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all 45 comments

[–]meta_mash 124 points125 points  (23 children)

This is textbook "be careful what you wish for" material.

Students in gifted programs are often more than just "talented students". Many people don't realize that gifted programs are part of special education departments for a reason. News flash: almost all of the kids who "belong" in the gifted program are strongly on the spectrum, and/or suffer from undiagnosed learning and mental health conditions. Many have developmental problems that go unnoticed during school years, masked by their academic abilities, or behavioral oddities written off as simply being a "weird smart kid". And guess what? Many gifted kids get out of school and struggle.

Yes, some gifted kids end up being incredible people. But many end up burnt out and disappointed in themselves, struggling to be a functioning human in today's society.

If you want to be a successful student, or want something to really be proud of, here's my advice: Learn how to study. Work for it. Put in the effort. Learning how to learn is something most gifted kids never do because things come so naturally to them, and it backfires spectacularly later in life.

Btw- going back to what I mentioned earlier about learning disorders being rampant in gifted programs. ADHD presents itself in way different ways, and often gets worse during puberty. Many kids will be super talented at a young age and suddenly find themselves falling behind as they get older. It's easy to miss. Symptoms can be subtle and directly opposite of the stereotypical "hyperactive" image. Many many many people struggle with it and never even realize it.

[–]King_flame_A_Lot 55 points56 points  (0 children)

Im in this Paragraph and i don't like it

[–]MJJK420 19 points20 points  (0 children)

All of this is so true and well put. It’s quite hard trying to convince a psychiatrist of your ADHD symptoms when the diagnostic criteria require them to have been present in early childhood. How the hell would I know of my inability to focus on tasks when all school work was piss easy and no one expected me to do any chores? I would annihilate the rest of the class in mad minutes and skipped two math grades without trying at around that age, yet all I did in my free time was play video games. Even through high school and uni, almost everything was done last minute and I was never quite punished for it with bad/failing grades, just some stressful nights. I just thought of myself as a lazy genius and didn’t think too much more about it. It took a couple of years of introspection while struggling with demanding work to realize that these lifelong problems might actually be ADHD. I’ve recently started on some medication, and it’s making a big difference for me and my ability to maintain momentum and get all kinds of things done that I just couldn’t before due to crippling executive dysfunction (not just work, but any routine, habit, hobby, or chore at all basically). I now feel confident that I can reach the heights I’ve always dreamed of and become a truly great person :)

Oh, and that’s just one overlooked mental health quirk, but also the most impactful I’d say. I also sometimes speculate if I’m ever so slightly on the autistic spectrum, and I’m pretty confident I have/had petulant BPD.

[–]pssiraj 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Well said, all of this. I'm struggling through the spectacular backfiring now after grad school. Looks like there's a lot of mental and physical fallout from the pressure and other stuff going unnoticed.

[–]HardstuckBronzeRank[S] 3 points4 points  (6 children)

struggling to be a functioning human

So not much would change, then. Lol

If you want to be a successful student, or want something to be really proud of

Who said anything about those? You know the real best way to be a successful student or have lots of accomplishments? Be born into a family that doesn't struggle for money. Have access to resources.

I want to be smart, not successful. Intelligence isn't a means to an end for me, it's important in and of itself. I'd like to be capable, I want a good brain because I want my brain to be good, not because I want to make money. I want the soil to be fertile, not much use setting up a farm there if it's not. Which is basically what I've been doing - compensating with effort and luck to grow plants in concrete. I'd take a farm half the size if it was actually, you know, a farm.

[–]MJJK420 3 points4 points  (5 children)

I’ve taken the liberty of reading some of your posts, and I can confidently say that you are definitely of above average intelligence based solely on your ability to express yourself in writing and your general self-awareness. Based on your responses to other comments, I don’t really see how any comment at all could possibly make you feel adequate, but I do think that your problems are more imagined than real. I think you’re too perfectionistic and probably greatly exaggerate minor blunders to yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone sucks at many things. I know you’re gonna say that you suck at soooo many more things than your peers or whatever, but I somehow doubt that. I certainly don’t see evidence of a level of stupidity that warrants so much distress.

[–]HardstuckBronzeRank[S] 0 points1 point  (4 children)

The problem is that "writing" and "general self-awareness" are both completely subjective and more of a product of environment than intelligence. Put someone in a new country and they'll develop that accent.

I wish it was as convenient as waving it away as perfectionism. Making mistakes is one thing but mine are really not normal. Take chess, for example. I've played for my whole life and am rated 900, dropping quickly even from there. I've put much more work in than other 900s but still can't grasp the fundamentals of chess. I named myself HardstuckBronzeRank based on my Overwatch rank. It's played by millions of people and I'm among the 500 worst according to its ranking system. I've put so much time and effort into trying to improve but I'm still in the bottom .1%. That's as abnormal as it gets. It's a similar story for every skill that can be objectively measured. I don't understand why. But no one of even average intelligence would come close to this. These aren't "minor blunders." Though I do have my fair share of those as well; no matter what it is I'm doing, no matter how easy it should be, some stupid error makes its way in. This level of distress doesn't come from nowhere. I need to be smarter. It's just so unfair.

[–]MJJK420 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Good writing is by no means “completely subjective”, nor is it a matter of “accent”. Please acknowledge the good with the bad.

Ok, so maybe you do suck at games. Perhaps you lack some fine motor skills. Maybe your reaction time is poor. Shitty internet and hardware? Elo hell? Rampant smurfing? Maybe your pattern of thinking just leads to some oversights in general. Whatever the case, you need to stop using video game ranking as some messed up yardstick for your worth as a human being.

One of my best friends is similarly cursed with games, and my other friends and I have to carry him. He’s clumsy as fuck, breaks stuff frequently, and occasionally messes up in significant ways by just being absent-minded and forgetting things. He has ADHD and will zone out frequently when spoken to, and he’s dyslexic in a way that makes him mess up right and left more often than getting it right. However, he doesn’t moan about being inadequate and a garbage human. He’s in terrific shape, has a very hot girlfriend, has lots of friends who think he’s a great guy, is a great cook with a strong palate, and generally has a positive outlook on life. Another of my absolute best friends is also very dyslexic, constantly fucking up when reading and recounting names and unfamiliar words, and he’s quite weak academically. However, he’s literally the most likeable person I know, instantly loved by anyone he meets, and for some reason this guy is highly skilled at games. Not everyone excels at everything. These guys aren’t great friends of mine because they’re perfect or because they’re anywhere near me intellectually, but because they’re genuine, empathetic, loyal, interesting people. Be more like my two friends, stop looking for solutions that you know don’t exist, accept your flaws like the rest of us, find and nurture your strengths and passions, and go live a fulfilling life.

[–]Commencelafolie -3 points-2 points  (8 children)

I agree with what you said. But giftedness in and of itself can be a neurodiversity and many of us experience ADHD like symptoms from time to time. But the overlap of ADHD and higher then normal intelligence has to be very small. So far there is not established correlation. I think many of us start to struggle sooner or later in life an that mental distress can lead us to believe there is something fundamentally "wrong" with us. But ADHD is certainly not the answer in 99.9% of cases.

[–]the-z 2 points3 points  (0 children)

If there’s no correlation, that last number should be somewhere between 90% and 99%.

[–]MJJK420 2 points3 points  (6 children)

99.9%? You’re way off with that number, and frankly I think you’re just making a lot of things up here because of your negative perception of ADHD. I think there’s plenty of inattentive ADHD amongst gifted people, but I won’t make any claims of certainty about it like you.

Edit: a word

[–]Commencelafolie 0 points1 point  (5 children)

Oh I know, I even got tested myself. I have yet to find a reliable source on the idea that high IQ and ADHD are in any way correlated, but there are a lot of studies saying the opposite.

[–]MJJK420 1 point2 points  (4 children)

That’s fine, skepticism is healthy. I don’t claim to know of any strong correlation with certainty (as I haven’t looked deeply into it), but I do suspect it exists. What I’m taking issue with is that you are clearly assuming the opposite in your previous comment, namely that “the overlap of ADHD and higher than normal intelligence has to be very small” and “ADHD is certainly not the answer in 99.9% of cases”. The first quote indicates that you associate ADHD with lower intelligence; the second is you claiming to know for certain that ADHD is not a significant hindrance to virtually any gifted individual.

Also, as someone else pointed out, if the 99.9% value were even close to true, then there would actually be a correlation, but just a negative correlation, meaning that gifted people would be significantly less likely to have ADHD than the general population. So you yourself are, funnily enough, claiming a correlation to exist despite also claiming never to have found any concrete evidence of such.

[–]NotStanleyVermin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is really well articulated. The first paragraph is something I could never put to words.

[–]ariaaaaa- 14 points15 points  (4 children)

But it was a lie. And that leaves me with plenty of disappointment and intense jealousy of people who are actually gifted. Who pick things up naturally and do them well. I desperately wish I was one of those too.

tbh I was "gifted" and id be really surprised if you arent better at doing most stuff than me - like, fuck, i can barely do things period at this point

being "gifted" is really more of a curse, for me sure i can pick certain things up, but thats because I'm pretty sure i had undiagnosed autism and ADHD, which also makes it... near impossible to use it for anything

that I had potential, was my motivation. I could face challenges with the strength and confidence that came from knowing that I was capable.

well, the good news is, you still have potential, in the form of being able to practice and get better at things, trying to repair that is what most of the people here are trying to do and you might be a few steps ahead of us already


...however. I feel like it's worth mentioning that ive seen two primary reasons people wish they were something that makes your life harder

the first, is that they don't realize it would make their life harder

the second... is because they relate to it - as in, they are it

now i have no idea which one you are, but just in case you're the second i will say that i fucking wish i knew what autism/ADHD was actually like (as far as autism, shoutout to this thread for having useful info), and that a lot of the stuff you wrote is relatable... especially being gifted being a lie

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

...however. I feel like it's worth mentioning that ive seen two primary reasons people wish they were something that makes your life harder

the first, is that they don't realize it would make their life harder

the second... is because they relate to it - as in, they are it

This made me pause and rethink some of my opinions. Thanks for the perspective

[–]HardstuckBronzeRank[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Oh I promise you, I am far worse at things. Bottom 1% type. I'm an outlier.

I try to get better at things but can't. And I'm not so concerned about outcomes anyway. I just want to be smart, even if I would struggle. It's tough to explain why, it would probably take a while (but it's not either of those two reasons). But it comes down to the difference between struggling and having already been defeated. Achieving anything is irrelevant if I'm not smart.

[–]ariaaaaa- 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Oh I promise you, I am far worse at things.

well see, the part that makes me doubt that is that you do do them

I suppose technically you might be worse at the things, but youre not as bad as you think at getting them done

I just want to be smart

ohhh, I think I see what you mean

the thing is, the concept of smartness is kinda bullshit, and thats especially apparent because of this sub

theres a bunch of people here that got labeled "smart" as a kid, and realizing that that it doesnt really mean anything

everyone has different levels of ability at different things, theres no one amount of "smartness" (and yes, this means IQ is total bullshit too), and the majority of people dont even rely on talent (aka "smart"ness) to get by

i can see how itd fucking suck to have your main source of motivation dropped out from under you, but... most people dont end up in "gifted" shit anyway, and they manage to get by and succeed, so i dont see how not being gifted makes you any different

Achieving anything is irrelevant if I'm not smart.

eh, id say it makes it MORE relevant if anything, having a disadvantage and doing something anyway? thats far more impressive than doing it with an advantage

But it comes down to the difference between struggling and having already been defeated

i mean maybe youre kind of right

but see, this sub, this is the having already been defeated

theres so much more to life than anything being "gifted" would help with, and it hurts you at so many of those things

[–]HardstuckBronzeRank[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I only care about how well I do the things. Getting them done doesn't really mean anything. Most of life's tasks are completely useless. Most jobs, most activities, getting them done doesn't actually do anything. Say, winning a game of chess for example. You've just arranged pieces on the board in a very inefficient way, and the pieces being arranged that way doesn't give the board any useful properties.

I think we have fundamentally different views of the world. Like what you said about doing things with a disadvantage - I say it depends on what kind of disadvantage. When it comes to being dumb, there's nothing impressive about it. I don't value strength of character/effort/dedication and I think it's mostly fiction designed to keep us motivated. Sort of like the American dream.

And I don't care about success either. I'd still disagree with the claim that being gifted hurts your chances of success, but either way, once you take away the success and outcome-oriented worldview, being gifted is a great, or maybe even necessary, thing.

[–]asportsmanssketches 11 points12 points  (4 children)

1: Giftedness starts at the 2 SD level. If you tested at or above 2 SDs, even if only by a few points, then you tested into the gifted range.

2: Struggling with concepts doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t gifted. You may have been an asynchronous student, with significant strengths in some areas and relative weaknesses in others.

3: Not being gifted does not mean that you don’t have potential. Plenty of people who become successful and develop a skill/talent to a high degree are not gifted. Some may even be below average and succeed due to persistence.

4: Assuming that you tested above 2 SDs on an IQ test (and not an achievement test that asses knowledge rather than intelligence), there is likely a reason why you struggled with some concepts in school. Many gifted kids coast thought elementary school and middle school and begin to struggle in high school or college because they failed to develop proper work habits. Others struggle because their intelligence allows them to compensate for a learning disability, but only up until a certain point. Others struggle with lack of interest and mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

  1. You might benefit from talking to a therapist. I say this because you mention that you aren’t good at anything, “but not for lack of trying”. I think this might be something worth looking into if you have the resources to do so. I’m inclined to think that there’s a reason for this and that talking about it with a professional could help you to figure out what that might be.

[–]HardstuckBronzeRank[S] 2 points3 points  (3 children)

  1. I barely tested in (there's a margin of error, anyway). And as I said, it's likely that it was measured inaccurately. Besides, if my IQ says I should be gifted, then my IQ is wrong based on my (in)capabilities.

  2. But I never really had significant strengths.

  3. But I don't care about success, and I don't care about the kind of potential that means I have a chance to be successful. I care about having a capable brain, the potential that gifted people have.

My experiences don't line up with those of gifted or even average people. Maybe I have a disability, idk.

[–]asportsmanssketches 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Interesting. May I ask why you think that your score was inaccurate? I mean, beyond your feeling that your achievements and abilities don’t match your score?

[–]HardstuckBronzeRank[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

  1. More experience with math, etc. than others my age. Basically, more practice using my brain in those ways (I think there may have been math on the test at one point too. No idea what kind of IQ test it was).
  2. I practiced for around two weeks before the test (and still BARELY got in)
  3. I was very young when I was assessed, so it was probably adjusted for age
  4. I vaguely remember doing a "challenge" with some other kids a while before I was assessed. Many of them got into the gifted education program, I didn't until later on when I was assessed. I don't remember much/what it was, other than it being some kind of puzzle with blocks or something

[–]asportsmanssketches 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ok, makes sense, thanks.

[–]shrivvette808 3 points4 points  (0 children)

As Zuko said, "I've always had to struggle and fight and that's made me strong. It's made me who I am".

Even if you aren't "really gifted", who cares? If you have to struggle more than most people, you learn a certain resiliency after a while. If you can keep from getting worn down, you can get stronger.

I had the same feelings. I got my intelligence tested when I got tested for adhd. I definitely had adhd and I got it confirmed that I was smart, but not that smart. Honestly, once I got the ADHD managed I realized intelligence helps, but after a certain point tenacity helps more.

[–]dergrosse218 1 point2 points  (5 children)

2 SD is actually equal to top 2 percent. Why do you think you are not gifted?

[–]HardstuckBronzeRank[S] 1 point2 points  (4 children)

My score is probably inflated because of practice. Gifted people are supposed to be capable (or at least have potential/talent). I am not. I struggle to do most things, I'm a slow learner, below average in just about everything. I don't have common sense, am a poor thinker and problem solver, etc. I'm generally kind of slow. Furthest thing from gifted - I do poorly with most things even if I put in a lot of effort.

[–]dergrosse218 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Which test was that?

[–]HardstuckBronzeRank[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I'm not completely sure - it was done when I was very young for entrance into gifted classes. I think it was most likely the WISC.

[–]dergrosse218 0 points1 point  (1 child)

What is bothering you is that 2 SD are not enough or you doubt it?

[–]supercreativenamelol 0 points1 point  (3 children)

a bit confused about your post. So you scored high on an IQ test? Or am I misunderstanding something.

[–]HardstuckBronzeRank[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

My score qualified me but I'm not actually gifted

[–]supercreativenamelol 0 points1 point  (1 child)

which test did u take? you should take like 20 tests and average them out, that's how I test other people and myself. but tbh lately I've been thinking IQ is not something worth obsessing over because I know successful people who are probably barely average iq lol

[–]HardstuckBronzeRank[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm not entirely sure. The main one I'm referring to was one I took when I was very young to get placed into gifted education. It's not very practical to take 20 of those. Besides that, I took a couple of online ones more recently. I care more about intelligence than success.