Dream Interpretation/School Dreams


Since I left high school, I've always had these recurring dreams, where I'm back in high school and I can't find my class or remember my schedule so I have to go back to the main office and get it. Usually I'm annoyed or a bit scared when I'm having to get a print out of my schedule and then arrive to my next class late. The feeling of everyone watching me kind of unnerves me; even in dreams. Usually something happens in each of my dream but the theme is usually the same. One time I had cut my own hand off and taped it back together, but it kept half falling off. Another time I would find money in a paper towel dispenser in the bathroom. A lot of the times in these school dreams, I'm having to use the bathroom but in my dream I find I'm always getting interrupted by something or someone. I can never have any time to myself.

I'm just trying to figure out what all of this means.

ANSWER: Hi Amanda,

Dreaming about being back at school can mean that you have something you need to learn, or that there is something going on in your waking life that reminds you about your school days.  

If you are dreaming about being late and forgetting or losing your schedule or whatever, it suggests that you are having some issues with organisation.  You said you often can't find your class schedule.  Maybe in your waking life, you really want that order that you had in high school and really want to know what to do next in life, but just can't seem to get it together for whatever reason and so you constantly feel like you have to go back to the beginning and start again. (Eg. You have to go back to the office to get your schedule.). The feeling of being watched in your dream might refer to your feeling that you are being constantly judged by others  - or perhaps even by yourself - because of your inability to get it together.

Cutting your own hand off sounds like you are doing something to sabotage your success in life.  Do you have some habit or other or are you compelled to do things that hold you back in life?  Or perhaps you are being a little too critical of yourself?

Finding money in a paper towel dispenser in the bathroom - that seems quite a positive thing to have happen.  What happened in this dream? It doesn't seem to quite fit with the frustration theme of the other dream themes?   Maybe this dream came at a time where you were trying to rid yourself of whatever is holding you back?

Using the bathroom in dreams is a really common theme and refers to the need to release old habits and beliefs that no longer serve you well.  However, you keep getting distracted in your dream, so in waking life, it sounds like you know you really have to do something about this issue, but you always put it off or get distracted by other things.

It is pertinent, I think, that these dreams are always situated at your old high school.  At school, our waking schedule is all organsed for us.  The timetable tells us everything about where we need to be, when to be there, what we will be doing, who we will be with, how long to be there.  At school we are told what to do and when to do it.  We know exactly what to study and when things are due, when to eat our lunch, when to be there in the morning, and when to go home.. It is all organised and we don't really have to think about it.  However, when we leave school, suddenly we have to organise our own life. We have to be self motivated.  Its funny because we think it will be great to have all this freedom, but then again, this freedom, if we don't quite know what to do with it, can make us feel a bit lost.

At face value, it would seem that you are having trouble getting motivated and organising a plan for your life. But then the part where you said you had to go back to the office and get another schedule (eg start back at the beginning) and also where you said you had no time for yourself makes me wonder if there is something more to it?  Maybe you are having trouble focussing and your mind is easily distracted?  Or maybe you are compelled to repeat things until you get it "right" or something?  I don't really know but have a think about it.  At any rate, the issue is about organisation.  Whether that is a lack of order and motivation, a total obsession with it, or difficulty in prioritising tasks (eg. Getting distracted all the time) I am not sure.

Another thing that was interesting were the emotions that came out in the dream.  These were feelings of being annoyed, scared, and unnerved.  When do these emotions come up in your waking life?  Or do you have trouble relaxing and feeling comfortable most of the time?  

Well those are my thoughts on your dream themes.  Please let me now what you think.  I am always trying to improve my skills.  Getting feedback really helps and I really appreciate it!  If you have any questions or need clarification on anything, I'd be more than happy to give more info.  Also, sometimes it helps to post a whole dream from start to finish because there are often great insigts in there that you wouldn't think to mention as a dream theme.  If you would like to send me a whole dream, I would be very happy to interpret it as best I can.  

Thanks for posting your dream and take care of yourself.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: You're right I do need a lot of motivation and organization in my life. There's no doubt about that. I think the dream with finding the money..I'm not sure but in my dream I felt really greedy, because I kept going back to the dispenser and taking more and more money until nothing was left in it. I wanted it all for myself.

I think it might be helpful to mention that I have social anxiety and I get very anxious when i'm in or near a school/college type building, because of what I went through in my school days ( Bullied, and sexually harassed in school) Stuff like that went on in my waking life, so I can't really fathom why I keep having the same dreams where I'm back in school repeating the same things over and over again.

The dreams are essentially the same. I can't really say what the dream is from Start to finish, but usually I go to school and I know my homeroom/first period class, but after It's like I suddenly forget and have to get my schedule all over and after the fear of showing up late passes I'm usually in some type of different class each time. One day it could be health, the other a nail art class. Or I'll find myself running to the top of the building for science class with people that were in classes behind me.

Hey Amanda, nice to hear from you again!

Yes it does sound like your dreams must be about you motivation and need for organisation.  It makes a lot of sense  to me that you do suffer from social anxiety.  Anxiety really came out for me in your original dream description.  If you had problems with bullying and sexual harrassment it would also expalin why you've been repeatedly having this dream.  Often recurring dreams and recurring dream themes happen due to some unfinished business or not having dealt with some hardship or difficulty in our lives.  Your dreamself will continually link the wrongs that happened in the past, to things that happen to you in the present.  For example, a dream is often triggered by something that happened to you in the day or two before your dream.  So lets say someone made a comment one day that was along the lines of what was said to you at school, this might then trigger a dream about your old school because your dreamself can see te similarities there.  Another thing  that can happen when people get bullied or emotionally abused is that they internalise what has been said to them, and they begin to believe it.  Their own inner voice becomes the bully in a way.  So if you find that you are continually being down on yourself, or your inner voice is always negative about what you do, then this could be a problem which triggers those school dreams, because it is something that originated at school when you were bullied!

If this rings true for you, you need to start being more aware of what you are saying to yourself and what messages you are continually feeding yourself, and then you need to challenge those beliefs and ideally, replace them with more positive self talk and kind words.

With the dream where you kept taking money from the paper towel dispenser, I kept having to remind my self that this part of the dream made you feel greedy and not guilty.  What kind of situations in real life make you feel like you are being greedy?  In the dream, you were in a bathroom and bathrooms often represent that you wish to cleanse yourself of something from your past.  It might be that you are doing something in real life to compensate for, or help you forget things from your past, such as the bullying and harrassment that you suffered at school.  Some possibilities which spring to mind are issues with eating, drinking alcohol, drug taking, even spending too much on shopping or gambling or any other activity that you feel you are doing too much of.  When I had initially read your dream, I kept thinking it might have something to do with obsessive and compulsive type behaviour so perhaps this is also a possibility???  Although keep in mind that I have no training in psychology so take this with a grain of salt.  Feeling greedy and feeling guilty are very strongly linked so it might still have something to do with times when you feel guilty.  For instance, you might feel that you are relying too much on your family or friends for certain things and this might have sparked the dream.  Have a think about this because it might highlight something that's really holding you back.

The other bits that you describe where you are always going to different classes - it is a bit tricky to say  exactly what these are about without the context, but they could be about different aspects of yourself and your life, or about your possible future career paths or something like that.  All in all, I think the variety of subjects in the classes that you attend might be saying that your anxiety is really affecting a huge range of aspects of your life.

If any of this makes sense to you, then it is quite clear that what happened to you in high school has really affected you and I think it would help you immensely if you sought some assistance, perhaps with a therapist or counsellor, to help you rediscover your true value and to really know, believe, understand within yourself that what happened in high school was really not your fault, you did not somehow invite or deserve the treatment you received AT ALL.

Unfortunately in real life, there are certain people that attempt to gain power through intimidation and bringing other people down, and school seems to be their breeding ground!  Of course they are going to pick people who are sensitive because these are the people that will be affected the most and therefore, in their eyes, that will give them the most success.  The really sad thing is that the world needs more sensitive and thoughtful people like you.  Imagine how great the world would be with caring people in power?!  Those very few caring people who are in power are really swimming against the tide.  They are continually insulted and criticised for being "WEAK" for XXXXs sake!!!!  And for being bleeding hearts!!!!  Noone takes into consideration that it is much easier to operate with a dog- eat-dog, cut throat attitude.

Well sorry for going off on that little tangent.  What I wanted to say is that I really hope you are able to sort through this stuff because the world really does need more people like you.

Take care of yourself and of course, further comments/questions are most welcome.

Dream Interpretation

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Hello and thank you for checking out my profile!

If I am 'UNAVAILABLE' or 'MAXED OUT', you can catch me at my Dream Meanings Shop.

Also see my articles on:

Dreams About Death


I view each dream as a metaphor for what you are experiencing in your life. My goal is to guide you into discovering the meaning of your own dreams by explaining the logic behind dream symbols, posing some guiding questions for you to think about, and presenting some possible scenarios as to what your dream could relate to. I believe that dreams reflect our true thoughts and feelings about our life and can therefore help to clarify where we should direct our life in the future.

PS. I am desperate for reviews on my Dream Meanings Shop at the moment so if you can spare even just $1 to buy an interpretation and give me a review, I would be overjoyed!!!


I have always had an interest in dreams. Over the past few years, I have helped hundreds of people by interpreting their dreams in online dream interpretation forums and here on allexperts. Allexperts is by far my favourite site to interpret dreams on because I get so much amazing feedback here and people are genuinely appreciative and encouraging of what I do!! If I ever need a little "pick me up" all I need to do is read my feedback page!!! And just to add, The Allexperts team ALWAYS answer all my emails straight away. I cannot speak highly enough of the Allexperts team!!

I have a bachelor of arts degree majoring in sociology and Aboriginal studies. I have also completed 12 month units in religious studies and psychology, as well as a number of post graduate units in epidemiology.

My educational background has given me insight and knowledge about different cultural beliefs and the way people behave and live together. The things we dream and the meaning of the symbols within are not solely a creation of our own minds, but are influenced by our history, our cultural beliefs, and the beliefs and behaviour of those around us.

Above all, I have learned most through hands-on practical experience and through seeking valuable feedback from the people for whom I have interpreted dreams.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]