Someone Please Pinch Me


I’ve been out of high school for nearly 15 years already and out of college for 11.  So why is it, then, that my worst (and recurring) nightmare is centered around my school days?

Here’s what happens every single time:

It’s the morning of a major test, and I get to school with enough time to spare to take a trip to my locker to get the materials that I’ll need in order to take said test.  My hands are overflowing with books – wait, why don’t I just have a bookbag? – and I manage to balance them all in one arm while fumbling with the lock on my locker door.  Only, crap… that’s when I realize that I can’t, for the life of me, remember my combination.  27-6- uh… 32?  No, that’s not it.  14?  Nope, that’s not working either.  I start to get nervous as I look at my watch and see that I’ve got to hurry if I’m going to make it to class in time to take my test.  Then, relief hits me.  I wrote my combination down on the inside of one of my notebooks!  I dump my pile of books on floor, and I can finally start to feel the blood rush to my lower arm and hand again.  I hadn’t realized just how heavy those books were.  I sort through the pile, and it dawns on me that the notebook I need is one of the ones still in my locker – right there with the things I need for my test.  Ugh!  Why is this happening to me?  I don’t have time for this today.  I start to feel hot, and I start to get nervous about the time.  I decide I better just go to class and just forget the stuff I need for my test.  It’s better to be on time and just take the test rather than be late or skip it all together, right?

So I stack my books back up in my arm – here we go again – and as I top off the pile with one last notebook, the one underneath that tumbles to the floor.  I have the sudden urge to just throw them all on the floor and stomp on them, but I can’t if I’m going to make it to class in time for this test.  It will, after all, make or break my entire grade in this class.  I bend down ever so carefully and stack the books back up, balancing the pile on my chin for support.

I turn the corner from my locker and start down the hallway to my class.  Room 217.  Only now I can’t find Room 217.  What in the world is going on?  I go to this class every day.  Why can’t I find it now?  Silly me – It must be the next hallway, after you turn left at the end of this one.  As I finally near the end of the hallway and turn left, I’m confident that I’ll still make it in time.  I only had a few more doors to go.  But wait – Room 217 isn’t down this hallway, either.  What the heck??  I decide that maybe I’ve got my schedule all mixed up, and I’m supposed to be on the third floor instead of the second.  Maybe it’s Room 317.  I start up the stairs, still barely holding on to my teetering pile of books.  I make it to the third floor and down the hallway that looks identical to the one I was just on.  I frantically race past classroom after classroom, and there’s still no sign of my room.  I begin to panic, thinking of how missing this test is going to ruin my entire year and all hopes of getting into my favorite college.  By now, I’m in tears and wake up in a cold sweat, heart pounding out of my chest.

The funny thing about it is that, for some reason, I never think to stop and ask someone where my classroom is.  Instead, I panic and wake up a nervous wreck.  It’s so odd to me that all these years later, I still stress out about school and my grades.  I’ve always been a perfectionist, and I’ve always said that it’s my best and worst trait all in one.  I guess this is one of those times that it really is my worst.

What about you?  Do you have any odd recurring dreams (or nightmares, as is the case for me)?

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