Being Smart

Hello. I was asked to write this to inform you lovely people what it’s like being me. That is to say Smart.  In all honesty, I have considered this before, the pros and cons of being intelligent, and I have to say, it is a very balanced argument.

I have been selected, among others, to have the opportunity of taking masterclasses every year since I was in year 7.  That’s 4 years.  Every year I have grasped that opportunity, opting for (usually) a writing class.  And it’s always amazing.  I would highly recommend them.  However, in choosing to do this, there does come a slight twinge of guilt.  I’ve been doing the masterclasses for several years, each time filling up a space that could have been for someone who doesn’t always get these opportunities, the choice between a good CV or giving someone else a go.  Some would say my choice was smart.  Others would say selfish.  I say a mix of the two.

As a side note; the masterclasses really are amazing, and no, I’m not being bribed to say that!

Other than the opportunities that arise from intelligence, there are other perks.  People tend to respect you a little bit more.  You could be the most awkward person ever, but you’ll get respect.  Personally my favourite part of it is beating my family at Scrabble or Trivial Pursuits!  But that’s just me.

However, among the upsides and perks, there are a few…..unmentioned dark spots.  One of the main ones for me, and probably the most important, is the pressure put on smart children by the adults.  Most of the time, I don’t think anyone even realises that they’re doing it, and its normally through comments that aren’t meant to pressurise.  I have gone through school since Year 4, with people telling me that I’m going to do well in my exams, that I’m going to get A*s, and that I’m going to do well in life, well, what if I don’t?  Those statistics that say intelligent people are more depressed and feel more pressured?  My theory is that this is why.  The expectations put on us from such a young age.

I have faith in my ability to do well, but I already know that if I don’t get A’s and up in my GCSEs, I’m going to feel like I’ve let down way more people than myself.  It gets better as you get older; teachers start telling you that the grades don’t matter, as long as you tried your hardest.  But it is very hard to get the original idea of ‘Ultimate success or Bust’ out of your head.

Another side note; smart kids don’t think inside the box.  At least, some of us don’t.  We over think things to the point where we’ve linked WW1 to time travel.

Don’t get me wrong.  Being an intelligent child is pretty cool; we seem to have formed an online community with Tumble as HQ, and we can insult people using the periodic table.  But it does have ups and downs, and sometimes people forget that we get stuck too.  We’re just smart, we aren’t super-computers.  Not all of us can do a Rubix Cube blindfolded, or recite π to the nth digit from memory.  Hell, I still get confused by fractions!

Intelligence is both a blessing and a curse simultaneously.  But there is always the chance that we might figure out how to develop time travel!!

Phoebe Y11