How to cope with being an insipid retard? (29)

1 Name: cavalicoque : 2007-08-22 00:33 ID:wBTWFt+4

I look at everyone else and they're all boasting about how they started reading Flaubert when they were 5 or how they received prizes from the government for their scientific work when they were 14.

All that while I've wasted all of my life either sleeping or playing video games and thus haven't retained much knowledge of anything.

That wasn't a problem while I was living a dreamlike reclusion life, but after university classes started it's gotten kinda frustrating. I am older than everyone else and also a complete retard comparing to them. When a teacher makes some reference to some occurrence in 19th century England and people start talking about it and I don't know shit I feel like dying.

What can I realistically do to feel better with myself other than trying to recover the lost time? It's kinda hampering my work because I can't clear my mind of it..

2 Name: Anonymous : 2007-08-22 01:55 ID:ly1q29RE

It's funny, most things that school require would take me a life time to learn, yet other things like computer science I can master in weeks.

3 Name: 丹頂女 : 2007-08-22 02:31 ID:MjOr/evJ

First of all, don't spend too much time dwelling on the things you don't know. Think about what you do know, because that's what's important.
If you want to feel better about yourself, take a bit of time each day and study. Instead of playing a game, study something for 30 minutes, then go play a game, and then come and study a bit more.
Think of things you're interested, and read up on them; even wikipedia is a start!

4 Name: Anonymous : 2007-08-22 02:56 ID:9CUnaza2

Yeah, I've brushed up on a lot of stuff just cruising Wikipedia from one article to another, also gives links to other sources and books to read up on. Most of Wikipedia is copy-pasta, so unless it's obviously written by a 12-year-old, or clearly biased, it's probably copy-pasta'd from a decently reliable source, and usually, it'll tell you.

If you're one of those kids who bring their laptops to class, you can do it in real time, while people are discussing!

5 Name: fat otaku chick : 2007-08-22 06:58 ID:gxXG6jSj

Don't worry too much... just because you haven't been as academic as those around you by no mans makes you an insipid retard.
Wow- i've been living a dreamlike, reclusive life and am going to start university soon... i hope I won't feel that way lol.

I think it's important to make sure you still make time to do the things you like - play video games or whatever, otherwise you'll become drained and things will be even more difficult.

We all have different circumstances in our lives, focus on how well you're doing compared to what you've been doing in the past, not compared to how well other people are doing.

To make myself feel a bit cleverer, from time to time i go and do some in-depth study on something i'm vaguely interested- usually the details and history of some culture or other... doing this adds to 'knowledgeable-ness' and therefor is a good idea.

6 Name: Anonymous : 2007-08-22 18:09 ID:a2J/mujp

Excuse me for asking but can you fill me in as to which school we are talking about?

7 Name: Anonymous : 2007-08-23 02:03 ID:2MZ9Nsan

Signed. Are you in a college? University? Private or public school? Community college? At all stages, except smaller liberal arts schools (in the US), one tends to find a wide variety of educational levels and age-groups.

8 Name: Anonymous : 2007-09-04 04:25 ID:mPFTKipp


Okay, let's take this step by step.

  1. Take a realistic accounting of your actual strengths and weaknesses. Be honest with yourself; if you can't, find someone who can (Hint: relatives are usually a bad choice); if you can't find anyone, make a completely objective measurement (i.e. grade point averages, report cards). Avoid assigning yourself a position on an imaginary scale from "genius" to "idiot"; if you can't, remember that there's a wide band of "average" in the middle of said scale, and chances are you're in it or above it. If you don't believe me, consider the fact that you've succeeded in getting admitted to a university, whereas about 30% of Americans over 25 don't have a high school education (and the Census says so, so no arguing).
  2. If you're worried about how you appear to your classmates, put your best foot forward. Wrack your brain for any accolades/skills/knowledge that you may not realize you have. You'd be surprised how easy it is to forget about simple things you can do, like playing an instrument, that the majority of the population cannot. Don't leave out things that you think you didn't deserve, or that you got on a fluke, or that really aren't that hard after all; you're only tricking yourself into devaluing your achievements. (On the first read-through of your post, I had you pegged for "impostor syndrome", which Wikipedia can tell you a little about.) Incidentally, if you're not worried about how you appear to your classmates, then congratulations, you should be giving me advice, but remember some of this stuff anyway, and remind yourself about it when they start discussing famous 18th century Belgians (Were there any? I have no idea) at the desk next to yours.
  3. Realize that your classmates have already completed steps 1 and 2, consciously or subconsciously. To paraphrase something I read on Everything2, you can't compare yourself, who you know everything about, to someone else, about whom you only know what they've told you.

BTW, I consider it a testament to your character that you didn't do it subconsciously (it's easier to gain self-esteem than to lose arrogance), but I'm biased by my own experience, so you probably shouldn't listen to me on that.

(continued in next post)

9 Name: Anonymous : 2007-09-04 04:27 ID:mPFTKipp

(continued from last post)

4. Consider your environment. If you go to a small, private college or university, the "intellectual dick to average Joe" ratio is likely to be depressingly high; the same applies if you're in a humanities or social science class as opposed to a physical science or math class. (In math, the bias apparently reverses and you may be ridiculed for admitting to not loathing the subject and all those who may be associated with it; don't ask me why.) The key is to recognize that said dick's main skill lies in spinning a web of bullshit to makes himself (and they are predominantly male) look smart. Observe the number of times he asks a question in class and the professor pauses and thinks for a while before answering; nine times out of ten, the professor is either trying to think of a way to answer the question without revealing the fact that it was a dumb question.

(On second thought, sitting around trying to prove that these people are faking it is probably a little petty on my part. The key point here is that there are oodles of people who go to great lengths to exaggerate their intelligence; don't assume that someone is smart just because they look and sound the part, and don't think that you're dumb because you disagree with or don't understand someone with real or imagined intelligence.)

5. Start learning about something you enjoy. Chances are the people who seem to instantly understand everything the professor says are those incorrigible forward-thinkers (no offense, you guys) who have known what they wanted to do with their lives from day one and set about it as soon as they could. (I'm convinced that all pre-med and pre-law students are like this.) If you're like me and haven't a clue as to what you want to do with your life, then next semester, take an introductory class in every subject you don't hate (and maybe even one you do) and pursue the one you like the best. Don't worry if you don't have any skill at it; just desire is usually enough to get you through a bachelor's degree, and once you get a job the benefits of doing something you enjoy will probably outweigh any disadvantages from not being good at it.

6. Put everything in perspective. Time to come clean; I have been one of those people who sits in the front row, nods at everything the professor says, and makes bad jokes about sex-linked traits during the break in Genetics class. Why do I do it? I have the good fortune to enjoy learning about the subject I'm in and be good at learning about said subject. (In fact, I like it so much I'm probably going to get a Ph.D., become a professor, and earn less than the folks who slogged through it and got a job with their bachelor's degrees.) It may seem like my predisposition is nothing but positives, but the negatives are numerous and insidious (typing this all out has sapped me of the energy I would need to talk about them; if you don't believe me, say so and I'll write you an essay on them when I can get up the nerve). You can't force yourself to enjoy anything, and if you try, you're probably ignoring your potential to be good at something you do enjoy.

Hope this helps.

10 Name: Anonymous : 2007-09-04 06:16 ID:Heaven


Yeah, most people have a very limited range of "cultured" things they reference to, and often over-reference. Try seeing if they don't bring up things multiple times.

11 Name: Anonymous : 2007-09-04 17:38 ID:J8+TGyXI

Knowing all the crap is only good for passing classes.

12 Name: Anonymous : 2007-09-05 01:10 ID:Heaven


Not really, it's called being educated.

13 Name: Anonymous : 2007-09-05 14:00 ID:3otFoXJr

True, but being educated is only good for passing classes.

14 Name: Anonymous : 2007-09-05 16:20 ID:Heaven

It is good to have interests in more "intellectual" matters, though. It lands you more jobs if you can sound educated. Moreover, interests like those can be really rewarding. It's just like how the otaku of this board know enough useless anime facts to drive one up the wall... ^^;;

15 Name: Anonymous : 2007-09-05 16:44 ID:Heaven


And being a good person is only good for getting favors, right?

16 Name: Anonymous : 2007-09-05 22:43 ID:YLNbOCbk


Nah, being a good person is only good for giving favours to others...

17 Name: Anonymous : 2007-09-05 23:30 ID:Heaven

and opening a hell of a lot more job opportunities which can secure you financially.

18 Name: Anonymous : 2007-09-06 12:13 ID:DoLfloPe

This is 11 again. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with furthering your education (by all means do so), but knowing shit that's not required to function in society and doesn't relate to your trade is just as useless as a million anime facts.

19 Name: Anonymous : 2007-09-07 15:41 ID:3otFoXJr

Maybe. Or maybe it can screw you over. Suppose you go into university and the IT boom finishes right after you exit. In such a scenario, you would be much more financially secure had you entered employment from the beginning.

20 Name: Anonymous : 2007-09-09 01:42 ID:Heaven

I'm sorry, but I'm pretty sure by the content of his post that >>1 is not referring to High School here, and that he's not in a trade.

21 Name: n : 2007-09-17 16:56 ID:+BWD4Qvl

Watch "Born yesterday" It's a fun movie about what being clever is really about. You'll find that most people read their litterature/ philo classics in highschool (sometimes just to impress others) and end up talking about those same things over and over again.
A general knowledge is far more interesting.

Try following the news from a good source (a newspaper or radio or that way you learn a lot about things you wouldn't have thought of reading about every day. This makes for good conversation...and good conversation leads to further knowledge and self esteem!
Seconding the love for wikipedia, except that I tend to overload or binge on information then forget most of it. OTL

22 Name: Anonymous : 2007-09-17 17:28 ID:Heaven

And I guess being an interesting person and being interested in stuff other than your paycheck and the occasional fap is a waste of time as well.

23 Name: Anonymous : 2007-09-17 22:13 ID:Heaven

> wikipedia

Assume you don't read something that's been "vandalized" and embarrass yourself by sharing.

It might be going somewhat off topic, but don't repeat anything interesting you read in an email forward as truth. It's not.
Also, avoid sharing obscure facts if they seem counter-intuitive. Even if you're right, you can look like a fool trying to convince people.
Example: a Blue Jay's feathers are not blue

24 Name: n : 2007-09-18 10:44 ID:+BWD4Qvl

Cecil's straight dope is love

25 Name: cavalicoque : 2008-07-24 02:54 ID:NXASISHh

I've been coming back to read this every few months just to get motivated and remind myself of tips I forgot yet should still be applied, or atleast attempted. I always felt that merely saying thanks was too little and pointless, but this time I decided to thank everyone.

On kinda lousy news, while I've passed the first semester with mostly average grades (which I should feel good about as I hadn't had that since I was around 14), I mostly failed the second one, giving up on classes and all that crap. As I'll be having to retake those classes I'll be with other, brand new classmates: the fellows who passed with better grades on the college entrance exams. I'll really have to keep the advice on here in mind not to get frustrated on this upcoming semester.

26 Name: Anonymous : 2008-07-24 07:06 ID:Heaven

What course are you doing in Uni?

27 Name: cavalicoque : 2008-07-24 22:28 ID:NXASISHh

Graphic design. I really shouldn't be having trouble with it, now should I?

28 Name: Anonymous : 2008-07-25 02:35 ID:gEbAc7BJ

Oh...I was under the impression that you were doing some Philosophy degree and you were stuck with a bunch of bookworm theorists. There is still hope.

29 Name: Anonymous : 2008-07-25 15:46 ID:mLZBSgf6

hahah, i just read this thread and was thinking the same as you.
I am also studying graphic design. And i was thinking how good my friends designs looked compared to mine. I seems that even tho i kill myself to get better grades, by doing more examples works so that my teachers could choose from a bunch which was the best; or going to design events to learn more and get ideas (next week i have one, ha), or surfing the webs to find good pages about design... i still got regular grades or sometimes barely passed. This enraged me since some of friends play dota or wow or go clubbing while i stay to study and practice, yet they get better grades... in fact, my best friend got the best grades of our group by starting and finishing his projects the night before we had to hand it in... twice! I knew i should have been happy for him, but i couldn't... now i feel guilty for me being so competitive to the point of not being happy for a friend getting good grades.

Anywwwwwwwwway, not long ago i used to feel like you, specially after seeing that all my work seemed useless... but then during that disgusting emo feeling of being useless and drowning myself in a piece of shit, i started surfing the webs again for things related to design because i wasn't going to be less than my friend :P. And i found this: . Watch it, it made cry baby tears for many reasons. It might help you too.

>When a teacher makes some reference to some occurrence in 19th century England and people start talking about it and I don't know shit I feel like dying.

By that probably you mean art history. Don't worry, you'll eventually learn it. I suck at art history too, but it's amazing how much i have learn the last year. And for this wiki is awesome. One more thing, i dont know if it happens in your collage, but during first year my teachers were obsessed with Bauhaus school... also Art & Craft... and Russian Constructivism. Now in second year is that i'm studying ancient, middle, and modern history in order.

Also, common knowledge is VERY important in graphic design. And i mean COMMON (i'm sorry for the 5y-old Flaubert readers, but that is not so common). As a graphic designer you have to make people read what you wanted them read, make them know what you want them to know, and make them do what you want them to do. To do that you have ask yourself "who is this for?", "what do i want them to know/read/do" "how do i organize the information?" (so that the relevant information looks relevant, and because they way you show something to a 5y-old kid is different to they way you show it to a metal-rock fan)

Good lord this is the longest post i've made in 4-ch.

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