Intelligence Is Subjective: Don't Let It Define You

Intelligence Is Subjective: Don't Let It Define You

And even if its not good enough, that doesn't mean I'm not good enough.

As I've grown up, I've realized a lot about myself when it comes to my intelligence. And the truth is, intelligence is subjective. Intelligence isn't something you can pinpoint with a test score, with a GPA, with the number of zeroes in a salary. Its not only based on book smarts, but street smarts, emotional smarts, wiseness. Being knowledgable about a subject can be considered intelligence, being good at something can be considered intelligence, and knowing how to handle hard situations can be considered intelligence.

In fourth grade, I was considered smart enough to leave the room for special learning opportunities with other "bright" students. I felt proud to be in that program, I felt like I had a gift. But in fifth grade, I was not invited back and began to question myself. Even at such a young age, it felt like a setback from the path I had been on.

In middle school, I struggled with math as my friends aced their tests, even taking a summer school course to get ahead in an attempt to prove myself again. I could do what they could do, I could be considered smart. I knew that I went home and worked a lot harder than all of them, that I was driven to be like them, and yet I fell behind. In eighth grade, I was the only one in my class to fail my Algebra 2 final. I went to the bathroom and cried, and coming back to the room I got a lot of looks. My teacher spoke to me in private about the situation, and she was the first one ever to tell me it was okay. That sometimes that happens. That that didn't define me. But I was still disappointed in myself.

In high school calculus, I received my first "C" ever. I was so mad I gave up. I slept during tests, didn't pay attention in class, and threw the AP test down the drain. It had been so long of me studying, going to my teacher after school, practicing problems on my own, and nothing helped! I almost went back to the tutor I had freshman year in math. Little did any of my friends know I even had a tutor, and I don't think I've ever admitted it since then. I wanted to be so like them, straight A's and 4.0 GPA. But I got something out of it they quite hadn't--a work ethic. I developed the work ethic that now runs my life.

In college last semester, my GPA dropped lower than I care to admit. But I'm proud of myself. I'm proud of knowing I went to tutoring three times a week last semester to try to stay afloat, that I passed (barely!) the hardest undergrad class offered at CSU, that I studied for tests 20 hours a week to get a "D" on it. Its frustrating, its annoying, and it makes me question who I am and what I want. And even if I can't keep up with everyone else as much as I would like to--I know how to work hard for something I want. I know who I am and what I am capable of. I know that they struggle with their own problems as well, and we don't all have the same gifts, but my gift is perseverance. Its not giving up. Its not throwing the towel in. Its not quitting. I will give it my all until I fail, and if I do fail, I try again. And that is what I want future employers to see, not the GPA number.

I'm not a genius. I'm not a brainiac. I'm not perfect. I'm a lot of things though--I'm hardworking, I'm driven, I'm passionate. I learn quickly, I practice hard, I try my best. And even if its not good enough, that doesn't mean I'm not good enough. I've learned a couple things since elementary school: Failing a test doesn't make you stupid, your intelligence doesn't define you, retaking a class is just a second chance, you don't fail but you learn something, and you can pass. You are enough. Intelligence is subjective, don't let numbers change your mind about yourself.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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5 Tips For Incoming College Freshman

Remember when everyone told you that high school was going to be the best four years of your life.. and then it wasn't? Well now for some of you, comes the BEST and WORST four years of your life. Here's a little bit you need to know in order to be prepared for the eventful year to come.


Yes, believe it or not your parents, friends, and teachers were right. College is SO much different than high school in so many different ways. Luckily, I just survived my freshman year so I was in your place literally a year ago today. Everyone tells you how different college is from high school but they don't tell you how and that's what I'm here for! Lets just start with the 1st difference....

1. A whole new world

You will feel like your in a new world because in a way you are. You will suddenly be surrounded by so many groups of people, new cultures, different lifestyles, different languages, everything is so NEW. Not only are you not going to class with the same people everyday that you have seen in the hall for years but you are going to classes with complete strangers from all over the states and sometimes even the world. You are suddenly going to have to share a room with a stranger or even a best friend which can also lead to some issues. But what is most important to know is that even though you feel alone the first few weeks or even months... trust me so does everyone else, its okay to feel overwhelmed its normal. We all have absolutely no idea what we are doing we are all just pretending like we have somewhat of a plan. I met most of my friends my freshman year through being completely LOST on campus.

2. Making new friends

One thing that you aren't taught how to do in high school or honestly by anyone is how to make friends. I knew most people in my classes throughout high school so when I started college I hardly knew anyone besides my roommate. It definitely took me a while to branch out and start making friends but I had to remind myself to put myself out there and eventually I met some wonderful humans. Remember to always be yourself and you will attract people that WANT to be your friend. It takes time but once again, you are not alone. It will look like people already have their group and stuff but everyone is struggling just as much as you most likely.

3. Responsibilities 

The new responsibilities you will have... get prepared, they will hit you like a truck or at least they did me. You will suddenly be responsible for cleaning your room, doing your laundry, feeding yourself, doing your homework, remembering specific dates, paying bills, honestly the list becomes never ending because you are slowly becoming an adult :(((( I remember a time when I wanted to be an adult, now all i want to do is be in kindergarten taking a nap LOL, Luckily I already was familiar with most of these things as were others im sure but there are also people that haven't had to do some of the things by them selves before which can be overwhelming at times. You will eventually fall into your own personal routine and get your own system going and things will become second nature. Don't be afraid of this, just be prepared in order to have the most stress free incoming year.

4. Academics...

The real reason we are in college in the first place. Yeah, here is where your parents and teachers were right... high school courses and college courses can be either very similar or very different. It honestly depends on what the course is and who your professor is but, for the most part, college courses and professors are much different. Professors do not like to repeat themselves and expect you to remember any important dates they mention. They expect you to write it down, no excuses. In high school you teachers would give you a break but that's not really how college works. Some professors may cut you some slack but most wont. Do NOT waste a professors time and remember that even though you are paying to go to school there, you can get kicked out in a heart beat so don't risk it. Refrain from talking in class, and show up!!! you can miss one thing and the next thing you know you have a 5 page paper due in a few days. Save yourself the stress and just pay attention for the whole 50 minute or hour and a half class you have.

5. Packing 

PACK LIGHTLY!!! I packed so much unnecessary clothes, decorations, etc, that I ended up not needing or never even using. Safe as much space as you can because your dorm room will definitely get cluttered fast and you will accumulate more things throughout the year. So, pack the clothes and decor you NEED. Try your best to not over pack (as hard as it is (; )

6. Homesickness

No one:

Every college student ever: "Ugh I can't wait to go to college I hate living here!"

You know we've all said it but you will most likely get homesick at some point. My house is not far from the College at all and even I still was homesick sometimes. Its one of those things that everyone goes through so remember you are not alone. Luckily, we live in the 21st century too so you can always video chat your fam and send them some love. Its okay to be homesick just try to get more involved and do things you would do if you were at your own house. I always try to bring a few things from home too just to look at and remind myself that I will see my family soon.

Freshman year was difficult for me to adjust to as im sure it was to others, so hopefully you keep these tips in mind this summer as you prepare for your first year of college! I am excited for you all to start this next chapter, welcome to the beginning of adulthood class of 2023!


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