I Never Really Was...

People have always confused my "knowledge" with "intelligence". In that, I mean people have always thought I was more intelligent than I am merely because I can get the majority of questions right on Jeopardy or always seem to have an answer to some obscure question. But that doesn't make me smart or intelligent, it makes me a mindless computer regurgitating information that I've picked up throughout my life. Intelligence is something that exists above and beyond memorization, something that I used to think I had, but have come to realize that it exists in only minor quantities. It became much more apparent in University where the focus expected on the students was to think "outside the box", use "critical thinking" and learn how to interpret information given to you and extrapolate and interpolate a probable outcome. I could never do this. It was different in high school where all you really had to do was memorize names and dates and concepts, something that I was quite good at. But when I reached post-secondary school, and in science no less, I became very, very aware of my inferior ability to properly process and interpret information given to me in a way that was not obvious. Thus, I "washed out" with a mediocre standing upon graduating and never really bothered to give science another go. But this has permeated and infected much of my regular life now, where my mind is in a fog and I'm not nearly as quick-witted as other people seem to be. Some may say that it's a by-product of my depression, but even depressed people can be highly intelligent. In fact, many highly intelligent people are themselves depressed. So it's probably not that. If people didn't think I was so smart, it might not hurt as much in actually not being so, but when you've had to live up to these expectations your whole life, you can't help but feel that you've failed at what you're "supposed" to be. Why can't I just be a happy ignoramus?

Tuva Tuva
31-35, M
1 Response Feb 15, 2010

Yep, they should start teaching critical thinking in middle school. All that memorization can narrow the mind. That said, your very realization of this struggle shows that you're not as mediocre as you may think.