I decided to write about an issue that I’ve been having since I started college, that those around often dismiss or laugh away. I definitely fit the stereotype of the super intelligent nerd, so when I discovered in college that classes aren’t as easy for me as I expected and that I may need to develop some new strategies to handle them, everyone around me looked at me with disbelief.
I have to admit that at first I also experienced some disbelief. I’m intelligent, always did well in school, so why would I suddenly have problems in college? I had went from being able to do homework with such ease to spending increasing amounts of time studying and trying to comprehend what I was learning. Had I not been as intelligent as I was growing up? Did I somehow lose my intelligence as the years passed by?
After some thinking I realized that I didn’t have problems in high school because it is formatted in an incredibly different way that college. In high school the activities often required the memorization of certain facts and formulas and the regurgitation of those items on exams. My brain can handle memorization in most cases pretty easily. When I was younger I was able to easily memorize the spelling of words upon words while participating in spelling bees. I could remember complicated routes to places that I had only been to once. College, on the other hand, has a completely different format. Assignments are more intricate and require a lengthy thought process. It’s not just simple memorizing and spewing anymore.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that the way that my brain is wired up is going to make things different for me in college. I can’t do assignments and exams the same way that my peers do. I have to find different environments to take my exams in so I can focus, and I have to find studying strategies that work around how my brain functions.
I am by no means stupid. The material I’m learning is in my brain. It just takes a different way to get the material out of my brain as compared to other students. Just because I do things differently doesn’t make me useless or stupid.