Nothing makes me more hesitant to become invested in a book or TV show than a smart teenage boy calling a girl "fat" or "ugly" under his breath (of course in that wordy, needing-to-be-clever sort of way).
More specifically, my problem is rarely with a character acting cruelly and simultaneously being intelligent, but instead when a writer has his or her characters use obnoxious, hateful remarks in order to appear like they are above everyone else. As if being unjustifiably disrespectful and purposely having no filter makes them superior somehow.
The same rings true for all the real-life smart assholes out there, and the learning environment is not spared from said assholes.
Going to school with a diverse selection of professors, each from their own unique background, you are bound to find some are more effective than others. Moreover, you are likely to find that many educators are far more interested in pretending to teach than actually teaching.
Fortunately, I was always able to avoid these types of teachers with a little bit of research and a lot of luck, but that didn't prevent others from coming into contact with them.
Too many times, I have had people complain to me about the teachers that would tell you things like "most of you won't pass this class" and then put unbelievable questions on exams just for the sake of watching 99 percent of the class squirm and fail.
I find that these are the least respected of the teachers, the chosen few with the low student success rates and awful end-of-semester evaluations.
The moral? Being a jerk doesn't make you better at teaching, and thinking you're better than others doesn't magically boost your IQ points.
Make no mistake, confidence is important. Know that your talent and grit can take you to many amazing places and that you have the power to forge whatever you want out of life. You should know that your path is important to the way things turn out in the years to come.
However, you should also know that your path is not inherently more crucial than the person's sitting next to you in English 205.
If intelligence is something you want to be associated with, then be intelligent. Be smart and clever. Raise your hand in class and read a couple of novels during summer break. Be smart in a way that is productive and all about your personal growth.
Just don't be an ass. I promise the only person who will believe your "intelligence" consistently is you. And even that will wear thin over time.