Field Trip Nightmares

I don’t recall the exact moment I began to hate field trips.  As far back as I can remember, they were a source of anxiety for me. I had a hard enough time fitting in when we were in class, so it was nearly impossible without the structure and oversight of a classroom environment.  The last fieldtrip I remember going on was in 1st or 2nd grade, to a small theme park in Southern California.  I don’t even remember what it was like.  Then there was the nightmarish “6th Grade Camping trip”.  I made a cool little leather something-or-other, stamped with a bull.  Everything else sucked.  I would get this pent up energy and have no idea what to do with it.  Being the new kid (I had just moved to IL from California at the beginning of that school year) it was already difficult to fit in, and being a goofball on top of that… well, that camping trip put the fear of fieldtrips in me for good.

sad me
My first photo edit attempt is almost as sad as the face I’m making!



In fact, now that I think of it, that might actually have been the turning point in my timeline of fieldtrips.  I never went on a fieldtrip after that.  I missed out on some pretty cool places too.  I missed out on 6 flags (a Warner Brothers theme park in the US, not sure if they have locations in other countries.  It’s like a less childish version of Disneyland, with rides themed from Batman, Superman, Looney Tunes, and a general Carnival atmosphere).  Museum trips?  No thank you.  There were a lot of those, too.  So what did I do, you ask?  Well I stayed at school with a teacher, or two, depending on how many kids didn’t get permission from their parents to go.  We would do fun activities like word searches, movie reviews, book reading… it was actually a time I looked forward to.  A chance to build rapport with my teachers.  They always understood me better after a fieldtrip day.  These days were relaxing.  No homework, but no real school work either, and most importantly, not dealing with the craziness of the other kids on a bus and museum.  I’m crazy as it is.  I am not used to my peers being just as energetic and crazy as I, and crammed into a school bus with them.

school bus kids.jpg

Not thanks, that’s not for me.  Imagine the teachers’ surprise, too, when I became a calm, easy-going, intelligent young man.  The social pressures from school and trying to fit in were the key to my rambunctious nature as a student.  Even now, when there’s no pressure to meet anyone’s standards, I’m actually a pretty calm, collected guy.


read the original HERE.


4 thoughts on “Field Trip Nightmares

  1. Oh my gosh, I’m so glad I read this. I just had a conversation with my 2nd grader, and he was going on and on about how he’s nervous about tomorrow’s field trip. And frankly, having chaperoned a few of his class field trips (medicated nonetheless), I get it. It’s kind of a nightmare for us overstimulated types. I don’t remember hating field trips as a kid, but I’ve always had a short bandwidth for any type of crowded museum or other crowd-drawing feature. Your post was a good reminder that ADD is likely at play for my son.


    • Now that my kids are gearing up for the fieldtrip years, a lot of this emotion comes back to me with each permission slip. I anticipate (with terror) the day when I am asked to chaperone!

      interestingly, my teachers, upon the next school day, wondered why I couldn’t be so well behaved when the rest of the class was in attendance. There is just too much to observe in a class of 20-30 kids! How did your son’s fieldtrip go?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Forgive me for just now replying, Andrew. It’s been a crazy week. Thank you for asking! Actually, the trip went amazingly well, though the day began with some jaw-dropping anxiety on both his part and mine — to the tune of him planting himself firmly in his seat and refusing to exit the car that morning in the drop-off line. Yeah. I had to let my other son out and talk him down in the parking lot, but he pushed through and that afternoon reported that he had “the best time ever” and acted as if the morning panic attack never happened. Sigh. I sent his teacher a note to give her a head’s up and she reported back that Piers is one of the most well-adjusted students in the class. I’m picking up that he saves his freakouts for his parents. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I did talk with my therapist about the situation, and she gave me some helpful tips to help him through some of these anxiety-evoking situations. It’s quite a balance knowing when to push and when to ease up. Every situation lately seems to warrant an internal evaluation on my part.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad it went well! Do you think he is internalizing any anxiety he might have while he is in school and letting it out at home?


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