Interpreting the Dreams of Magnet Students

What flying in your sleep really means.


A couple years ago I got super into dream interpretation after I had quite a few interesting dreams myself. For Christmas that year a friend gifted me The Dream Interpretation Handbook by Karen Frazier, which explains the meaning of symbols, things, or patterns in your dreams. I decided to educate the greater population of Magnet by using this book to analyze the submitted dreams of three anonymous students.

Before I looked at dreams in relation to my handbook, I decided to look into the psychological basis of dreams. Based upon Myers’ Psychology for AP Second Edition, Magnet’s resident psychology textbook, dreams occur during REM sleep. These hallucinatory images continue for just a few minutes, and while your motor cortex is “awake,” your body is paralyzed with the exception of a few twitches, which does produce sleep paralysis in some sleepers. In the average lifetime, 6 years are spent dreaming, and most of these dreams do have at least one negative element.

Many psychologists have come forth with their theories about what dreams mean. Freud proposed that a dream’s manifest content (the story line) is a symbolic representation of the latent content (the real meaning of a dream). Freud believed that dreams could help us understand our inner thoughts and feelings, but he also believed that most dreams could be traced back to an inner sexual conflict or desire. Another theory is the information-processing perspective, which argues that dreams are simply your brain sorting and storing information from your day. Other theories are that dreams are purposeful stimulation of the brain, caused by neural activation, or are signifiers of cognitive development. While each of these theories have their merit, they all also have critical considerations, showing that psychologists truly have still not uncovered a definite meaning of dreams.

Now that you know a bit more about the science of dreams, below are my interpretations of three dreams with the help of my handbook.

1) “I was staying at this big mansion with my entire family. Past, present, literally every member of my family tree was at this mansion. The mansion was enormous but odd because there were doors on the floor and toilets on the ceiling. The only person there that wasn’t a member of my family was my best friend and we were trying to go to sleep in one of the rooms. Then, Wreck-It Ralph came and kidnapped us and we ended up at my elementary school playground. At the playground there was a phone, so we asked a nearby janitor for assistance using the phone to call my dad. My dad then showed up in a fire truck with sirens blaring, and then I woke up.”

First, we need to look into the setting of your dream. Dreams featuring a mansion or house are pretty much always about you, with the house representing you. The mansion in your dream will tell you things you should know about yourself, so maybe consider what the wackiness of the house described means to you. Furthermore, Wreck-it Ralph can be seen as an intruder, which is showing that something in your life is also existing as an intruder that you don’t want. Hand in hand with the intruder, kidnapping in a dream means that someone is keeping something from you or you may feel manipulated by another person in your real life. In all, this surface dream about Wreck-It Ralph potentially reveals that something in your life is unwanted and that a person in your life is being secretive.

2) This next dream is going to be summarized because it had so many plot developments it could be its own article. Basically, this individual was at a woodsy summer camp in the middle of nowhere with their brother. The main counselor proposed that they play manhunt, but all of the returning campers then became vampires and started chasing the new campers. The junior fell and played dead, before shapeshifting into an alligator. However, after swimming around and seeing no other animals, she realized the vampires will eat animals too. Turning back into a human, she ran back  to the main lawn as the manhunt would end at sunrise. The vampires started circling in and after one person tried to distract them, a “Marvel fight scene occurred.” Then, the sun came up and the campers were congratulated for surviving.

Surprisingly, my handbook does not have any mention of vampires, so we’ll focus on some of the other parts of your dream. First, because your dream is in a forest it means that something in your life is mysterious and you are searching for answers, which is also similar to the vampires that were essentially searching for you. Additionally, the presence of an alligator in your dream has two distinct meetings. For one, alligators are known for having thick skin, so this could be telling you that you are possibly too thick skinned (from personally knowing you I don’t think it’s this one). The other trait alligators are known for is being very deceitful. This could reveal that someone in your life, possibly yourself or someone else, is being deceitful, so I would do some investigating into that. Finally, being chased is a very common dream plot. Because you are the one that was being chased, it means that you are running away from some sort of information in your real life, perhaps an emotion or person. So to sum it up, you are searching for something whilst running from information and there’s also some deceit mixed in.

3) “I was in Mr. Stackhouses room for Psychology. After getting really mad because someone was being annoying, I threw a textbook and jumped out the window. I then realized I was lucid dreaming, so I started flying around the school. I then flew back into Mr. Stackhouse’s room, but Mrs. Pinckney was there, so I turned invisible so they couldn’t find me. Later that day at lunch, I showed my friends that I could fly in the courtyard. They said it was sick.”

This is our first dream that actually means something pretty good.Schools are a common dream setting, and they simply are about learning or some sort of personal growth you are going to accomplish. Flying also means that you are either reaching your goals or achieving freedom. So in all, this dream means that you are currently or about to come into some pretty good luck and to dream big.

These three dreams are all very different and have different meanings. They demonstrate that even the strangest of dreams can possibly give you a message about something occurring in your life. However, checking these dreams with any other handbook could give you entirely different results, showing that dream interpretation, like horoscopes, is not a finite science and can be interpreted by everyone differently. While dreams are fun to examine, their messages should not always be taken to heart. Still, dreams can always serve as an interesting story to tell.