“Gifted” not always a positive experience

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Cameron Perry and Anabelle Lam – Mustangs Ahead

Academics(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Being gifted can be a positive thing for students. It often means that Mustangs are more “academically advanced” or just different from their peers.

Frequently, students labeled gifted are put into special programs to help challenge their gifted minds.

At LRHS Amie Poole runs the gifted program.

Poole said, “At LRHS gifted students are required to have consultations once a month where their teachers will give feedback on all of the positive things the teacher has to say and any concerns they have.”

But recently, studies have shown that being gifted can be a mixed bag.

Psychologist Marilyn Wedge from “Psychology Today” talked about some of the downsides of the gifted label.

Wedge said in “The Drama of the Gifted Child”, “In becoming the ‘perfect’ child of her parents’ dreams, the gifted child loses something very precious. She loses her true self.”

Many students, especially gifted ones, seek approval from adults such as parents or teachers and constantly feel the need to be perfect and praised.

Poole added, “A lot of the time giftedness comes with self-pressure, perfectionism, and feelings of doubt and ‘I used to feel smart but now I don’t feel smart anymore’. This is a high school feeling in general but can be hyperalert in gifted kids.”

Gifted students also often grow up being held to the highest standard possible in whatever they do in the classroom, causing them to develop unrealistic expectations for themselves to upkeep into the future.

Sophomore Cameron Madison said, “When I was younger people always told me I would attend a big Ivy League school like Harvard or Yale. But as I grew up, I realized that these goals weren’t realistic and my chances of going to these schools were slim to none.”

Many gifted students also grew up without feeling the need to study or create reliable study habits. This hurts them the farther they go into their schooling career where classes become harder and require work outside the classroom.

“Giftedness” has its perks with special programs and extra support, but it equally comes with downsides such as self-pressure and emotional tolls.

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