Being Labeled As 'Gifted' Has Ruined My Life

Being Labeled As 'Gifted' Has Ruined My Life

Why was I seen as special compared to some of my friends? Why were they not getting access to the same resources as me?

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.

Cover Image Credit: Emily Mazzola

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Being A Leader Can Be A Double-Edged Sword

Leadership experience is key, however, with it, you have to be able to roll with the punches.

“What kind of leadership experience do you have? Do you plan on taking on leadership roles in the future?” I feel like leadership is a word you cannot avoid anymore and these are just some of the questions that students face on a regular basis.

In this day and age, college students have faced an extreme pressure to get involved on campus, gain leadership experience and then translate those things onto a resume. In the last year, I have held different leadership roles within a couple different organizations and it has really opened my eyes to the positive and negative sides to them.

Gaining leadership skills is imperative in order to be successful in the workforce, hopefully, in writing this I will be able to shed light on the positive aspects while preparing readers for the possible hardships that can come.

Being a leader can be so fun! Within any organization, there are so many different leadership roles you can take on, and I highly suggest you do. Take on whichever role really speaks to you and your character. The more you feel you relate to the requirements of the position the better you will understand and value it. That’s the exciting part! You learn so much, get to grow as a person, doing something you’re passionate about, while also leading others and giving yourself to something bigger.

Some other really great aspects are the tools that the role can offer you. You all of a sudden gain access to people, technology, and opportunities you would not otherwise have had. You learn how to communicate with people that you may not have otherwise crossed paths with, you learn how to feel compassion for those same people, these things learned on top of basic organizational skills and public speaking skills. When given the title you automatically become the go-to person for that thing and over time, given the effort you put in, master it, which is truly an accomplishment.

Leadership, in general, can and will test most if not every aspect of you as a person.

The knowledge you have of your position will be tested, but even further it will test the strength you have as a human. Being the leader means owning up to your mistakes. Every. Single. Time. It means that you get to fulfill all of the fun parts of the job, but also the not-so-fun parts. Your leadership position can and will make you question yourself as a person and what you stand for. This is something I had no idea would happen, and frankly, I was not ready to have to do that.

However, just like with most things, I did it and learned more about who I am.

Something else that is important to remember about these roles, is that when things go wrong, you and the other leaders, will be the fall guy. When something happens that those in your organization do not agree with, whether it be organizationally sanctioned or not, those members will look for someone to blame. That in and of itself is something we as people will always do, and it may not always be the right way to approach the situation, however, it does happen.

Just like any good leader, when things don’t happen the way they were supposed to, that person not only takes the emotional hit that comes with it, but they also have to take the heat from those in the group that do not agree with what happened.

Experiences such as those are the ones that will make any leader question if they are truly fit for doing so. In the end, that leader will learn, grow, and hopefully change, in order to keep the best interests of the whole group in mind.

Taking on leadership roles, will for most people be inevitable.

There is so much a person can learn about themselves and others when doing so. In the last year, I have held several different leadership roles within different organizations and it has really opened my eyes to what leaders face every day whether it be on a small or large scale. Gaining leadership skills is key to being successful in the workforce, and hopefully, in putting my experiences into writing I have taught readers that you should pursue every opportunity afforded you in the realm of leadership, but that it takes a strong person willing to adapt and grow.

Cover Image Credit: Ian Schneider

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30 Thoughts You Probably Had During The First Day Of Classes

It's all fun and games until you have to go back to class

One of the greatest joys in life is finally heading back to college after break. While it is accompanied with some sadness of leaving your family, pets and bed, it is made up for with college friends, independence and just the general greatness of college life. However, actually going to classes is another story. Here are 30 thoughts you probably had while getting adjusted to the first day of class.

1. *Alarm goes off* Is it really time to get up?

2. I forgot how much it sucked to have community bathrooms

3. Should I dress nicely?

4. What is everyone else wearing?

5. I don't even know where my classes are

6. Am I in the right room?

7. I sorta know that person. Should I sit next to them or is that weird?

8. How are we already on lesson one?!!??!

9. What happened to syllabus week???

10. I already have homework??

11. This is not what I signed up for

12. Okay, it is but still! I wasn't ready for this

13. I wonder if anyone else has lunch right now

14. Why are all my friends in class

15. I guess I'll eat lunch alone

16. Oh good, people I know!!!

17. Why am I already sick of the food here it has only been one day

18. Time for my class! Yay!

19. *repeat thoughts six through 12*

20. Finally done for the day!!!

21. Should I go to the gym or nap?

22. Maybe I'll be productive

23. Or just hang out with friends and do nothing because I don't have that much work yet

24. It was only the first day and I'm exhausted

25. At least I get to pick what time to eat dinner!

26. Why are there so many club meetings

27. Back to the communal showers!

28. I miss my big bed

29. I wonder if my pet misses me yet

30. Can't wait to do this all again tomorrow!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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