Reflection on dreams: Emma Glasser ’18

graphic by Jennifer Ren

How would you describe your overall dream experience?

A lot of the time I forget my dreams, [but] I’ve had some dreams that I’ve remembered because they were significant. Over the past year, I’ve had three or four that I remember, but other than that, it’s pretty rare that I really remember them.


What makes a dream really significant to you?

Either I’ll wake up dying or really scared and then fall back asleep.  And when I wake up in the morning, I’ll remember it, or it’ll be so good that I don’t want it to stop … When I wake up I’ll want to fall back asleep … Or sometimes, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and try and fall back asleep and continue the dream because it was so good, but it won’t happen again. Then, I’ll try and recreate it in my head. I’ll be like, Okay, this was happening, I want to keep on going, but then it doesn’t work.


Do you find that you’re woken up because of good or bad dreams more often?

They’re about equal. The difference is that the good dreams will just stop, but the bad dreams … I would get this terrible knot in my stomach and feel like I was falling through my bed for eternity. You know that feeling you get when you’re falling? That’s how I’d wake up. And then I’d be kind of startled and scared. But the good dreams would just stop … I think that’s the thing … For the bad dreams, right before they got terrible, they’d end.


Are there any dreams in particular that you remember?

One … was before winter break, when I dreamt that I was on a plane to Australia — and, over winter break, I was going to go to Australia — and the plane crashed and I died. That was the first time I ever “died” in my dream but I was still conscious and I saw the world without me, and I saw my grandma. Then I spoke to my grandma, which was kind of weird. I [said], Yeah, Grandma, I’m dead. It’s really sad. And she was like, Yeah, that’s so sad. And I just remember when I was dead that I felt really sad and really bad for my family. I just felt sad that I wouldn’t continue life. I was still conscious, but I knew at the same time that I couldn’t participate in life … that soon, I wouldn’t be conscious anymore.


How did this dream influence your actual trip?

It really reflected the fact that I was kind of scared to go on the trip because it was the first time I was traveling by myself… and I was traveling to Australia, which is probably the worst flight I imagine I’ll ever be on. It’s … seven hours to San Francisco, then 15 hours to Australia … On the way back, my plane got diverted after four hours because there was a man making a lot of commotion on the plane. He was yelling, being kind of racist and … really rude to the air hostess. So they turned the plane around and landed in New Zealand, and then I had to stay overnight, by myself, in New Zealand, and then get on a new plane the next day … The plane that I got on dropped 30 feet [while we were in the air] and I thought we were going to crash; I thought my dream [was] coming true … I don’t really know how much my dream affected my trip, but when we were free-falling for a second or two, I got the fright of my life and I was by myself, [just like] in my dream … So I think my fear was exemplified in real life because of my dream.

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