A Talentless Teenager in a Talented World

February 16, 2009
By Anonymous

I had read the quote: 'It was 2081 and everyone was equal' recently from a short story called Harrison Bergeron in my 9th grade English class recently. Boy, is that not the case in my life'.

No matter how terrible it sounds or how jealous it may be, I used to wish the world was equal with beauty, talent, and intelligence in the world'that God or some higher power ad evenly distributed it and everyone would have the same joyful elation that so many people do these days, it seems, in this talented world for someone as talentless as me does not. This insane envy has caused me to experience consistent wavelengths of jealousy not just every year, or every few months, or even weeks, but indeed, every day, as I am constantly surrounded by a pool of studious scholars with talent just oozing out of their perfect little fingertips. It's not just that I'm jealous, but often jealous people are envious for the reason that they compare their characteristics to the person or person(s) they are in fact jealous of. Constantly, I see someone make a 102 a biology test, I make an 86 after long hours of studying. When I spend my whole night, perfecting a History Fair project on Frida Kahlo and even creating a specially-made paper mache to represent the artist's vibrant personality and flair for bright colors, guess what place I make? Fourth, otherwise code for: LAST while some overachiever whose project looks like a professional plagiarizer waltzes off with first prize to put on his/her bulging bookcase filled with gold statues and royal blue and red ribbons. For this, I have not only felt inadequate but I have also deprived myself of any social/self confidence needed in order to survive the ordeals of high school and perhaps, maybe even the real world.

Each time I vent to my mom about this, I hear the words: 'There will always be someone better than you, Belle. ' This case is true, but how come it seems I am no better than anyone else? An average 15-year old girl with nothing extraordinary to offer? I have talents, I am good at a lot of things, but I don't consider myself extraordinary. I recently read an article about 'young and gifted students' who would 'never get into Harvard.' I read about 6-year old piano prodigies who are often compared to as the 'next Mozart',' '10-year wiz-kids who are entering as freshmen in college,' or simply, the irrevocably beautiful classmate who is two math's above your standards. Therefore, it is no doubt that we live in a modernly talented world. For me, it's difficult to compare myself not only because I am 'average,' but because I am 'Asian,' which sets an even higher standard stereotypically as I feel that by my fellow students, I am 'expected' to be exceptional in math and science, when I am in 9th grade and in Algebra while others are in Geometry and even, Algebra II.

Everyone has these conflicts when faced in high school, college and even, the real world. But do not feel inadequate because you might not be as talented and exceptionally intelligent as your peers. It has been a problem that has conflicted me for years and has often prevented me from doing my very best because I know deep down, no matter how hard I try, my best would not be the best when faced with competition. It has caused years of dark insecurity and self-consciousness, ones that have prevented me from developing full friendships because of envy and a guarded relationship with my parents because I get angry when talking about another 'great' teen.

I didn't believe in myself anymore and often, I cried whenever I made another B on something as I wanted to be absolutely perfect in everything I did.

But a saving grace occurred after reading Harrison Bergeron, as when I read further after the opening line, I saw a terribly painful world where everyone was prevented from having above-average talents by attractive women wearing masks to cover up their beauty, strong, athletic people wearing handicaps and pounds of extra weight in order to injure and mar them of any strength in the first place, and distracting headphones to the extraordinarily intelligent in order to distract them from thinking any kind of intellectual thought. From reading the story, I saw the affects It ad on a seemingly boring, blurry, gray world'a world where people weren't allowed to think for themselves and I saw the perspective of people who weren't allowed to be the very best they could be, for if one did not do their best, one did not know the potential they truly possess. This got me thinking that despite my inadequacies, these extraordinary people offer enlightenment and guidance in the world, a better future, and a stronger community for without them, our world would cease to exist without music, science, or beauty. If I was meant to be average, I still knew I meant something to someone. Some people were meant to be above-average, some were meant to be average, but all are meant to excel for I know I can be a little better than I perceive myself to already be.

And suddenly, I remember an important quote I had after a late-night conversation with someone special: 'When you're insulting yourself, you're insulting God..' Whether you believe in God or not, we were brought here partly for some kind of purpose, find it, and do it in the best way possible, whether you're average or not.

The author's comments:
I was inspired by this throughout the observations of other students and the constant flood of articles from magazines about incredibly-talented teens. It's for teenagers, like me, who struggle for identity in a world filled with identified people.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!