What Does It Mean to Be a “Gifted” Student?
When you enrolled in Duke TIP, you probably heard it was because you were a “gifted student.” You may have wondered what that meant. Simply put, it means you have exceptional abilities for your age in at least one academic area. It also means that you are going to have some academic opportunities and maybe even face some challenges that a lot of your friends may not have. Your classes may be too easy, or too slow. You may have labels like nerd or know-it-all stuck to you even when you’re not either one of those things. You may even be held to higher standards by your parents and teachers, who all want to see you succeed and fulfill your potential.
It can be a lot to handle.
The great thing is that these problems have been solved by gifted students before you—many of them also TIPsters. So you’re in good company and we’re here to pass on their advice!
Besides, gifted students share something else that is really cool: the ability to go further than a lot of people can. There are records waiting to be broken, inventions to be dreamed up, and works of art to be created. There are lifesaving cures to be discovered, distant galaxies to be explored, and who knows what else on the horizon. You have many opportunities in your future, thanks to your abilities. In the meantime, just be yourself. Find what you love doing and be the best you can be at it. We’ll be rooting for you!
Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
When you think about what it takes for you to reach your full potential, activities like studying, school-work, and extracurriculars probably come to mind. There’s another activity that’s just as important: having fun.
Pretty much everybody likes to have fun. Researchers have linked it to improved memory, focus, and social skills, as well as stress relief, and better overall academic performance. So, as it turns out, maybe laughter really is the best medicine. Who would have thought fun could be so productive?
What people differ on is how they like to have fun. Some people like to play games, others like to exercise, compete on an athletic team, or play the guitar. Some people like to read… or nap… or bike… or cook… or take photos… or write… or do science experiments at home in the kitchen. You just never know what is going to give you that feeling of letting go, of feeling relaxed and at peace, of helpless laughter, of time zipping past without you even noticing, and leaving you refreshed. Stay open to the things you try and keep a look out for activities you find fun. Don’t worry about what other people consider fun—it’s what makes you happy that counts!
Between school and extracurriculars, it can be hard to fit fun into your day, but you should try. If you can’t always squeeze in time just for fun, find ways to make your regular activities more enjoyable.