Chasing Dreams

Elizabeth Stein

I’ve always been one of those people who can’t run in my dreams, a weird fact because when I’m awake, I love to run. In fact, it’s one of mmy favorite ways to wake up in the morning. But when I’m sleeping, it’s the one thing I can’t do. I’m always being chased by something and feel like I’m stuck in either slow motion or something more clich├ęd, like molasses.

When I dreamt recently that I ran miles upon miles feeling fantastic and free, I figured something must be up.

I’ve always been fascinated by dreams – the things in my dreams or in other people’s dreams, the theories about where they come from, and especial ly what they mean. After consulting a book about dream interpretation) and using the highly reliable Google method, I discovered the following:

1. Not being able to run means that in life I’m running away from something (figuratively). It represents helplessness, lack of confidence and the feeling of being unable to escape from life’s problems and stress.

2. Running in dreams means I’m thinking about something; running alone means that I will outstrip my friends in the race for wealth and will occupy a high place in social life.

While the first part seems mildly understandable, I’m not really sure how comfortable I am with the second, which is more of a prediction than an actual interpretation (though if it were true I don’t think I’d complain). Nonetheless, I figure that, judging solely on my own obviously-just-as-expert-as-Google dream interpreting capabilities, if I have never been able to run, and suddenly, magically, I can, there must have been some change in my waking life to bring about such a fascinating new ability. Perhaps I have conquered my helplessness, lack of confidence, and my feelings of stress.

But when I think about it right now, the only major change in my life recently has been coming to Colgate. And, well, I must admit that my sense of helplessness and levels of confidence and stress have all not exactly gone appreciably in the right direction. Mix a new state, 2814 new peers, rigorous courses, and unyielding professors (and don’t forget to throw in 174 steps up the hill), and starting college becomes just a tad bit daunting.

But my unconscious is telling me otherwise. Apparently, it’s telling me I’m passing with flying colors. The only thing I can pinpoint is Colgate. But when I actually consider it, I guess it already means more to me than I thought. And I don’t think I’m alone. Already, many of my classmates have confirmed my feelings that, although it still feels incredibly overwhelming, it seems as if we’ve been here forever and that it is easily just as comfortable as home.

Perhaps now I can “run” because I’m literally free — free here at college from the rules and restrictions and expectations and boundaries of high school. Finally we’re at a place where we can be in control of our own lives. Colgate is a place where I see the least helplessness and the most confidence — a comforting thought, though unfortunately after talking with upperclassmen it looks like we’ll just have to live with the stress.

Fortunately, a quick poll showed that the positives overwhelmingly outweigh the few negatives, as we experience the benefits of a newfound freedom, dorm bonding, the cross country trails, and the genuineness of everyone on campus. Colgate is the place where, rather than being chased by our dreams, we can chase our dreams instead.