What I Thought: Being “Smart”

Ever since I was in elementary, I have been put with the top kids in the class. Now, I never thought that I was smart. But the schools I went to, thought I was. My grades weren’t bad. I was a B student. Except for math. I was usually hoping for a C in that class.

In middle school, I was switched over to Honors classes and I was practically shitting my pants because I felt so inadequate to be in those classes. But they weren’t that bad and because of those classes I made a lot of smart friends.

Because of my decent grades in middle school, I was able to apply for the Magnet program for high school. I went in for an interview and they said that as long as my grades didn’t slip on the last report card, I could go there for my high school years.

And I got in and for the next 4 years I was a magnet student. The magnet program shared a campus with a regular school and everyone else hated the magnet program, students and teachers. I had a good time there and I was getting my ass handed to me in math and at one point, by my English teacher. But I was good in a lot of things like science and my electives. And once again, I didn’t think I was that smart. Even though I was a magnet student.

My GPA also wasn’t that bad. I had a 3.3. which was good but it wasn’t something fantastic. When time came to apply for colleges, I had the chance to apply to UCs like UCLA or UC San Diego. But I didn’t even though I had a GPA to apply, I felt like I wasn’t eligible to apply or get in. I knew in my gut that I wouldn’t get in. And my friends asked about my GPA and when I told them, I would get speeches that I should have at least tried.

I went to Cal State instead and I got into a couple so I had choices. And I went off to one. And at this point, I kinda did feel smart because there would be certain topics talked about and I would understand or even explain to the class what the concepts were. And when people would get a first impression of me, they would say the “smart and quiet” or the “smart and successful” girl. Which I never understood because I know I’m not any of those. I guess I give off that vibe.

I’ve had guys call me really smart and compliment me on this. And I mean that’s great and I should use it to my advantage. But I just don’t feel smart. Even if my diploma has a little sticker saying I graduated with honors from the magnet program. Even if my GPA was 3.3. Even if I was switched to the honors program. I don’t think I am smart. Not at all. And I don’t know if that’s a sign of denial or a sign that I am smart for thinking that I’m not smart.

Maybe I should give myself some credit. I’ll still call myself stupid though, regardless of all this.


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