I'm Smart (& So Are You)

When I was in high school, I always had difficulties when it came to certain school subjects. One year it was math, the other it was physics. No matter how hard I tried I was always struggling with my grades and feeling horrible about myself. I felt like I was the only person studying for hours and not getting the results I wanted on my tests. I remember wishing that if I could have one superpower, it would be to be the smartest kid in the room. Not because I wanted to be better than my other classmates, but because I wanted to feel that for once I could do the exercises and the exams without feeling that I would definitely fail.

When senior year came around, everyone started talking about college applications, what major they were going to choose, how high their GPAs were and what grades they needed on their SATs. I was always scared of even thinking about any of that because I just couldn’t believe that I would actually be accepted into a good university. Of course, I had dreams and goals about where I wanted to apply, but they seemed so unachievable that I never believed I could do it. My parents were always telling me how smart I was and that everyone faced challenges in school—​that no one was perfect. However, I never seemed to truly believe it.

I had spent all my years of high school having tutor lessons after school, being nervous before every test and doubting myself over and over. So, when I was accepted into all 10 universities that I applied to with scholarships for most of them, I was over the moon. At that moment I realized that I was smart, and I don’t mean that in a self-centred way. I noticed all my accomplishments and how I overcame so many challenges in high school. I realized that I had to believe in myself if I wanted anyone else to believe in me.

When I choose to accept UCF's offer, I promised myself that I would always do my best and give 110% in all my projects. But not only that, I would believe in my potential. I would believe that I could also do what everyone else was doing no matter how difficult or challenging it may have seamed. I finally understood that everyone struggles with something at one point during high school and that it's as normal to get help as it is to brush your teeth when you wake up.

Many times, we doubt our own capabilities for many different reasons. The problem is, when we do that, we lose our confidence in our potential. We overthink the answer a thousand times before submitting it to the professor. You start thinking that you are somehow the only person in the room that is struggling. The only one that needs help. All of these things deeply harm you and your view of your capability. At the end of the day, we need to remember all the little things that we have already accomplished. Whether it was getting a B+ instead of a C or finally understanding a really hard concept for an exam. We need to believe that we are smart too just like everybody else even if we struggle sometimes because the truth is that everyone does at one point.

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