It happens every year. After July 4th here I am thinking about fall and school. I’ve been out of college for four years and still when I see those “Back to School” commercials and posters it makes me cringe. Why? I do not know. I don’t have kids, I have no plans to go back to school, and I’m fine with my field so it seems odd that it would bother me. Maybe because we all spend so much time in school in our early lives that it just embeds itself so deep in our subconscious that even as adults we can’t shake those anticipated first-day-back jitters. Or maybe it’s because I was so burned out on school when I graduated that even thinking about taking another test made me sick to my stomach.
When I was in school I would have stress dreams about being late for class or failing a test or getting in trouble for something. It made sense at the time. Those were things I was dealing with on a daily basis. And now, four years into my working life, I still have those dreams. My stress is now coming from deadlines and deadbeat clients but it still manifests in a dream about not being able to find the right classroom. Even weirder, I recently had recurring dreams about being contacted by my high school and told that I shouldn’t have graduated because I needed one more class they forgot about. The only way to fix the mix up is for me to come to the school in the middle of the day and take that class with the current students. I then stress out about trying to get my boss to let me take the time off for it. I always awake from these dreams extremely relieved that’s all they were.
What it comes down to is how your memories affect you. I always remember hating the “Back to School” stuff because it meant my wonderful solitude was over and I had go back and see all those people I disliked. Don’t get me wrong, my school experience wasn’t all bad. There were some good times but I have no desire to relive any of them. I’m just glad that now when those commercials come on and my heart rate goes up, I can just take a deep breath and ignore it. I’m much happier dealing with the dreams than the real thing.