5 Struggles You Might Be Familiar With If You've Ever Been Labeled 'Gifted'
Being labeled "gifted" by parents and teachers sounds like it'd be a great thing, but it can also come with a set of assumptions that might follow you around for your whole life.
In fact, that kind of pressure can lead us into a few kinds of unhealthy thinking. Keep reading for some of the biggest struggles you might have experienced if you've ever been labeled "gifted."
Perfectionism Can Be a Bad Thing
If it's in your nature to be an overachiever and give your all to your academic endeavors, chances are you've set the bar pretty high for yourself. With such lofty expectations, it's likely that you've also become a bit of a perfectionist. Early on at school, getting straight As without effort might have been easy for you, but as you've gotten older and your classes have become more challenging, you've realized you can't be perfect in every area. You'd like to put in the time and effort to make every assignment flawless and learn everything there is to know, but it's simply become impossible. After a lifetime of achievement, it can feel like you're letting both yourself, and others, down.
The Tough Stuff Doesn't Always Feel Worth It
For the longest time, most school subjects just clicked for you, without effort. That was great for a while, but the second things started getting difficult for you, it felt like something was wrong with you. You can struggle with brand new concepts, and if you don't naturally take to them, it doesn't necessarily feel worth the investment to put in the effort and figure it out. It feels strange to you to have to study and work to learn something, even though that's what most other students are doing every time they encounter new material. High expectations can make a bad grade feel like the end of the world, and not feeling like you have a handle on things might make you procrastinate until it's too late.
It Can Feel Like All Eyes Are on You
Big expectations can amount to a lot of pressure. Because you're "so smart," people expect you to succeed, and it can seem like there isn't a lot of room to mess up, try things and experiment. In fact, it can sometimes feel that people expect so much from you that your options also have become limited. You don't feel free to figure things out in your own time, and often observe that your peers have a wider range of opportunities. Plus, if you're interested in a number of different subjects, you might feel forced to stick to just one when it comes to prospects for the future—which you're also bound to consider earlier than everyone else.
You Don't Always Relate to Your Peers
Being so ahead early on in your school career might have made you feel like you were more mature or grown-up than the other kids your age, which can sometimes make it a little hard to make and maintain strong friendships. People have always said you don't act your age, and you might have friends who are older than you. You also care about results, so you like to be in the driver's seat when it comes to your work. you're not always great in group projects because you want to get things done the right way, so you can come across as bossy. You like doing things yourself because you can at least take responsibility for the outcome. Your reputation may lead people to think of you as the teacher's pet, even if you've never been one to suck up. You can get also extremely impatient when other people don't soak information up as quickly as you. Similarly, you've gotten impatient with yourself when you got to the point when you weren't grasping something.
You're Prone to Burnout
When your life revolves around doing good work and getting everything perfect, it can sometimes be difficult to set boundaries, which can lead to burnout. Sometimes, you can spend way too much time on something that's already basically finished and good enough, but that you feel needs to be polished until it's flawless. Because of this tendency, you use up more time than is needed on certain assignments and projects. And even when you do manage to secure some free time, you feel guilty about not doing something productive with it, so you hop onto the next project. Without taking the breaks your body needs, you can find yourself struggling even more to keep up and stay on top of what needs to get done.
If you found this totally relatable, click HERE for our ranking of the biggest high school social struggles.