The next thing I knew, I awoke and it was morning!
I am 57 years old. I started my undergraduate degree forty years ago (1981) this month at a small private university in the southern tier of New York State, about an hour and a half from where I grew up. I’ve been a college student twice since this time – for two advanced degrees. But, those experiences were nothing like my undergraduate experience.
I loved my time at college. I loved the freedom, the rural campus, meeting new people, late nights and early mornings. It is a time in my life I fondly recall despite working hard for hours every day on my coursework. Did I mention I was a nursing student?
Recently, due to the time of year it is, I have been reading many posts on social media about students I know, who are my boys age, returning to school. The reality is that these views are probably what prompted my dream about being a college student.
I was never in band in college. This part of the dream was a fantasy. I loved music but did not see a career path for myself in it, so I left that part of my life to my younger years and a few summers during college when I chose to play in our local fireman’s band, representing our town in parades. Eventually, I stopped being part of a band, but my participation does surface frequently in my dreams.
Another reality is that I think college has changed from what I experienced all those years ago. And, when I think about those changes, I am not so envious anymore. I’m glad I went to school when I did….all those years ago. And, I am glad I awoke from my dream. Reality is always better!
Today is Slice of Life: Tuesday. This forum is hosted by TwoWritingTeachers.org and is a wonderfully supportive community of teachers, authors, and writers. Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for providing a weekly space for this community!