I took a 'dream interpretation' class in college - and it was fascinating. We had to keep a 'dream journal' for 30 consecutive nights, in which we had to literally write down every single thing that we could remember about every single dream that we had. And we had to wake ourselves up immediately after the dream, so we could get all of the information down on paper before we forgot it. (Once we got the hang of it, it actually wasn't that hard to do.)
Interestingly, one of the main things that we learned is that our dreams actually are very symbolic --- with each of us having our own symbols -- and apparently there are many universal symbols as well.
I learned that I "pun" in my dreams! Who knew? As an example, at the time of this class I had previously quit smoking about a year before, and in my dream someone offered me a Kent brand cigarette. I said to him, "Why are you giving me that? You know I Kent smoke!!!"