People who were “gifted” in elementary school: what are you doing in life now?


I can count your change like a motherfucker though.


Cashier. I can count your change like a motherfucker though.


> I can count your change like a motherfucker though. This reminds me of a time, I was a cashier at Walmart looonnng ago. Lady at my register, her total came out to $6.66 and she freaked out, SIGN OF THE DEVIL and all that shit. So she grabbed some random items to change the price. As soon as I saw the new total of $13.34 I could NOT stop laughing. I can count your change like a motherfucker, too! Her change from the $20 she gave me was $6.66 😆 🤣


Please tell me her reaction to the change...


She nutted because she rolled 666 twice in a row, everything is free


_"que grosero"_ she said to me, _"how rude"_ 🤣 She had no choice but to accept her devilish change and run for the door.


One of the best stories today ☺️








From success i hope....




I peaked in grade 5. It was a good ride while it lasted, tho.


Omg, same here. I was put into an advanced sixth grade that required actual effort and it was downhill from there.


"those 20 hours/semester spent studying sre worth the extra half point in my gpa averaging..."


I crawl around in sewers, ducts, manufacturing facilities, and research facilities to calibrate, repair, and certify atmospheric monitoring equipment, and I drink more than I should


Hopefully not from the sewers and ducts.. /s


I also drink more than I should, friend. Love you, random stranger.


Honestly that sounds like a fun job, i also hope hazard pay is good.


I do okay. A hair under six figures. Not terrible for a 40 year old college drop out.


Winging it still at 37....


This hits too close... I too am 37. Whole family and friend group like "why aren't you super successful? You're so smart and charismatic!" "Really wish I could tell y'all something that made sense..."


Same. 51 and 30+ years of retail. So many well-meaning friends/family with "You should try \_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_" and it's all too exhausting. I spent my brain power on school and my energy on customers/clients. Let me run my little online store from home and feed the birds and squirrels who come to visit my house.


Wow this thread is familiar. I could speak before I ever walked. Was reading at 3. Everyone thought I'd end up being a brain surgeon or designing rockets to take humanity to Mars or some shit. I work at a music store. I repair instruments mostly, do set ups for guitars, put tenon corks on clarinets, and the usual retail stuff: Manage inventory, run a register. I went to college but never graduated. To be honest, I love my job, and was never terribly interested in running the rat race or working for a Fortune 500 company. My life is simple, and I live it on my terms. I'd love to make more money, but it's less important than enjoying what I do and sleeping well at night.


Well said. Money doesn't buy happiness.


I can tell you, I was/am gifted, and that gift let me see through the trap of "ambition" and material wealth. This led to living a semi-comfortable life full of experiences and learning. Watch, listen, analyze, be kind, and say yes. There are many versions of success, live your version.


I arrived at that as well. I almost entered academia, dear god. And now I am finishing studies, hopefully pursuing job in other field to have enough money and remote job to be able to live the way I love it - the forest grumpy man. <3 Live your lives people, you will not exist once again.


I left a funded PhD program because I realized it just wasn't I wanted, and I'm pretty sure I've only got one life in this planet to actually do what I want, and what I grew up thinking I wanted turned out to be different. Turns out I'd rather hang out with my kid in the forest, have a bit of land to play with, enough money that I don't have to worry much about grocery costs, and appreciate the birds.


This. On the books I work 40 hours a week. But the reality is I work about 20 hours a week and spend the rest of the time listening/watching podcasts and going into YouTube rabbit holes. I make decent money that allows me to have all my favorite snacks and foods, and take trips to places near and far. I always think of the Radiohead lyric "Ambition makes you look pretty ugly." It's good to be ambitious but know why you strive for something. I wasn't put on earth to work, I was put here to experience.


I arrived at this perspective at 24. Am 26 now. I just want to be able to support doing what I love and be without hurting anyone or in other words, being happy but not at others’ expense.


Tell em you did what you wanted to. Can't really argue with that, and as long as your not strung out on meth, that's probably successful anyway.


Needs to be true though. It's possible to be smart, charismatic, and lazy, and/or self destructive.


Just @ me why don't you, jeez.


Same. 38, though.


Same. Currently deconstructing my sense of entitlement and superiority as an adult. It fucking sucks.


Never had to prepare for anything, not gonna start now


Fuck, this is incredibly true. Got to college and had no idea how to study because I never had to so I just showed up and took tests, and it didn't always go the greatest. In grad school now, and I still kind of just open my notes/textbook and aimless stare at the pages when I have to "study" I do it at work too sometimes...I won't have a plan for a patient until they show up and I start talking to them and just piece together a PT session as we go


This was me too. Winged it all the way through primary and secondary schooling where the classes are taught in a way to cover the lowest common denominator and so it’s “easy” since you’re accelerated compared to your peers. Get to uni and suddenly shit is actually hard because you get grades against yourself and I had no good study habits, no good time management habits, and in the end I struggled really badly. It’s the literal version of “show your workings” and it’s hard because I was often able to just arrive at the answer in a non standard way and they weren’t interested in accepting that.


Oh yes, this, but got bounced from college for bad grades. But working FT and full load college not a good combo either. Never finished college. Went to community college for a bit, so bored. Never found my niche. Worked 36 years for a company. Retired at 56. Also late diagnosis of ADD. But worked out ok. Still don’t know what I wanna be when I grow up!


I've heard this phenomenon referred to as "The Curse of the Gifted Child". School was pretty easy to skate through with minimal effort, college effed me hard.


I'm reasonably successful in my career and this is still my day to day. I just show up at my meetings and go with the moment. If I need to do technical work I have a goal in mind but never know the specifics of how to get there.


Do you have adhd? I read something not too long ago that made this make so much more sense for me. I can never get anything done early and have been a life long procrastinator. Once there is pressure - deadlines, time crunches, etc., I can suddenly get on a roll, focus, and move quick and still perform/do good work. This was explained as dopamine release - which I don’t get from anything when there is no pressure. Which explains a lot for me. I’ll try to find the article!


This describes me exactly. Why do work when there's no pressure? There's no reward! Procrastinate until the very end of the deadline. And then wait just a little bit more. And I know it's bragging but I actually do better work than most of my peers. Which is why I keep doing it, because it "works" for me. I also can't just do 1 thing at work. I will get bored. So I either do nothing or multiple things at once. Whenever I see things about adhd traits I go "oh, doesn't everybody do/have that? But I never go to get confirmation of it. I can make excuses about my family always distrusting doctors etc. But I think I just don't want to know. Is that how you figured out you have adhd, or?


If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.


I need this printed on my cubicle.




54 and struggling to keep the wings on.


Answering stupid questions here in reddit.


Hey, I'm reading stupid questions on reddit! It's a small world


I think I might BE the stupid question on Reddit?


I’m the stupid on reddit, got a question?


Maybe the real stupid questions on Reddit were the friends we made along the way


One of us! One of us!


Managing a chain of retail stores while my MSc in engineering sits there, taunting me.


My dad got an engineering degree, worked two years, and promptly went into gold brokerage. Good for him, there aren’t many engineering jobs that could support his prodigious levels of whoring.


“Prodigious levels of whoring” is what I want to be when I grow up


It’s not great for the bystanders. I started wearing gloves any time I want in his house. Too many “Suddenly: dildo!” experiences.


I would watch this movie. But in all honestly I’m sorry your dad is such a raging slut.


That seems like a sentence you probably never thought you'd type.


I jot got a horrific mental image of a dildo jack-in-the box. All jokes aside, I’m sorry. That sounds awful.


I was more envisioning a bad dragon coco clock.


>My dad got an engineering degree, worked two years, and promptly went into gold brokerage. Damn, alright. Get it! >Good for him, there aren’t many engineering jobs that could support his prodigious levels of whoring. Well then...




>Back in the 1970s in the country where I grew up ‘gifted‘ kids like me were taken out of class a few hours a week and put into a special program. I hated this. They were still doing this as late as the mid 90s where I went. Fun at first until you realize you still had to cover what you missed. Eventually the policy changed to 1 day a week at a different school which was even worse because you never really bonded with anyone there. Gifted school was better except they assumed you were gifted at all subjects.


Still in the early 2000s where I went.


Was a thing mid-late mid-late 2000s when I was in elementary at my school.


I remember being taken out of class in the 70s too. In the third grade me and about 4 other kids were studying microbes and using microscopes. Then they repurposed the room we were using and they just quietly moved us into the corner of the regular classroom which I found embarrassing. We would have to whisper with the teacher but it just made the other kids want to know what we were doing over there. It was awkward and poorly executed.


I remember being taken out of class regularly when learning cursive in 3rd grade, and my teacher telling me "you can just figure out the letters you missed". Never properly learned every 3rd letter in upper and lower case. My handwriting still sucks, 45 years later.




First comment I saw that was actually a job and not a chronic depression...


We're all on Reddit. They probably are just high functioning. Great job and chronic depression! Like me. Fantastic job. Great family. Unbelievable wife. Managing bipolar disorder! Honestly pretty well up until my dog died and I've had a bit of a setback since then but I haven't been contemplating suicide most days so that's a great start!


Hey, don’t pigeonhole us. I can be depressed and a doctor!




I work in biotech ensuring drugs are safe and make a great living, just paid off my house. I feel like Reddit isn’t the most balanced place to ask this question haha


I do similar work! I started working as a QC microbiologist in drug compounding and manufacturing plants. Now I’m working in drug development in the bioanalytics lab. Always happy to see someone else in biotech


I’m a scientist in the same industry, big Pharma, working in R&D drug discovery.


Hey peds trauma surgery gang here.


Software engineer


Physicist and electrical engineer, working as a software engineer. Ready to retire (brain is fizzling out)










Mechanical Engineer working in Propulsion


Mechanical engineer working in software engineering


Former software engineer. Now I just talk about it (management).


I am VERY succesful in my menial job


Huge mood. Being labelled as having “so much potential!!!!!1!!!” will set you up for striving to be good at even the most menial and brainless tasks, bc if you’re not competent…well!


Same. Warehouse laborer. Spend my free time smoking weed and playing video games. Being successful seems like too much hassle.


I’m the only employee at my retail job w/a masters degree.


Got an undergrad in philosophy. Then law school. Then corporate contracts attorney for 10 years. Now I do contracting IT, workflow and process design for corporate Legal and RevOps departments. It pays the bills and is challenging, but it's not a passion. I don't think I ever really found a passion. Probably never will. That's ok, I think. EDIT: Since so many replies here are "work shouldn't be your passion", I wanted to respond. I tend to agree, and I have many engaging interests outside of work and a great friends and family. But I'm also of the mind that work doesn't NOT have to be your passion just to have an engaging non-work life (caveat that family, friends, and hobbies should probably take first precedence for a healthy human experience.) The original question on the post seemed very tailored to "formerly gifted kids, what's your job, or lack thereof?" The "not a passion" from my original post was solely directed at what I do to pay the bills. Quite a few of the replies here seem to at least imply that having engaging hobbies and interpersonal relationships is mutually exclusive to having an engaging career. To the contrary, it would seem to me that: \[(Career ***+ Passion***) + (Hobbies/Family + Passion)\] > \[(Career ***- Passion***) + (Hobbies/Family + Passion)\] TLDR; why not both?


I have a similar feel. I have a good job that pays well. Challenging work but not a passion. Sometimes I wish I could find a job that I was purely passionate about, where my work excited but don’t think I’ll have that.


I am chronically unemployed and just generally a waste of space.


You and me both. Chronic depression and various other mental health issues; I suspect my brain simply burned out.


Hey, I'm part of the club


Unfortunately, same here. Always was told I was special and had the potential to be great when I was younger, parents told me I'm their smartest kid. Am plagued with crippling anxiety, chronic depression, and a horrible case of co-dependency. lol go me! At least I'm good at crosswords and can make some killer BBQ


You know what's the worst part of that? Everyone have really high expectations on you, but that only means a lot of unnecessary pressure, and at some point you put those high hopes on yourself too. However most of us, who were told were "special" weren't taught something important, initiative. Since we were surrounded by demanding families, teachers, friends etc... We used to do stuff because they told us to, but once we're on our own it's extremely difficult to do stuff on our own, then our world starts to fade away and if you were put on a high place, you fall a lot harder


And then when you don’t meet those expectations every single time, you start to avoid doing anything out of fear that you won’t be any good at it.


Fuck me, this hit home. Well said.


This is a very real problem. Turns out not letting kids be kids damages them.


G&T kids were just SpED kids that could sit quietly but still generally needed to be secluded from our peers--we were left to fall thru the cracks in other ways later in life.


Me too! Our powers combined…. Captain Adderall!


Same. Severely mentally ill & have never liked anything long enough to make it into a career. People are mean to me, I cry or snap. When people are nice to me, I cry. I’m very easily confused & overwhelmed & hate myself more than words can express.


You sound like you might have ADHD. You should get checked, it could severely improve your day to day if you sort it out


I am diagnosed with & being treated for combined types ADHD. It has helped but the second the meds wear off I plummet & any time I inquire about dosage increase I get treated like a drug seeker & end up sobbing from self hatred or exploding with rage or both. Thanks for the info.


Not unemployed but I have a lot of anxiety and fear of failure. I only start things when I can guarantee success. For example, I’ve been wanting to learn Python but the fear of not doing well stops me every time


Same, same. I didn't call it fear of failure, but I like that better than saying I'm a perfectionist. I too only like to start something when I can guarantee success and people don't get that when I get to explain it.


Selling drugs to other “gifted” kids.






I did great for a while, but I got broadsided by schizoaffective disorder in my teens and my life went very poorly for the next twenty years or so. Had to get a GED, was homeless for a while, drugs, punk band, that sort of thing. But I just started a writing career, it's going very well, I'm winning awards and shit. I'm still working on getting off disability, though (very few people can make a living as a writer, there's no money in it). I'm trying to see if I can go back to school and maybe work in editing, which I've freelanced in a bit.


I was diagnosed with schizoaffective at around 22-23 after a few years on the streets and on drugs. Managed to graduate college and work my way to a six-figure job after that. Still struggle with mental health immensely. Glad to hear of your succcess


I'm all for bettering yourself, but I became a copywriter without having any experience. I just know how to write well and spot grammatical errors like my life depends on it. If you've got experience writing you're already ahead of the game. See if you can get a job at an ad agency as a Jr. copywriter and go from there. I've been doing it for 18 years now. Good luck.




The absolute last thing I want to do is anything linking my professional life to my Reddit account. (I write children's books.) My first book isn't out yet anyway, I won an award from a pretty good house that comes with a publication contract, but they got smacked by CoVID and everything is taking even longer than the publishing industry usually takes. I dug around trying to see if I could find a literary magazine my poetry for adults was published in so you could just guess which one is me if you cared to, but I seldom send poetry around and it looks like back issues aren't available for anything I've been published in. The one prize I got for poetry didn't post the text of the poem on their website. Drat.


You remind me of Brian from Family Guy


How's that novel coming along...


I just a grown woman and I have a stable job what I’m happy about that.


Thank you! I am also a successful woman with a good job!!


I have a PhD and teach university. So never leaving academia?


I’m depressed and alone👍


Alone together 👍


Depressed together 👍


3 way?


LMFAOOOOO make it 4


Lets just all join in


I was about to write my actual job title, but then i opened and saw this as the first answer. Yup, this is it. This is the correct answer.


NASA Engineer.


That’s sick


Rocket scientist! Nice


Dude, me too! (For a while, eventually went out into industry.)


I got really depressed in college, lost my scholarships, dropped out, wasted a few years, went back to finish my degree while accruing massive debt, couldn't find a job because I'm bad at networking, joined the military, and then between the military programs that exist to uplift enlistees, and my TS clearance, I was finally able to separate and get a pretty good paying job as a geophysicist.


I wish I could have enlisted. Lousy permanent metal implant. Instead I wasted money and time on college before dropping out. Now I work a job I hate and feel trapped.




That’s tough. Praying for you


I design touch screen remote controls (and the software that runs on them) for a living. Remember when you were in algebra in school and you asked, “When am I going to use this? When is *anyone* going to use this?” It’s me. I’m the one. I use it every single day.


Lmao I feel that last bit, quantitative finance is insane


I'm staying in school bc I don't believe I'll thrive anywhere else. So I'm getting degree after degree.




I’ve never related to any comment more than this. School was a safe place with clear objectives (degrees) and a reliable method of accountability (grades). Would be a student for life if I could


Omg same. I’m on degree five and I’m 40 ….School is my life basically.


How do you support that? I’m really asking, no judgment. Do you work and go to school on the side? Does work pay for school? Do you get scholarships? This is really interesting and I’d love to hear more about it. What degrees do you have?


It’s five degrees over twenty years literally. I worked through all except nursing which was accelerated (1 year). Now at phd level my job pays for it and I go part time pecking away at it little by little while holding two professional jobs. 10/10 don’t recommend lol. But honestly, I love to learn and I’m just happy for every class I finish.


What's your high score?


This was me. English degree-> teaching credential-> counseling degree/credential. I was working on a school psychology degree/credential when I finally said okay time to stop.


I'm doing the only thing a know-it-all smart ass can do- I'm a librarian!


Did amazing through high school, the moment I got into college (away from my helicopter parents, and having a lot less structure), everything fell apart and I fell into horrible depression and flunked out immediately. Took about a decade to break free (thanks therapy!). Got a job as a part-time cart pusher/bagger, worked my ass off and eventually landed an office job. I don't make as much as I would have if I had stuck through college, but it's a stable gig and I'm much happier than I would have been.


I’ve seen this story play out so many times


Professor of physics.


Disappointing, perpetually


Senior Executive in software. Didn't grow up with much money, went to CC then a state school where I could live at home. Honestly not growing up with a lot was a pretty good work driver the first 40 years. We didn't have money but my parents valued education and valued hard work. I saw how hard they worked and as a kid I was sort of lazy but money driven. Turned into a habit and that worked for me.


Senior software architect. Discovered I had a knack for programming my sophomore year in college many moons ago. Made a career out of it. :)






This guy is winning at life


Username...checks out.


My story is a bit different. Was in a program for about a week and then they took me out. Through junior high and high school I got D’s and F’s and even went to summer school. Detentions, suspensions, (no drugs or arrests but lots of acting out and poor decisions). Middle and High school were the worst years of my life. Insults from teachers and administrators, I did know where to get support, I was very dark…. And even hospitalized (I am the only one that knows I took half that bottle of ibuprofen on purpose) … but wasn’t hospitalized for psych. Still managed to get into college based in large part on my SAT score but flunked out…. After that I Worked in restaurants for a few years until I looked around at that kitchen crowd and said to myself “what the fuck am I doing here” So I went back to school while working. I did school and work full time and had a child that first semester. I finished up deans list and on academic scholarship. After college I floundered in the office world for about 15 years. General malaise, boredom, lack of focus 90% of the time (like now) I did decent but not great. Raw computing power and ability to ultra focus that 10% of the time when needed got me by. That was until this year…. Now I was diagnosed with depression years ago but it wasn’t until a few months back at the age of 45 that I was diagnosed with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder. I’m on meds for all that now… And I am absolutely crushing it. Just promoted and I received two separate top 5% performer awards (significant bonuses) this year. My depression is under control, ADHD is redirected, and I have good therapy support. It’s not too late folks.




I am a technician on a major US fusion research project.


considering throwing my useless ass out of a window. being gifted in one area means nothing in your life, unless you are somehow, somewhere lucky to make a living out of that one specific thing.


I own my own business. Being "gifted" was kind of a roadblock though and it should be done away with generally. Instead of understand that I have an easier time figuring things out, I rather often thought that the things which weren't easy were just generally impossible and didn't even try to do them.




The TAG (Talented And Gifted) program I was put in in elementary school actually really helped me, before that I would get in trouble constantly because I acted out when extremely bored. That being said, as soon as I was out of elementary school my self confidence and mental health took a dive. The program helped me in the short term, but as soon as people didn’t constantly praise me/treat me differently because I was “smart” I stopped believing that I was. And thus stopped acting like I was.


In my schools it was GATE (gifted and talented education) and basically it meant that until I got to college, I had art classes instead of English. I still have no fucking clue what the preterite or perfect or any other verb tenses actually mean, which makes learning Spanish really challenging.... and no matter how I get to articulate this to my Spanish professors, they don't understand what I'm really asking.


We didn't learn verb tenses either until I was in college learning about teaching English as a second language. You're not missing anything from not taking English other than some minor writing skills and a lot of reading literature, which you can do on your own if you want too.


Working late nights in bars, drinking and partying way too much. Making terrible choices but honestly having a pretty damn good time.




Honestly, I’ve got a good life. Got a master’s degree and certification in a job that I find really rewarding and challenging. I still love to learn. I have a great relationship with my SO and a pretty cool kid. I’m still friends with some of my gifted buddies (despite living all over the US). And I would say we are pretty content with our lives.


I'm a computer engineer and VP at my company. I worked at a successful startup and even had a co-op job at NASA in college.


Having anxiety about change in my life


Burnt out grad student


Honestly every grad student is burnt out. Hang in there!


I got a degree in music, moved to Germany, worked as a teacher, studied some more, opened a business, recorded an album, almost finished with a 2nd degree. However, I'm not a professor or millionaire. All people in the gifted program in my school have led ordinary lives.


I'm a receptionist at a doctor's office, mom of a teenager, and metastatic breast cancer patient.


Taking off my clothes for strangers to pay for uni


RIP thy inbox.


Lol dude she doing only fans she replying here for the money


Dammit boys, she outsmarted even the gifted amongst us.


Got a couple of degrees, worked in a completely unrelated field and retired at 40. Now, I’m sitting on my ass, going fishing and reading a lot depending on the day.


I was gifted. Graduated valedictorian. Decided I didn't want to work hard in college. Got a bullshit degree in psychology from a state school. 6 years post graduation, currently make $150k as a Technical Project Manager working 15 hours a week. It's great.


Work smart, not hard. Honestly, sometimes the smarter ones realize it’s not about pushing for the most challenging field or job but doing things that will make you happy. One of my colleagues’s valedictorian decided to just move to an island in the Caribbean and sell fruit and enjoy his days. I grew up with a kid who was always one of the smarter kids. He didn’t really try ever though, and decided to not do college despite 1) having the grades; 2) having the money to go. Instead became a firefighter and bartender because it’s what he wanted to do. More power to him.


Well I got diagnosed with ADHD last week, which feels like a "better late than never" sort of thing. I'm 31. Gotta love the "gifted oldest daughter" to "bisexual neurodivergent with depression, anxiety, and an immense need for the approval of others" pipeline. Also, I'm a hydrogeologist so that's cool.


Work as a mechanic, drink till I fall asleep wake up and do it again


I remember being in a 'gifted' program in elementary school, maybe 2nd or 3rd grade. I'm doing just fine now. Financially and in life. I occasionally wonder if I was put in that gifted program because they thought I was smart or because they thought I was autistic or something. The other kid in the program was pretty stupid and at the time I remember thinking 'wait, this kid is gifted too?'


Registered Dietitian board certified in oncology with a Masters in clinical nutrition..currently working for a non profit that writes and updates cancer treatment guidelines for the US/internationally


Betting big on GameStop. Power to the players.




I fight wildfires for the government. I've been asked several times by coworkers why I don't do something more befitting my capabilities, but I love what I do and am happy to apply myself to something I see as valuable and that fulfills me.




Smoking weed and hanging out on Reddit


Stay at home mom. Worked under an accountant for a while but mehhh.


Building space lasers, FTL drives and communicating daily with extra terrestrials.


I design broadband and large enterprise networks.


I’m a celebrity household manager with two degrees and a dog!


About to get married and start a new job working on rocket engines for satellite launches.


Glorified secretary whose barley making ends meet


My barley makes beer.


Coasted into a state job.