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Did I squander what I was gifted with?

  1. Mar 4, 2010 #1
    Well, being that I am new here, I suppose that a little background information is in order.

    I was your typical lazy kid in school. I hated homework, never did any of it, and my grades suffered as a result. I understood all of the material but I had the "I already know and understand this so why bother" mentality. At the same time, I had been in my school's gifted program, for whatever that is worth, since I was in second grade. And, I have always been told that I am a fast learner when I want to be, and could do whatever I wanted if I would just apply myself. I never listened. So, when I finally graduated with my horrid (2.5 maybe) GPA, I went out into the working world.

    Now let's fast forward six years. I am at wit's end. I have been woking in a machine shop since I finished school and I can't stand it. Every day I sit infront of whatever lathe or mill I happen to be running that day I can't seem to shake the feeling that that day is another grain of sand falling to the bottom of the hourglass that is my life. My friends and my fiance keep telling me that I need to go back to school and do something with myself.

    Well, needless to say I have been looking into it. Between the monotony of work and a problem with anxiety that decided to come to a head a few years ago, I need a fresh start. I have always loved physics. I have six or seven of your typical layman's physics books laying around, and my dvr is packed with every half interesting show that I have came across. I think I have sat here and read every wikipedia article (that doesn't confound me with too much math that I don't know) that has anything to do with astrophysics, particle physics, etc.

    But, anyway, I have been considering going to a community college to refresh all my algebra and trig that I haven't used in six years and pick up some calculus. I suppose, while I am there, I could get some of the other degree requirements out of the way as well. Then, I was hoping to be able to get into Pitt, which is about twenty or so minutes away. I noticed they have a BS in physics as well as a BS in physics and astronomy, not quite sure which one of those I would be after, but I guess I am getting a little ahead of myself.

    I don't really know anything about how this stuff works. I hope that the stuff I was fed in highschool i.e. blowing it there is blowing all hope of making something out of yourself was just hyperbole. If I haven't lost whatever knack for learning that I had, and I am truly ready to change (Which I realllly believe I can do). Can I go back and do such a thing? Would I be taken seriously? Or is all hope lost? :confused:

    P.S. Sorry for the wall-o-text.

    tl;dr - I blew it in HS, do I still have a shot?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2010 #2
    Universities tend to make admissions decisions based on your current situation, not ancient history. So as long as you really have straightened up and started flying right, you shouldn't have any problem being admitted to Pitt if you do well in community college.

    So go! Start now! :-)
  4. Mar 4, 2010 #3

    The only person that needs to take you seriously is you. I am feeling lazy so I will direct you to a response that I gave to someone asking a similar question. In this case, the person had dropped out of high school, like myself.


    PS: I am about to graduate with a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering at the top of my class. I was also able to complete a 6 month paid internship and have a job offer that I may or may not take with that company.

    Now, like TMFKAN64 said: GO! DO IT! And when you get jammed up with work, come here with your questions! The Homework Help section here is amazing. No free lunches/handouts but people will walk you through the problems conceptually and help developer your understanding.

    Good Luck! :smile:
  5. Mar 4, 2010 #4


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    Wow. So ****ing familiar.

    We found this post through

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gifted/250723005717 [Broken]

    and then through


    What you describe is the typical path of the Gifted underachiever. Just like us.

    Basically, Good Will Hunting eh? Well going back to school is def a good step.

    If community college doesn't cut it, especially if Pitt (University of Pittsburgh?) is just 20 minutes away, we suggest to try and take the back door. Apply as a mature student, if possible. And if you can find any admissions requirement that requires a letter, be sure to describe what "Gifted" has done for you.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Mar 4, 2010 #5


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    And just further add,

    "Gifted" is what got you into this mess, and "Gifted" is what will get you out.
  7. Mar 4, 2010 #6
    100 % NOT to late!!

    My friend, I have a very similar situation. I to was a gifted and talented prospect, but never excepted their offer. When I was in 7th and 8th grade I scored in the top 1% of the nation in Math and Science. Like you I did just enough to get bye. The only difference is that I did go to community college and eventually graduated with B.A. in Political Science.

    Currently I am unemployed. It is a long story how I got here but the point is that I can not find employment with a B.A. in Political Science. This has led me to somehow better my degree. I have been obsessing about waisting my Mathemetical talents many years ago. I am currently in community college taking Intermediate Algebra to get ready for Pre-Calc this Summer and Calc 1 in the fall.

    Like you I was unsure if my Math skills would come back. I am not saying Intermediate Algerbra is a hard class but I have not seen Algerbra since the 9th grade, and I have gotten nothing less than a 100 % on all my tests (By the way I am now 31). This has helped tremendous with my confidence I am now ready to get my second Bachelors in Pure Math.

    In closing, if the practicle side of life allows you to do it, then go for it!!!!

    Good Luck,

  8. Mar 4, 2010 #7
    A talented and motivated person can do anything with hard work. You've always had the talent, and now you have the motivation. Just apply yourself to the task, and you will succeed.
  9. Mar 4, 2010 #8
    Community college is your best bet. After being out of high school for a few years, it's good to ease into classes, especially tough subjects. You should get your Associates there and make the transfer to Pitt easily. Trust me, you do not want to be in an auditorium with 300 freshman browsing Facebook and playing WoW during lecture. It will just piss you off.

    Anyway, go for it, dude. If you do well in C.C. it is the same as doing well in H.S. as an incoming freshman. Go to C.C. and kick its ***!

    Good luck!
  10. Mar 4, 2010 #9
    I'm living through a similar situation. I'm 27 years old, just transferred from community college to Towson University, have 2 years to go before my BS in physics.

    As for physics vs astronomy, a lot of the initial courses are the same. I started off wanting to do astronomy, but I liked my physics classes so much, I'm now doing just plain physics.

    Anyway, just go for it!
  11. Mar 4, 2010 #10
    Thanks for all the support. I think I really just needed to get some support from someone on the outside. I suppose the next step is to get the wheels in motion.

    And thanks for that gifted thing, that describes myself to a T. GATE was the bane of my existence for 9 years.
  12. Mar 4, 2010 #11
    I've lurked here and there for years, but stepping out of the shadows...

    From the sounds of other responses, your story is not as uncommon as I expected.. Sounds like you definitely have the ability to get where you are going. I think you can do this.

    Wow. This sounds so familiar. I was doing great in elementary school. I was in the enriched/gifted program in high school. Naturally did well in the National math contests (though never super gifted at that). I was too distracted to perform well in school. I had too many interests, and coasted along for years, never handing in home work assignments, and watching my marks go from straight A's to C's and the odd D. Because of where I went to school, I didn't get the 5th English course, and never formally graduated from High School.

    I drifted for years, always wanted more, distracted, depressed, living a life for a while rather than the D&D playing introverted nerd that I was (even joined the Army reserves- great way to boost confidence). A few years after getting married I got my GED, which was really a waste of time, and than went to school with the intent of getting a degree in physics.

    After 7 years of part-time classes, working part-time, have 2 awesome children, I finally graduated with a BSc in Physics with a 3.5 GPA. It was hard, stressful, and wonderfully addicting. Now half my friends have gone off to grad-school, and two years after graduating I work at the University teaching Labs and working as an Online course developer and producing videos, but at the same time PUSHING myself almost nonstop to learn new skills in any areas I want to know more about (the bounds are limitless).

    At this point I'm not sure what to do next. I love my job (lots of variety), I don't want to drive my family crazy by going to grad school (yet), and I'm 35 years old. But it's all about the journey.

    No need to apologize. Your story is kind of inspirational if not yet complete. So yes. You do have a shot.

    Robin Pittman
  13. Mar 4, 2010 #12


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    Very inspiring story - excellent!
  14. Apr 5, 2010 #13


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    WOW. THIS sounds so familiar.
    lol too many interests? never formally graduated from High School? lurking? The life of a Gifted adult.

    Funny enough, this type of familiarity is ridiculously common among the Gifted population. I was reading through some links over at www.facebook.com/ThisIsMyGifted and found it fairly enlightening. lol

    Your story as well, is inspirational, if not yet complete. Kudos
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