The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

I Am The Wrong Kind Of Smart 

Or maybe they are…
Almost+but+not+quite+perfect.+Photo+by+Addison+Lyons
Almost but not quite perfect. Photo by Addison Lyons

Growing up, I had always felt less than, like I never quite met the mark regarding academics, extracurriculars, and social activities. Somehow, in my head, it always seemed as if everyone was ahead of me, and I still have the same philosophy. Our school system has a magnet/gifted program, where students who receive and obtain higher MAP scores are placed into more advanced or gifted classes. Since fourth grade, I remember constantly yearning to be placed into the more complex and complicated classes, yet I never was. No matter the amount of studying, no matter how much I applied myself to the concepts taught in the classroom, it was never enough to ascend fully. This competition with myself and the school system has continued to this day. It’s a very repetitive and tiresome battle I fight along with some of my peers. The jealousy that blossoms when I see the ease with which my peers can calculate and solve math problems or read essays and comprehend faster than I ever could is constant. Watching some of my friends be put in classes such as pre-calculus or AP pre-calculus during their sophomore year truly agitates me because all I’ve ever wanted was to be smart like them.

The inordinately troubling part of this is that I do modestly perform well in the classroom. I turn in all of my assignments on time, I pay attention in class, and I oftentimes perform negligibly better than some of my peers in my on-level classes. My problem is always the testing. The MAP score testing that comes around every season is the key to why I cannot advance to these next-level or advanced classes. Many of my peers have told me that I need to study more or that testing anxiety is a real thing and that I shouldn’t stress the issue. However, repeatedly, I am faced with similar issues, feeling stuck in a spot where I feel isolated no matter which direction I take. No matter what, I never seem to advance, and my performance, no matter whether it is better or worse, never seems to result in my favor. 

However, after multiple conversations with my parents, I continued to take notice and develop through my high school career the more I saw the difference in emotional stability and maturity in my fellow peers. Sometimes, I hear people say things or see people do things that do nothing but astound and perplex me. People have sometimes said things to me that make me wonder about the stability and authenticity of human nature. I had a friend once, or almost all my friends, who had nothing nice to say about the fact I had dyed my hair red, which left me utterly hating my hair and wishing I had never dyed it, and no one should ever feel that way. At the time, I was flabbergasted at the ease that people were comfortable enough to state their opinions so negatively in such a way it left someone else feeling ugly and unloved. I thought, “I would never go to such lengths to make someone else feel bad about something they did, such as something so shallow, such as dying their hair.” 

It was from various conversations with my parents that I concluded I was the wrong kind of smart. 

Instead of being academically bright, which I desperately desired to be, I was emotionally astute. I am exceedingly cognizant of my behaviors and how I communicate and portray myself. I do what I need to fit in, and if it doesn’t work, I adjust my behavior accordingly. I pick up people’s attitudes and feelings effortlessly and learn from what others give me. Increasingly, it seems that the emotional intelligence I possess doesn’t do me any favors. The trouble is that colleges aren’t testing for emotional intelligence or emotional regulation abilities. However, people have told me that being emotionally intelligent will serve me later in life. My mom says, “These tests are honestly so fake; they do nothing but scare and intimidate kids into thinking they have to perform their absolute best, hence them messing up and performing inadequately. I never performed too well on these tests, yet I was valedictorian of my graduating class, and I now have my own thriving business.”

The more and more I come across these situations, the more I am irritated that the school system has a lack of options for their students who want to push themselves and immerse themselves into classes they feel they can handle, however, their test scores don’t exactly show it. In the end, they may see that there are kids who don’t perform great on standardized tests but have arduous work ethics and are determined to push themselves. 

As I navigate through each new day, I contemplate whether I am altogether content with my academic and emotional intelligence, an equilibrium that I currently strive for, as both serve me at different yet practical times. So yes, I may fail a test, but at least I am not saying something so hurtful that could stick with a person for a lifetime. Looking forward, I want to appreciate the ability I have to easily pick up on social cues and my ability to succeed in my on-level classes. While still continuing to be determined to push myself for an abundance of challenges.

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About the Contributor
Addison Lyons, Staff Writer
Addison Lyons (‘26) is a sophomore and a Staff Writer of the Blue & Gold. In five years, she hopes to be in college studying for a medical degree. Her three favorite things are Taylor Swift, watching scary movies, and reading.

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