The natural trajectory of being gifted in childhood is not a six-figure salary, perfect happiness, and a guaranteed place in Who's Who. But the deepening of the personality, the reinforcement of the personal value system, the creation of increasing individual challenges, and the development of broader means of expressing compassion. - Dr. Linda K. Silverman
Being a gifted student is never easy, but since you are extraordinary, you will be able to navigate even when swimming against the current in a culture that does not necessarily value your gifts. People will always consider you "the smart guy" no matter how hard you try to fit in. But you can learn to avoid inadvertently alienating your friends and other students by being happy with yourself.
Step 1. Understand what it really means to be gifted
Some would say it means to be smart, which is true if you have a broad definition of intelligence. A gifted student will not always be at the top of the class on every subject. Extraordinary talents are not limited to "academic intelligence" but can be expressed through art, athletics, communication, mechanics, and so on. Being gifted also means that in the area you are gifted you will have exceptional reasoning skills and will be able to learn faster than others.
Step 2. Make the most of your time at school
Remember that school, even for those placed in so-called "gifted classes," it will not necessarily be an enriching environment. After all, performance in school can be closely related to interest in the subject, and some gifted individuals feel restricted by the teaching format of the modern school system. The topics might not be rewarding. You could get bored and sit in the back of the class and sleep or daydream. You might feel like you just don't fit in. However, as with other students, you may find that some classes give you the opportunity to learn new and exciting things. In the end, it is your responsibility to make the most of your talents.
Step 3. Avoid unrealistic expectations of yourself
Don't expect to be good at everything just because you are gifted. In fact, many gifted students score very poorly because school does not adequately challenge them. Others may have perfect grades and attendance but be unable to throw a football or windmill even if their lives depend on it. Recognize what your talents are and set your expectations appropriately for them, don't berate yourself for not being automatically talented in all aspects of life. There are some things you are good at and some you are not: in both cases, focus on improving what you already have.
Step 4. Avoid mentioning your gifted status if you think your friends and acquaintances will have a hard time understanding it
Your teammates may feel the urge to compare and compete and may not understand that you are not trying to "beat" them. When a teacher calls you to talk to yourself about an extremely high grade, you don't have to call attention to it if you don't want to. If someone asks you, you can choose to be mysterious and then change the subject to something you have in common. If someone asks you about your score on the exam and you know that most of your class thinks it was difficult, you can say "everyone always has room to improve" or remind them about an exam from another course or topic in which they had a higher grade than you. If you feel pressure to publicize your achievements, remember that your performance is your concern and no one in your classroom has the right to know how well you are doing, especially if they are taking it personally.
Step 5. Be proud of all your positive characteristics including (but not limited to) your intelligence
You don't need to show off to be proud of yourself, but you don't need to act silly either. The people around you can deal with the fact that you have a brain, just as you can deal with the fact that the quarterback on your school football team has a talent for the sport and star status. No one expects the cheerleader to hide her jumping skills. If it is not a shame to be a star in sports, then you can certainly be proud of your intellectual abilities and achievements.
Step 6. Life will get particularly complicated if you get ahead a grade or two in school and even more if you have to go to both classrooms
It is much more difficult to go unnoticed because everyone will know. You have the right to say that you prefer to stay with your peers forever and remember that this will not affect your chances of a higher education, in fact, it will give you more time to build an excellent CV. However, if you are getting too bored with classes, you should at least make sure something is done about it.
Step 7. Do your best to look like a normal boy
Observe what others wear and wear similar things, as long as you don't change yourself too much to be like them. Remember that your individuality is important.
Step 8. Tell the truth, even if you don't know the answer
Never brag about your knowledge, this could alienate others before they even have a chance to meet you. Just be yourself and discuss things naturally and as well as possible. Others may get to know you and your abilities naturally through conversations about books, specific interests, or hobbies.
Step 9. Try not to obsess over grades
Nobody expects you to get perfect grades in every class every day. There is a big difference between gifted kids and kids who do well in school, so just remember that a deep understanding of the subjects that interest you will get you far in life. Your goal should be perfecting and mastering those topics, not perfect grades.
Step 10. Avoid making fun of others because they need to try harder in school than you do or for any other reason
If you joke about the fact that your friend stayed up all night studying for what you think was the easiest test of the whole year, you could hurt someone's feelings.
Step 11. Enjoy being smart because that's who you are
Be the best you can be and always be honest with yourself, gifted but normal in every way.
Step 12. Find ways to bond with others
Because you are gifted, it is not so easy to connect and find common ground with your peers, but you can still develop friendships in a variety of ways:
- Find an activity that many enjoy and in which your skills are on the same level as others. For example, you may be a math genius but on the soccer field you are just like everyone else. If so, get involved in that sport so that you can form and strengthen ties with your teammates without your gifts complicating things.
- Find other gifted students who are interested in the same things as you. If you are an extraordinary violinist, make friends with another extraordinary violinist. Practice together and discuss your performance.
- Look for gifted mentors. They can offer advice, experience, and wisdom for having lived much longer than you, not just as gifted students but also as gifted adults.
Step 13. Bond with your classmates
They understand you. They understand how your mind works. They go through the same things as you. These people are more similar to you than any other group of people. If you join the classroom in the middle of the year or if you join them a few years after the class is formed, the first thing you will notice is how close the classroom is. They will consider themselves as brothers or at least almost brothers. You will learn to depend on these people and count on them. They will become like a big family for you. You may not believe it but after 2 weeks you will love being gifted.
- If you get perfect grades, they might tease you or call you a nerd. Don't let this get to you, just get over it and be proud of yourself.
- Always do your best in school.
- Accept your intelligence. It's a gift.
- Try to find something related to the arts that you enjoy (dancing, taking pictures, learning to paint in oils, or listening to, composing, or performing music). Many gifted students enjoy and are good at these things. If your school has a band or choir, don't be afraid to join them. Offer help to others by becoming a tutor.
- In the average elementary school situation, children with an IQ of 140 waste half of their time. Those with IQs above 170 waste almost all of their time. With little to do, how can these children develop sustained effort power, respect for homework, or stable work habits? - Leta S. Hollingworth. Think about what you do and if it is worth doing. Talk to teachers and principals if you think the education you are receiving is not appropriate for you.
- FEEL PROUD. If people call you a nerd or something like that, accept it and be proud. Being different is OK. Find others who are also different and are different together. Don't forget to be cool.
- Avoid treating like "babies" your classmates who may be less intelligent. It is natural for a gifted student to want to guide and mentor students who may need help, but you must be careful not to treat them like babies.
- Try to have gifted and non-gifted friends. Be just as friendly with everyone.
- Read. Reading is a great way to learn, entertain yourself, and exercise your mind.
- Teachers will often ask you to do extra things to help them. It is your right to refuse to do these things as the school will not pay you. Try not to do too many extra tasks at the same time. If you have a Scout meeting, a recital, art lessons, and you have to host a sleepover on the same day, then you might have a problem. Take time from time to time to sit back, relax, and do nothing but empty your mind.
- No matter how much you want to fit in in school, don't fail assignments or perform poorly on purpose. You would be throwing away a very promising future.
- Chances are you master a prodigious vocabulary and are surprisingly prone to exploiting it (take note of the complicated words in this sentence). However, try to keep the use of unusual words to a minimum. Although this may be a habit of yours, complex vocabulary could confuse or alienate a friend. If you find that your friend looks confused while you are talking to him, take a moment to explain the word you just used (such as a single comment) and try to be more careful. Just remember that your friends are also smart and know things about the world, even if they are not smart in the exact same sense or extent that you are.
- Don't push your old friends away. They will be very valuable to you in the future. Just because they don't have the title of gifted stamped on their foreheads doesn't mean they aren't worth it. They are all great people. You may be better than them in school but they all have their own talents.
- Sometimes people will like to tease you. You can politely ask them to stop, but if not, you can always ignore them.