Although dreaming about school is one of the most prevalent types of the dream among the population, more often than not are these nightly adventures classified as unpleasant ones.

Almost everyone from my family and friends dreams about their time at school and I’m no exception. After all, 18 years spent studying + 3 years in a kinder garden makes altogether 78% of my life at this point. It’s just a lot. And it indeed doesn’t prevent my unconscious mind to bother me while I sleep.

What does the research say?

I digged deeper to find out how prevalent (gimme data!) it could be to dream about school after finishing studies. Turned out it’s more than common ( https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201606/they-dream-school-and-none-the-dreams-are-good). Anyway, it’s  really hard to imply anything when it comes to brain – we don’t even know how it works! However, couple of facts that seem to be a common denominator so far:

  1. Dreams about school are most of the time unpleasant. (Many people wake up with stress and anxiety) 
  2. They are evolving around a stressful event ( finding a class, missing a course…)
  3. Could last for years to come, even decades after finishing studies.
  4. We can agree that our school days is indeed ( at least partially) a transition from adolescense to adulthood = massive changes in hormones & emotions.

School life is engraved in our psyche. Right now, I’m not even questioning if it was time well spent. I know it could’ve been done more effectively.

I enjoyed my time at primary school (which was just perfect every time I walk across the memory lane). Full of creativity, motivation, great teachers, dancing, interesting projects, and trips to look for. This part of my life was probably the most beneficial when it comes to practicality and building physical capabilities and skills I find essential today. It taught me how to present in front of the audience, how to perform in front of hundreds of people, gave me a creative freedom to express myself and causes which I cared about. Not to mention I learned 2 foreign languages before the age of 14, studied so many interesting subjects- especially my favorite geography, biology, literature…

The gymnasium was altogether a not very pleasant experience. After the first few months, I found myself unmotivated, learning stuff I didn’t find interesting in the most unproductive way possible (imagine listening to lecturers narrating the notes we needed to take). The encyclopedic way of learning. Stress, no creative challenges, interesting subjects or problem-solving. My only problem was to persevere. It came to a point my health was paying the price. Eventually, in the final year, I moved across the country for a job and had the individual study plan. I only spent like 1/4 of the time in school that year.

2010, few days before our graduation party. 

I enrolled in a university to study business afterward. After the first semester, I knew that my time will be better spent in the field. I cut down on anything I could and kept working in my 2 part-time jobs. In the next year, I enrolled in the second university to study psychology. Learned a ton in the next 3 years, went abroad and graduated with an MA degree.

It might be because I wasn’t really involved in 1 thing/school at the time that evokes my dreams.

Most of the time, I find myself stressing over not having enough grades to close the school year in high school. Or having to learn quantum of study materials because I have my graduation exams in a few days.

Usually, it’s a blurry reality of not even knowing if I have finished high school, standing before the Master’s exams at my university. In few of the dreams, I wasn’t sure if I had a diploma.

Maybe it was because I didn’t take part in the graduation ceremony = I didn’t put a final, official end to the whole school thing. Even though the feeling of ‘freedom’ was quite intense.

I finished my studies mostly because I already invested quite of a time. It made sense to finish it just for the sake of finishing it. It was literally this and the fact that it could be some sort of benefit in case I wanted to go for a US visa (turns out it’s important to have a higher education).

Well, here I am, the only artifact I have when picking up my MA diploma. Last time I visited my university.

Me and my MA diploma, August 2016.

My diploma is safely stored in my mum’s cabinet ever since. 

What was your school experience? Do you ever dream about school? Let me know in the comments!