Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Gifted teens experience the same hopes, dreams and struggles as neurotypical teens. But they often differ from same-aged peers and grapple with ambivalence about who they are, resulting in additional challenges. The following is a fictional account of a day in the life of a gifted teen.*
Dragged myself out of bed after the third snooze alert.
Checked messages, instagram, snapchat. Nothing exciting.
Got dressed. Hated how I looked. Changed into something else. Obsessed over face and hair for twenty minutes. Grabbed a powerbar and my backpack.
Found a rare empty seat on the bus that I didn't have to share. Closed my eyes, put in my earbuds, and tried to drown out the laughing, arguing, trash talking. Stumbled off the bus and into High School Hell.
Head on desk during homeroom as overhead announcements blared. Met a friend on the way to first period. She mentioned a random party this weekend at some friend's house. Parents will be away. Suddenly feeling more awake, energized. Should I go? Should I tell my parents? I know they wouldn't let me go. What if I lied, went anyway, and they found out? Would I be too scared to go? What if I drank too much? What if I was afraid to drink and looked like a jerk? Maybe that boy I like will be there...
Spent the next three class periods thinking about said party. Easy classes that take little effort anyway. Teachers never notice how bored I am, so at least obsessing about the party gave me something to do.
Went to lunch. Sat with my uncool friends. Discussed upcoming party, chem exam, and auditions for the musical. Noticed that boy I like sitting with the cool kids.
Spent Latin class thinking about the musical. Should I audition? What if I fail? How would I recover from the shame of it? What if I make it? I know I have a good voice, but I don't want to stand out TOO much. Will being a theater kid seal my fate as a nerd... even more than taking AP classes and winning the science fair prize last year?
Spent seventh period in AP US History. Secretly like that class. Today was about women during World War II. Empowered women Rosie the Riveter. Felt interested and awake. Yeah.
OMG! I accidentally bumped into HIM! I was going around a corner and there he was. We brushed elbows. He looked at me. We made eye contact. He nodded. I am in shock!
There is no way he will notice me again. This was a fluke. I should abandon all hope and just go back to the nerdy person that I am. Girls like me don't go to dances or cool parties. They go to prom with their friends. They don't get boyfriends. I just have to accept it.
I ditched the chess club after school. Felt too down. Sat in my room listening to music. Wrote a poem before launching into homework. Mom asked me if something was wrong and I ranted about the annoying teachers and piles of boring homework. Did not mention the boy or the party or my destiny as a nerd.
Fell asleep thinking about boys and song lyrics and Rosie the Riveter. Cat snuggled tightly against me.
*This is a fictional account of a day in the life of a gifted teen. It is not based on any specific individual or client.
Posted by Gail Post, Ph.D.