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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
NotExactlyCrazy Offline
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Am I smart enough? - December 30th 2013, 06:09 PM

Hi there. I have always considered myself a fairly intelligent person. I skipped the eighth grade and have always been ahead of my grade level. I have a 3.84 GPA, which I though was good until I learned you could get a 5.0. I am a junior in High School and I am taking a college credit this year and an honors class as well as several regular credits. I have As in all. Next year I will be taking all AP and college credit classes. I though that was smart. I though a kid who was A/B and taking advanced stuff meant I was smart, but now my little cousins are taking college credits in their Freshmen year...I feel SO stupid and I am terrified that I won't get into a college or win any scholarships. I am a well rounded person, I work at a library, perform in several musicals a year, have had my writing published locally, and volunteer with an anti-bullying program that travels around my area. Am I going to be too stupid to get into a college? Will anyone want someone sub-par like me? Help, what do I do to make myself smarter?
   
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Re: Am I smart enough? - December 30th 2013, 06:40 PM

Hi, there! I really admire your dedication to school and extracirrcular activities. You earn a 3.84/5 GPA and that is really good! That's, I'd say, a B+ or A- average and that is guaranteed to get you into quite a few schools! Don't let your cousins' taking AP courses in their freshman year bring you down! You're you, you do what you're best at and live up to your abilities. Your best is your best, even if you don't feel like it's good enough, because you tried your hardest.
   
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Re: Am I smart enough? - December 30th 2013, 07:01 PM

I thought the same at the beginning of this year don't worry!
I think its new that they are offering freshmen AP classes because I never got the option as a freshmen. A's & B's are really good and you shouldn't feel stupid at all, as well as that 3.84 GPA.
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Re: Am I smart enough? - December 30th 2013, 07:57 PM

Society places a LOT of emphasis on grades, extracurricular activities, titles, awards, etc. Society will also LIE to you and say that excellent performance in these areas means EVERYTHNG. It DOESN'T. Here's the problem: there will always be pressure to "up the ante" when it comes to things like the educational system. You can either choose to go along with what society tells you to do (e.g., strive for the 5.0 GPA and be the president of a billion clubs/organizations) and almost certainly "crack" under the pressure (e.g., suffer from depression, anxiety, stress, physical illness/chronic pain), or you can choose to find a balance and BE HAPPY. I knew people who earned 5.0 GPAs or came close to it. They were some of the most miserable, poorly-adjusted people I ever met. They had a completely skewed view of themselves and of the rest of society. I'm not saying everyone who achieves a 5.0 GPA is going to be "screwed up," but I WILL say that placing yourself under that much pressure to achieve "perfection" is a bad idea.

You're in a good place, and you'll continue to be in a good place if you just keep doing what you're doing. If you find that you're getting "burned out," then be kind to yourself and make adjustments so you'll be able to feel energized again. There's nothing wrong with taking a "regular" class, or dropping an activity, or having some much-needed "me" time. Success is not measured by achievements. Success is what YOU see it to be. For me, being "successful" means being able to do something I love, being surrounded by loved ones, and having a certain degree of comfort. I may not have a job that pays $1,000,000 a year, but you know what? I'm HAPPY, and when I'm happy, life is beautiful. What kind of life do you want to have? The one society tells you to have, or a beautiful life as defined by your own understanding of what it means to be "successful"?





   
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Re: Am I smart enough? - December 31st 2013, 07:14 PM

The funny thing is I'm writing a philosophical-life stance manifesto that involves issues with society controlling your thoughts, so I'll chime in. "When one decides that they must do well in school, its not because they want to, but because society places so much emphasis on intellectual accomplishment." The problem is that how you do in school isn't going to be the basis for your whole life. One of my uncles graduated high school with a 4.5 GPA and went to Princeton; however, he lacked the self-motivation that you have and dropped out after one semester. You have set yourself on a good course in my opinion. As long as your happy where you currently are, you should be able to get into a good college. If you try going for perfection as society tells you, you'll become a miserable person unless if you have the self-motivation in achieving a super high GPA. I just finished my first semester of high school with a 4.17 GPA and I'm happy about it. I'm not depressed that I didn't get a 4.5 GPA (the maximum for the three honors classes I have) like society wants me to. As long as your happy with where you are, don't push for something that you feel you'll have trouble getting.




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Re: Am I smart enough? - January 1st 2014, 05:33 PM

Don't worry so much! Yes, grades and extracurriculars are important, but you sound like you're doing fine. I got into college just fine with similar activity levels and grades. There will always be people that are "better than you" who think it's necessary to brag and make you feel less than them. The only person you need to impress is yourself. Perseverance and hard work get you much farther than a GPA and a few extra advanced classes.


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Re: Am I smart enough? - January 1st 2014, 08:42 PM

Charlie, you are absolutely smart enough to go to college and be successful at anything that you want to do! I know there's a lot of pressure to push yourself harder and be as good as you can be, but as others have said, academics aren't everything. I also know that it's easy to compare yourself to others, but you are not other people. Just because I never got straight A's and my 16 year old cousin does, doesn't mean that he's any better than I am. Just because someone else is doing better at one thing than you doesn't mean they are better than you. We all have different strengths. Your best is all anyone can ask you to do.


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Re: Am I smart enough? - January 2nd 2014, 09:59 AM

Depends on the colleges you want to go to. Find some colleges you want to apply to, and then look at the scholarship requirements. Some colleges offer scholarships based on GPA and ACT/SAT scores alone. Others are more complicated.

It sounds like you'll get something when you apply for them. I think you should just keep doing your best and not worry about it too much. Of course the best schools might be super competitive, but less prestigious schools might have something. That is how it was for me anyway.



   
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Re: Am I smart enough? - January 2nd 2014, 10:13 AM

Don't stress, and don't spend too much effort trying to keep up with someone else. The simple fact is that there will always be someone who gets better grades than you, or does more stuff. Doesn't mean that you can't still do awesomely yourself!

I've also seen many many students work really hard in school, stress out, learn how to do well at school, and then fall apart once they hit university/college. Often it's the ones who try too hard to do everything and be perfect.

Your best bet, as always, is to do what you love doing, which means you'll do well. That will help you get where you want to end up. Don't waste too much time comparing yourself with others, that's not often helpful.


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Re: Am I smart enough? - January 3rd 2014, 03:14 AM

Yes that is a good GPA and you will probably receive some scholarship offers. However, I would strongly recommend attending a instate school to help keep tuition costs down. If I could do it over again, I would start out at a community college and then transfer into a larger one. Then maybe I would have realized my passion sooner was nursing and being a paramedic rather than molecular genetics.

Also, a lot of people do not care where you go to school as long as it is an accredited school and you have excellent experiences.. I have a job before most bachelor prepared nurses did. I took an offer in the ICU before I walked and my ER wanted to keep me. I am receiving calls now from other hospitals because it's close to my test date. However, I am highly desirable due to my experiences and the fact that I will be an RN. I worked as a firefighter/medic, I worked as a paramedic in an ER, and I had a preceptorship in an ER.
   
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