Being ‘clever’ is a bit of a trap.
I was very young when I started to get labelled as one of the ‘clever’ children. All throughout primary school and into the first few years of secondary school I was an overachiever. It was the only aspect of my personality that I had, I was very quiet and socially awkward, I didn’t make friends easily and I preferred to be on my own.
I wasn’t pretty or friendly or funny- I was just clever. I had no other aspects to my personality.
I was about thirteen or fourteen when I stopped being ‘clever’.
I could roughly keep up with the other children in the class, but I was by no means at the top. I melted away and became ordinary.
All ‘clever’ children reach a point where they’re not at the top of the class anymore. That can come at a young age, or it can come when they reach university… but it does come eventually.
We can increase our intelligence by studying and putting in effort, naturally ‘clever’ children will all eventually hit a wall where they find themselves having to put in more and more effort to maintain the grades that once came easily.
I hit this in my early teens, it was a big shock to the system and I really didn’t know what to do. I was very depressed at the time and this blow to my identity only made things much worse.
I felt really worthless for a long, long time. I didn’t know who I was anymore, I felt like I had no personality and that I wasn’t good at anything.
It took me a while to stop feeling like this, I branched out and found some other hobbies; I got counselling and started to become the person that I wanted to be. Drama helped me a lot to find confidence and learn social skills.
I’m quite that I hit the wall before I took my A-levels, that way I knew that I had to put in some serious effort to the get the grades that I wanted, and I knew how to do that.
I have friends who are only just hitting that wall now that they’ve gone to university… and that must be pretty crap for them.
Intelligence needs work, natural abilities and upbringing can only go so far- I feel really sorry for children who grow up being labelled just as ‘clever’; their intelligence is A) not something that should be used to define them and B) not something to take for granted.
’til next time,