There is not a feeling in the world worse than feeling like you’re not good enough.
Every day of my life, I feel like I am not good enough.
I was first labeled “gifted” when I was 3 years old. Since then, nobody has treated me like a normal person.
People act like being labeled as gifted makes you some sort of Albert Einstein-level genius.
But the truth is, I’m just a normal, average girl.
When I was in first grade, my school placed me in an accelerated program. I was taken out of my regular class every day for an hour to be placed with children that were “more my speed."
We did extra reading and deep-thinking skills. I developed the reading level of a fifth grader at 6 years old.
But why wasn’t I learning those things in my normal class?
Why was I considered special compared to some of my friends? Why were they not getting access to the same resources as me?
I was placed in yet another accelerated program in third grade. I was invited to join a magnet program at a different elementary school. I was forced to leave my friends behind to go to a “better” program.
Of course, I made new friends. Friends that were just as intelligent as I was or maybe even more intelligent.
That’s when I first learned what self-doubt was.
I was no longer the smartest kid in the class.
I was once again average.
Middle school came along, and I went to another school with a different magnet program. This one was more focused on language and literature while my old program was based on science, math and technology.
All of a sudden, I was considered dumb. I went from getting straight A’s to somehow getting B's. I was taking high school-level classes at the age of 11.
I was too smart for my own good.
Suddenly, I was getting stressed out over adult problems. I lost my rose-colored glasses and was hit in the face with the stone-cold hand of reality.
I had all of my peers telling me I was an idiot and my parents telling me I was a genius. These mixed messages got to my head and left me anxious and depressed.
I continued onto an international program for high school. I started taking college-level courses at the age of 14. I went from all A’s and B’s to a few C’s.
I officially lost any feelings of self-worth that I had left.
Over the years, I have been able to build that self-worth back up, but I still have so many questions.
Why was I chosen over some of my friends to be placed in magnet programs?
Why do students in magnet programs get access to better teachers and better materials? How is that fair?
Why wasn’t I allowed to have the life of a normal child and a normal high schooler? Why was I forced to pull all-nighters starting as a sixth grader?
Students in magnet programs aren’t better than anybody else, but so many of them think they are. They look down upon less fortunate students that didn’t have the opportunity to join special programs at 8 years old.
I got the opportunity to join these programs because my parents were extremely involved in my upbringing. Some children are not as fortunate and have parents that either don’t care or don’t have the time to dedicate.
These children don’t get the opportunity when they’re younger, and therefore, aren’t offered the opportunity when they’re older.
The educational system is extremely messed up. Students in higher socioeconomic classes get better opportunities.
What happened to equality?
We need to allow all students equal opportunities for stronger education. We need to start young.
We need to save future generations from academic discrimination.