Dear Dream Diary, the Subconscious of a Restless Youth
As the COVID-19 pandemic’s end comes within reach, the question on everyone’s mind is how much longer will we have to wait?
Image is courtesy of Unsplash.
“With pandemic fatigue, good weather and less than half of the population vaccinated with one dose, a “perfect storm” is brewing”
- Donald Vinh, infectious diseases specialist at McGill University Health Centre, via Global
The start of the pandemic marked the start of more nights of tossing and turning for many Canadians from coast to coast. Worries about foreign relatives, community spread, work safety, and now vaccination has left many uncertain and worried. But this high level of stress for over a year has worn on the nerves of everyone, and no one knows the effects of long-term stress like students. What should have been concerns about prom dress fitting, finals exams, and last-minute road trips with friends was replaced with fear of catching COVID, family safety, and personal mental health. Most people can probably relate to having some kind of COVID-related nightmare, whether it is waking up in the middle of the night with visions of emergency room terror or paranoia about submitting an online assignment one minute after the 11:59 pm deadline. Dreams often contain our subconscious thoughts and fears, and with COVID lurking in the back of everyone's mind, it's no surprise that more people are feeling like they’ve gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.
As Cara, Max, Marie, and Advik are slamming down alarms for 8 a.m. classes, they have all found time to give us a little insight into their subconscious by writing a dream diary entry. Dreams are elusive and often forgotten moments after waking, so hopefully, our students have been able to piece together their thoughts and paint their pandemic dreamscapes - upside down unicorns and all!
The following diary entries are works of fiction. Names, characters, business, events, and incidents are the products of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Dear Dream Diary,
It is Friday, May 21 and I am writing at 7:30 in the morning!!! I am so TIRED! Ms. Kennedi sayed we have to write a dream diary and share it with the class today. I dreamed of a big cake. It was vanilla. I was swimming in cake. I have not swimmed in FOREVER! I miss swimming. My swim teacher said I was good at diving. I like diving. I’m not afraid of hights. Mom says I need to learn how to swim before I learn how to dive. But then I said “I already KNOW how to swim.” In my dream the cake tasted like cotton candy. I miss birthday partys. It was Leo’s birthday yesterday and we had a online birthday. But I miss REAL birthdays. With cake and music and presents. Mom says I have to get ready now, school starts soon. Bye dream diary!
Cara Weir, Grade 3
Dear Dream Diary,
It’s two in the morning. I woke up with a nightmare and haven’t been able to go back to sleep so I thought I would write. Josh said his sister does journaling when she is stressed. I write because I have no one else to talk to. School is almost over but it already feels like summer. It’s been 30 degrees for a week now and the humidity is worse in the city than it ever was in Ucluelet.
In my dream it was raining. There were trees like there are in the park near school. They were dark green and heavy with rain. I was supposed to know their names, maybe for a school project but I can’t remember now, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t remember them. It was scary. I felt like I was forgetting something really important. I started crying and all the trees turned into a river of fish and I had to run really fast otherwise I would drown. I was running and running and then I woke up.
It’s too late to wake up Baba and he is tired from work. I can’t text anyone, they are probably asleep. I should be asleep. But I feel like I’m forgetting something…Something I really should not forget…
Max Zhou, Grade 7
Dear Dream Diary,
22 days left! I made a calendar (like the kind with chocolates that people get for Christmas countdowns) to count the days until I graduate high school. Finally my senior year is starting to feel like the senior year people talk about in movies. I’m back to partially in-person school yay! And the workload has finally lessened! Finally!
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately, about the past years, my childhood. I’m turning 18 on May 31 and it feels surreal. I don’t feel grown up but I can’t wait to grow up. It’s a strange feeling…
Oh! I had the most crazy dream last night. I was in a giant stadium, like the old Olympic one in Montreal, and there was a huge crowd of people dancing in the dark. It was like a concert except everyone had little lights in their hand. And not those glow sticks you get at raves or even phone flashlights, everyone was holding a little spark. It looked like the little light sparks that fly off holiday sparklers. Everyone was holding their spark in their hands like a baby chick. But in the dancing someone knocked my spark off and it fell to the ground into a puddle of oil. It was terrifying, I don’t know why but I felt like dropping that spark had ruined everything. Then the dream changed into something that felt like a memory. My friends and I were packing up band equipment after the end of a late night concert and we ended up falling asleep in the storage room. When we woke up, it was almost morning so we went to the 24-hour McDonalds and drank sugary sodas and smoothies.
Anyway, those dreams have nothing in common but I find that my dreams have become more vivid recently. Probably since I have been getting more sleep! I wonder what I will dream of today!
Marie Musa, Grade 12
Dear Dream Diary,
I attended an info session on managing mental health during exam season. It was informative, even though I only have two out of seven exams left. The session instructor was nice, one kid was oversharing way too much though. The instructor suggested that we take time to do self-care. Amma heard that and scoffed at me. I had to listen to the rest of the session with headphones. The session said that journaling was good (which made me feel pretty proud of myself for keeping this diary) and they mentioned keeping a dream diary. I haven’t dreamed in a while (or I just haven’t remembered any of my dreams) so I’m going to write about the most vivid dream I’ve ever had.
It was about a year ago, during winter. I dreamed of a beach. There was sand the colour of snow and grey water, but it was so warm. I sat in the sun and was drinking lemonade and watching a bunch of people walk across the beach. I remember seeing my fifth grade science teacher Ms. Denis, my ultimate frisbee teammates from grade nine, and a bunch of relatives who I don’t remember the names of. It felt like everyone I had ever met was walking by me on the beach. But as I watched them they grew taller and taller, but then I realized I was sinking in the sand. The white ground was pulling me in and as I sunk it got colder and colder. The sand was turning into snow and I was trapped by it but no one I knew was helping me out. I stared at the sun which was so bright and woke up to bhai shining my lamp in my face to wake me up. I don’t remember why he woke me up, but I’m glad he did.
Dreams are supposed to mean something, but I’m still not sure what that one means.
Advik Shah, second-year undergrad
Past Issues of Dear Diary Articles
Article Author: Ria Patel
Article Editors: Victoria Huang, Valerie Shirobokov