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Amy Roskilly

I always thought you were cool in high school :)
Smart and cool, but I guess Ive always thought being smart was cool.

Meenal Patel Parikh

I think you're pretty cool too, Atul. And actually, these days in high school, the tides have changed a bit. The homecoming queen at NOHS was a smart girl and the top junior was voted by his peers to be on homecoming court too.
I think being Asian carries with it the expectation that you're somewhat smart/nerdy.
This is why I teach first grade--it's way cool to be smarter at this age :-)

Kalindi Parikh

I agree with the person above. Oh wait, thats my mom. Never mind.

Just Kidding :)

things definitely have changed. Like she said, the homecoming queen for the past two years has been a really smart girl, and the validictorian was also on the court. I think people are just starting to distance school from their social life, and aren't letting grades get in the way of friendships. I really like this post :)

Gabe Madeja

The fact of the matter is that this still occurs in middle school and high school. People will distance themselves or believe that they are being made fun of if the vernacular being used in a conversation is at a level that is too difficult for them to understand. I've noticed if you dumb yourself down and reduce the use of obscure vocabulary, people feel more comfortable and become more open with you because they seem to feel like they can relate to you. It's sad that intelligence is looked down upon in our culture at such a young age, but those who slacked soon realize the predicament they have placed themselves into. Hopefully they will be able to teach the younger generations that there is no reason to be ashamed of the hard work one puts into their academics.

Sarah Lam

I have been out of high school for 10 years now, but I know that not much has change in the area of intelligence and being considered “cool”. In high school and middle school, I too was a smart student and strived to do the best I could in every subject. I was also often made fun of for this. I did not flaunt my intelligence, but I was still considered un-cool because I enjoyed learning. I maintained good grades and was involved in the honor society and several college prep courses. Due to this, I wasn’t very popular and only had a small handful of friends who felt the way I did about school. Some days I did wish I was popular, and I was often tempted by peer pressure to change my ways. The one thing that kept me going was the thought of my future. I knew if I worked hard in high school and went to college, I could better my life financially and socially. I knew that the only way I could get ahead in life was through the above plan. I often thought about those who blew off school or barely scrapped by. I knew that though they were cool then, after high school that would change. I was right! When I attended my 10 year high school reunion I saw just how far ahead those were that took school seriously verses the one's who barely passed. Those that made fun of me are definitely not doing it now! Being well educated and smart can get you so much farther in life. I don't just mean in material goods either. There is so much to see and experience and learn out there. Those that are smart but hide it, and those that could care less about their education are really missing out! I agree that our society doesn't focus enough on the importance of intelligence, and because of this those that are swayed by "coolness" will pay in the long run. I say to those that are smart to continue on, and forget the ones who laugh at you. In the end, who do you think will reap the rewards, and who will be considered cool? All the smart individuals out there already know that answer!


I hope things have changed, but it still seems to me that in our younger days, looks and athleticism still seem to win out over smarts. At least when we get older, smarts take over a little bit as smarts are what usually get you a job and decent income.

Dissertation Writing

I don't agree that be a smart is the factor of leads to more education and employment opportunities,being a smart you cannot get some of the educational topics and opportunities,the opportunities of education is only can get from the merit,in some of the place merit is not count in getting the jobs,but this is not a good thing,you can get the opportunities only from merit.

Iris Haynes

In high school, I agree that social status is a big deal. Being labeled a "smart kid" wasn't necessarily a bad thing, at least for me. I was a student who got pretty good grades, did my homework every night, studied, etc. The thing that was different was I didn't BRAG about being a smart kid. I didn't go around asking what others got on their test or if they did their homework. I was more kept to myself, but people still knew that I was smart. I was not "uncool" for being smart, but I didn't associate with the "cool kids". I was at a middle level- I had friend, I got good grades, high school was just pretty boring. I think it's a good thing to be considered smart or intelligent. Being cool is not going to get you a high paying job, though!


Yes, being cool doesn't get you a job but it does help. Being smart does help but it can work against you even if you try not to flaunt it. Often people would ask me how I did on a test and I would have to tell them I got an A. It's just hard to know how to say it if the person did poorly and it's not right to lie about my grade.

Sarah M.

I remember, in middle school and my first year or so of high school, being uncomfortable with the label "smart kid." I had skipped the second grade, and so was a year younger than my classmates, and I tried to downplay this as much as possible. When classmates found out, I often got ostracized, like I was a freak of nature, and this definitely didn't make me feel cool.

After high school, I think the tides change. I think an adult can appreciate the importance of intelligence over being cool. Besides, I think there is some correlation between smartness and coolness in the job market. I'd rather be a neurosurgeon than a supermarket cashier.

I wonder if smartness doesn't yield coolness in school because the smart kids generally can be a little socially awkward. I know not all nerds, but some, tended to be blunt, and ask pointed questions like, "What did you get on that test?" This, amongst kids that are average at school, could be aggravating.


I always wondered why being smart was so bad, and the fact I'm still in high school means I experience it everyday. It's quite annoying- like some of you said, I have to 'dumb myself down' so people don't think I'm showing off and even then, because I get good grades, everyone automatically thinks I'm showing off anyway. I also get called a nerd just because I'm smart. Most people don't really mean it and I can laugh along with them but how does being smart make you a nerd- I'm not even one of those people who studies all day (I'm actually meant to be doing homework now . . . haha . . .). I think our society needs a major attitude change (This is Australia, by the way).


Plus, what's so bad about being a nerd??



Thanks for the comment from Australia! You are at a stage in your life when anti-smartness is at its strongest. Just being smart doesn't make you a nerd but it makes some people automatically think you're a nerd. I agree that society needs to change when entertainers and athletes get much of the fame and the money. Hang in there. There are great things ahead for you. Intelligence is an advantage!

+ Atul

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