Not A Typical Teenager: When Being "Smart" Becomes Your Identity

Sunday, 18 October 2015

When Being "Smart" Becomes Your Identity

Since I was young, I have always done well in school. I have always been a nerd. I have never been picked on because of it, and I have always had friends. I was never bullied, but among my friends/class, I was known as the "smart" one up until about year 9, when I found an entirely different group of friends who were all "smart" within their own groups. We formed the ultimate nerd squad.

I would say within my friend group, I'm probably still classed as "smart", but this can be a massive issue for me. When I was growing up, if I did worse than an A/A* on a test, I felt terrible because I knew that I could do better. I knew that I could have done more revision and got a better mark. The situation was not improved when people who had done better than me started asking me about how I had done. I found it difficult telling them how I had done to know that they were going to celebrate and sort of rub it in my face.

Another thing that's difficult is when you do really well and, with things like results day where everyone is getting results in a lot of different things, you start to ask other people how they did. Other people would do really well and I would congratulate them and would genuinely be really happy for them. Then they would ask me for my own results and I would tell them.

For anyone who doesn't know, in my GCSE's I had: 4 A*'s; 5 A's and 4 B's. I was incredibly proud of how I did. However, when I spoke to some people, they would say "Ahh right, but you're smart so you were always going to do well."

No. I really wasn't.

The exam I would say I worked the hardest for I would say was geography, in which I had a B. I did a lot less work for maths and got 2 A*'s. I worked just as hard as everyone else in most subjects. Granted, I could have done more, but I did a lot of extra curricular activities last year and I did need some time to chill and rest my head. I used my lessons in school productively and didn't really do much work at home because of this.

Generally, I think what I'm trying to say is that as someone who is seen as "smart", I put myself under an enormous amount of pressure to do well, and failure is something that I really struggle with because it's not something I'm very familiar with. Failure scares me. A lot. I guess it's just something I have to come to terms with, and something that is going to happen at some point in my life.

Do any of you have issues with this? I would love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments or get in touch with me via email bracesandglasses@gmail.com . Please get in touch.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

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