Why I Stopped Believing Only in My Intelligence


I don’t think I’m someone who is incredibly smart. I haven’t truly believed that I’m really smart since around the fifth grade.

If you look at it by the numbers, you would probably agree. I haven’t had straight A’s since middle school and my GPA isn’t a perfect 4.0. I had to study in high school where most students didn’t have to. Nothing was ever easy for me, unless it had to do with writing.

Now in college I struggle with writing all the time. I struggle with almost everything now, academic-wise.

So no, I don’t completely believe in my intelligence.

Maybe I’m not the smartest, but I work hard. I’m determined. I persevere. That’s what I believe in. I stopped relying on “being smart” and started believing more in working hard to achieve what I wanted instead. I don’t have the benefit of being able to fall back on my intelligence.

I have to study for everything, I have to write down everything and I have to ask for help. Maybe I’m not getting a 4.0 every semester, maybe I get bad grades on tests sometimes. But that’s okay. Of course, good grades are an accomplishment. But it’s not the most important thing you can do with your life.

A huge part of my anxiety is the fear that I’m not good enough, as I’m sure it is for a lot of other college students as well. I think we live in a world where too much emphasis is put on numbers. Too much of our worth is placed on what our grades are, what our GPA is and test scores. Especially in college, we get stuck in this belief that grades and the number of internships we have dictate part of our self-worth.

In the long run, numbers don’t matter. I think that’s something every college student needs to hear every now and then because we tend to forget that a lot. Many other things matter, but when you’re 70 I can guarantee you won’t even remember that class you got a C in college.

I don’t believe only in my intelligence, not because I don’t think I’m smart, but because I think there’s a lot of other things that matter more. I think being motivated to do well, being willing to work hard and having good morals is better to rely on than being smart.

Just being intelligent may be able to get a person far, but it won’t be enough without the drive, passion and work ethic.

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