I Dream in YA – Let’s Discuss!

Posted July 5, 2016 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Let's Discuss / 53 Comments


Even though I’m 42 years old, I’ve noticed a strange phenomena – I often dream that I’m still in high school or early college!

One recurring dream that I’ve had pretty much for as long as I can remember is that I’m in a ginormous school and I can’t find my locker – I wander aimlessly down the halls, going up and down stairwells, searching for a locker I should be able to find, with no luck. After I had my first child, I had a variation of the dream where I left my son in a random bathroom in my high school (nevermind that I’d been out of school for many years) and couldn’t find my way back to him. My subconscious was telling me that not only was I not going to be a very responsible parent, but I also had the maturity of high schooler still. High five, subconscious! Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Another common recurring dream for me is that I realize it’s the end of a school year and I haven’t attended class all year (either a single class or pretty much all of them) – I have to take finals that I’m going to fail. Often, the reason I’ve missed this class is because I’ve been suffering from some form of extreme depression and I’ve holed myself up in a cubby somewhere – a strange school attic or some other place. I can’t seem to face the world, and the prospect of failing a final just adds to my depressed feelings.

One last recurring dream (this one I don’t have all that often anymore) is that I’m in a play and don’t know any of the lines – often it’s a musical, and I don’t know the lyrics of the song I’m supposed to sing, so I just make something up that I think goes with the theme of the play. I’m almost always young in these dreams – probably because it’s been years since I did any serious theatre. (By the way, this dream must be common amongst us theatre people – I remember this was Willow’s part of the nightmare episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.)

But lately, since I’ve been blogging, I’ve found that my dreams often mirror something akin to a YA novel! I often dream up YA romances where I’m the lead (often, I’m not really me, but I’m seeing the world through some random YA MC’s eyes). I’m living out an angsty YA romance where I so want the boy to like me, but he’s with another girl or some other random YA trope is keeping us apart. I also often dream in YA Fantasy – I often wish I would have written my dreams down because they’d actually make pretty amazing book plots – unfortunately, I can’t remember any of the really good ones in any sort of detail anymore.

Last night’s dream was a YA time travel story – I had to repeatedly go back in time to try to stop some sort of bomb from going off and blowing up my high school. Along the way, I managed to fall in love with a boy who went by his last name (which was Ellory, I think). He had a kind-of-sort-of girlfriend, but she wasn’t in the dream much and they broke up early on and we started dating. His best friend was dating a snotty girl named Sarah who I hated. But Sarah actually eventually ended up being my friend in later iterations and knew about the time traveling. In the end, right before I woke up, I realized that I had finally stopped the bomb, and I was so happy – and then I discovered that Ellory was happily dating Sarah in this new timeline (and his best friend was dating Ellory’s ex)!

I find it humorous that I so often dream in YA. You’d think my brain would have figured out by now that I’m well into my adult years. But I guess, considering how much YA I read, it’s not that odd that my brain’s a little confused!

Do any of you dream in YA? Do your dreams seem like YA novels? I want to know!


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53 responses to “I Dream in YA – Let’s Discuss!

  1. It’s so annoying, because I never actually remember my dreams! I probably do dream things along the lines of books I’ve read though, and the way I come up with plots for the novels I (attempt to) write is by basically imagining myself into novels, so I definitely daydream about essentially being in a YA fantasy novel (where I’m generally much tougher and cooler than I am in real life!).
    Great post! I’m so nosy, I just love hearing about other people’s dreams! 🙂

  2. I usually dream about myself as college age. Which has been a long time ago, over 20 years ago! I think maybe I dream of that time because I want to go back to that time. It was one of the best times of my life, but I’d also like to go back and do some things differently to see if my life would be different today. I also love when I have such vivid dreams that I can remember them the next day! I wonder if your YA dreams are coming from reading YA? 🙂

  3. I had those types of dreams about high school while I was in school. Maybe even some while I was in college. Those dreams of showing up to the wrong class, late, missing class, the wrong school even. Oops heh. Anxiety. But I haven’t had them in recent times. I think it is curious, but probably the brain is very impressionable and all those YA books turn into stories while you sleep 🙂

  4. Haha, I love your last dream. You managed to write a whole YA novel in your sleep…now you should consider getting it published! And you should keep Ellory as a name – it’s weird enough for a YA book ;).

    I don’t dream in YA – I dream in TV. From Law & Order to C.S.I. to Supernatural to Bones…I think I’ve dreamt of any single character of my favourite shows past and present. Most of the times, I’m friends with them, and from time to time we try to save/help someone together. But like you, I’m always much younger than my age (sighs).

  5. This is so interesting! Some of your earlier ones sound familiar – I hear people often have these type of dreams. I know I’ve had the “can’t find my locker” and “didn’t attend a class all year” ones before. haha It’s funny how we tend to have such similar dreams with other people!

    I don’t think I’ve had a YA storyline type of dream though. I don’t remember a ton of my dreams though, so maybe! I like that you remember such detail. 🙂

  6. Whoa, your time-traveling dream definitely sounds like a YA novel! xD It’s been a while since I’ve dreamt while sleeping, but recently my previous dreams are somewhat akin to YA plotlines as well. There was even this one dream where I almost kissed a guy riding motorcycles that I was with… and let’s just say he was really handsome. But before our lips could touch, I was already awake! (Mostly because it was a school day and my mom woke me up, then I realized I was almost late for school. GAH.)

    Cool post, Nicole!

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  7. Oh my goodness, I sometimes have dreams about being in high school too! It’s always so weird. I’m dying of laughter at the dream about leaving your son in a bathroom somewhere, haha. It’s probably not funny to you in the dream, but it’s funny to me reading about it.

    I never have recurring dreams, but I know I’ve had some dreams in which I didn’t know my schedule and just didn’t know where to go, or I was so late that I figured I might as well just skip the whole class, or I hadn’t done any of the HW like all year and all the sudden it was due or there was a test and I was going to fail or get in trouble.

    I’ve never had dreams that were like the plot of a YA novel though, so that’s really funny. I love the time travel one! That does sound like a legitimate book lol.

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  8. Ooh, this is so interesting! I hardly remember my dreams but when I do, they all take place at the current age I am at. I’ve never had (well, better word is *remembered*) dreams in the past nor future. Because I am a young adult, all my dreams have–of course–taken place in YA. I don’t think I’ve had any book-related dreams before though… not that I recall, at least!

  9. You’re really good at remembering specifics from your dreams! Do you keep a diary?

    Maybe dreaming about teenage years is a combination of reading a lot of YA and your own kids reaching that troublesome age? I don’t really believe in “meanings” of dreams, I think they’re the result of our subconscious doing a little spring cleaning upstairs and dealing with things we might not be aware of (our worries and such).

    I’ve read that the “losing your baby” dream is quite common, actually, because I was freaked out when I dreamed that during my first pregnancy. You’re worried you won’t be a good mom, which is probably the most natural worry out there – parenting is scary as hell, isn’t it? 🙂

    I often remember snatches of my dreams, but rarely anything so specific – and what I do remember is so surreal that I can’t even begin to interpret it. Like if my dreams were an artist’s work, I’d say they were done by Dali or Picasso. That weird. It’s funny because my own aesthetic is very different from that and I’m generally a rational, calm person. 🙂

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  10. Wow. Those are some complex dreams! I very rarely remember my dreams and if I do I usually remember small tidbits of the overall storyline. I have tons of high school and college dreams though, and they tend to revolve around me getting to the end of the school year and not having gone to a class for an entire semester that I completely forgot about! And then I don’t graduate. I sometime go look at my college degree to make sure I did, in fact, graduate. Lol. I also feel like I’m ageless in my dreams. I’m not me now, but maybe me in my 20s. Isn’t the brain weird?

    • Yep, that’s the dream, but for me it’s often in high school rather than college – apparently my brain is stuck in adolescence. LOL! I know the feeling of waking up and feeling like the dream might have been true too. Or sometimes, while I’m in the dream, I’ll think, “Oh, this is just like that recurring dream I have sometimes, but THIS time it’s real!!” LOL!

  11. omg that’s too funny! i don’t dream in YA, but i do have absolutely ridiculous and weird dreams that make zero sense. for instance, i once dreamed i was noah (of the famous noah’s ark) but instead of an ark, i was on a farm and had to lead animals two by two into the barn, where we’d be safe from the flood. just as i got all of the animals into the barn and closed the doors and was congratulating myself, the barn started leaking! all i started freaking out and god’s voice boomed from the sky above declaring “i’m so disappointed in you, lila!”

    lolz. i guess 8 years of catholic school does have its repercussions…

  12. Okay Nicole, I am officially creeped out. I have the SAME end-of-semester dream on the regular! And then I end up having to STAY at college, when all I wanted to do was come back home, and I have nowhere to live because I was supposed to graduate! So I suppose yes, I definitely dream in YA too- but super weird that we have the SAME dream! We really ARE meant to be friends ? I also have a LOT of dreams about my high school swim team, so that’s weird hahah. Also, I feel like you should WRITE the book in your Time Travel dream! True story, one of my WIPs is from a dream- which was basically a YA novel too! LOVE this post!!

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  13. Your dreams sounds really interesting haha xD I don’t think I’ve dream in YA, but again, I’m still in high school right now so. Even if I ever dream in YA, I don’t remember it since my ‘dream-memory-span’ only last like 20 minutes after I woke up (it kinda amaze me that you could remember your dream, actually, including the name and all) 😀

  14. Jen

    Awwww I LOVE this post and so many of your dreams! My dreams feel so vivid and real that it honestly feels like I’m there, and I can remember so many of the details. I don’t necessarily dream in YA because about half of my dreams usually relate to the current book I’m reading whereas the other half relate to what’s going on in my life. While reading Angelfall my dreams were about those ‘monsters’ and I was trying to do what Penryn does near the end of book 1…..it was terrifying and I’d wake up gasping. My husband would be like why in the world are you reading that book?! Lol. But in my dreams I’m always me, so that’s interesting that you’re looking through someone else’s eyes sometimes. We should really keep a notebook of our dreams, I bet we’d laugh at them when we’re in our 80s lol!

  15. The dreams I remember (which I rarely do) often attempt to have some sort of YA novel plot. But my subconscious is really messy, and I would never be able to sustain a cohesive storyline like your last dream! I too have the “can’t remember my locker number” or, a college version, “can’t find my dorm room at the start of the new year” dream. And sometimes the “forgot to go to classes and now it’s time for the final” dream. I also have a lot of dreams set in the house I grew up in, which my family left in 1990. And I dream frequently about the girl who was my best friend in high school, even though we lost touch years ago. Something about those early impressions just stick with us.

    I did dream recently that I was all set to leave the country for two years, then I suddenly thought, “Wait! I have kids! And a husband! I can’t do this! How did they even let me get this far?” 🙂

    • Ha! I’ve had that too where I’m planning some major change or have this big elaborate set-up for something huge going on and then just suddenly remember that I have a husband and kids. It’s like they didn’t exist in the dream before that and suddenly my subconscious is like, “Hey, wait!”

  16. Oh my, Nicole! I’m happy I don’t have dreams of actually going to high school anymore! I used to have this awful dream when I was in high school, though, we’d have swimming in our gym class, and I’d leave the pool not realizing I had lost my bathing suit :O
    I do quite often dream about the books I read though, and sometimes it makes for hilarious moments just as I wake up 🙂

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  17. I always have found dreams interesting. I do dream about high school sometimes or about my previous house. But not always am I aware of my actual age, so not sure how often i dream in YA. I do have themes that recur often, like not being able to find the toilet or small trains or I have to go somewhere, but everything is taking me so long I know I am going to be late and I feel rushed the entire time.

    I also have those types of dreams where even in the dream I realize they would make a great story. I used to write down my dreams, but most of the time the story seemed better when dreaming.

    My most recent one was were I was character who recently had gotten empathy and I could hear everyone’s thoughts and emotions it was super overwhelming. It was cool to be able to communicate with water plants (on which the empathy worked as well) and there was a lot of water, like a big swimming pool or zoo type aquarium in which also humans swam. And I was a white tiger shifter, vampire and merman at once, which made no sense to me when I finally was awake. And there was something with a snake bite and I was a doctor as well, lol.

    Your time travel dream actually sounds pretty interesting and like it would make for a good story.

  18. Another fun post, Shannon! Seriously, you come up with awesome stuff!

    Confession. I don’t actually dream YA because I dream Historical Romance! HA HA! Yup, I almost ALWAYS dream that I’m Lady-what’s-her-name and I’m in love with some random Lord-what’s-his-face… LOL

    I would love to dream about fantasy tho. But I never do. Or I just don’t remember! LOL

  19. Those are some fun dreams! To be honest, high school dreams scare me. Fortunately, I don’t have many of that. I’m usually myself (like, my current age) in my dreams. I’m not the protagonist, but it’s like I’m the one protecting the protagonist – once it was my best friend and some dudes were after her. I was like, “We have to go, we have to go.” And because they were already chasing us, I teleported us somewhere else. I wasn’t powerful yet so we got lost & had to find our way back. It was pretty exciting…

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