Back To School… Again?

Well, it’s that time of year again. Not just for students going back to school, but also for the recurring dreams that I have about that topic, usually around this time. I don’t know when it started, probably in my late teens and they usually involve me going back to school. The unusual thing about them is that I haven’t been a student since I graduated from UVic a decade ago, and yet the dreams still happen.

The dreams vary but they often have reappearing components, sometimes I have nearly the same dream over again or the dream makes references to past ones that I’ve had. The most common setting is MESS, my old high school. In these dreams I often find myself being a teenager again and going back to school but I become lost or I can’t find my locker. It’s either that or I do succeed in locating my locker but can’t remember the combination and can’t open it.

Sometimes I dream I’m an adult and I have to go back to high school to make up for a class that I didn’t pass or that I didn’t do well in. These are the strangest ones, as if going back to school weren’t stressful enough, I’m an adult and surrounded by teenagers.

Another recurring theme is I’m in university, I skipped one class for an entire semester, either because I didn’t like that class and didn’t formally drop it, or I just forgot about it. Then towards the end of the semester I realize I have to write a final exam for it but I can’t find the classroom. Sometimes it varies; I end up going to the class in the last couple of weeks and try to catch up but I’m too far behind and overwhelmed. That’s usually where it ends, I never find out if I managed to pass the course or not.

These have been the ones that I’ve had most often for the past couple of decades, here are the most recent dreams I’ve had in the past two or three weeks:

1. I went back to university and Seth Rogen was going there too, I saw him in the hallway and debated whether I should say something to him. Ultimately I decided that since he’s famous he probably gets stopped all the time so I left him alone.

2. A new art school opened up here in Kitamaat Village and I tried to register but I couldn’t find it. For some reason I didn’t have my car, I hitched a ride with an aunt of mine and got out at the band office. I went across the street to what appeared to be a restaurant and was unable to locate the school.

3. I dreamt I was teaching on the first day of school where the students were not well-behaved. It seemed like a high school, maybe grade nine, and one group of students were wearing wrestling masks. This may be due to the fact that I had recently watched the Bane episode of the animated Batman series for the first time a few days ago.

By the way, this has nothing to do with the dream but it was weird seeing that version of Bane after watching The Dark Knight Rises; the one in the movie speaks with a sort of British accent whereas in the animated series he spoke with a Spanish accent. I’m glad the most recent version went in a different direction.

Anyway, the reason for these dreams remains unknown and while I do sometimes have other recurring dreams, the ones involving going back to school are by far the most frequent and usually around the beginning of the real school year. I suppose they started when I was in high school as a result of anxiety or anticipation as the beginning of the school year is an exciting event. Maybe the dreams started as a way of reflecting on the upcoming school year. But why, then, would they continue when my days as a student are so far removed? I did work in a school for five years, but I haven’t had involvement with any school for 2 years now.

Also, why have the dreams I’ve had lately been so different and without any reference to past dreams? That’s something I’ll probably never know. I’ve never really put much importance in dreams but these ones in particular fascinate me. I do sometimes think of going back to school, maybe they keep appearing because of that. There’s a computer graphics school I briefly thought of going to a couple of years ago. I’ve also entertained notions of going back to university to get an MFA, perhaps even a PhD.

But they remain whimsies, I’m pretty sure my student days are over. If I decide not to go back in the real world, I can always go back in the dream world.

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