According to a recent survey of some 2,000 adults, the third most common recurring nightmare, outpaced only by dreams of falling or being chased, is having to go back to school (https://amerisleep.com/blog/americas-common-recurring-dreams/).
I haven’t been sleeping well lately, mostly because of bad dreams. And the nightmare I get most frequently–nothing else is even close–is about being forced to go back to school. Usually high school, although college sometimes sneaks in. As for grade school, well, my experience there was too horrible to dream about.
Among the most common motifs in back-to-school nightmares are: you have to take a test and you don’t know the subject; you’re late for an important test; you can’t find your locker, or else you can’t remember the combination; you don’t know what room you’re supposed to be in; they’ve taken away your diploma or degree and you have to (don’t have a choice!) earn it all over again; you’re in a crowded gym or cafeteria and suddenly discover that you’re naked–and I’ve had ’em all.
Almost none of the people in the survey said they had nice dreams about school. Almost all the dreams were bad. Does that suggest there might be something wrong with the way we conduct “education”? I mean, if people are still dreading it 30 or 40 years since they were last in school, maybe we’re doin’ it wrong. And why do those nighmares wait so long before they come after you?
I read that these anxiety-laden back-to-school dreams mean you’re anxious about something in your life. Well, who isn’t? My country will be murdered if Democrats win the election, my blog is shrinking, and I’m rather anxious about being unable to finish writing Behold! But these are not weird or unusual anxieties.
But then having bad dreams about going back to school is not weird or unusual, either.