Monthly Archives: September 2016

6 Struggles That Mean You’re Highly Intelligent

Most people regard highly intelligent people as super humans who have it all figured out simply because their brains can help them in any life situation and they don’t have to struggle with the problems of the ordinary people. Yet, the reality is quite different, as no matter how intelligent someone may be, they are, at the end of the day, just human.

They struggle with issues somewhat different than those of the rest of the world, but still challenging and difficult. If you are a highly intelligent person, these struggles and the lack of understanding from peers can leave you feeling lonely. Maybe your friends and family don’t seem to be mindful of your feelings. In order to help you feel acknowledged and understood, here are some of your most common struggles.

1. Small talk exhausts you
It can be quite a challenge for you to be involved in small talk about ordinary things. This is because your brain is overwhelmed with great ideas. Topics that interest you likely include science, art, philosophy, and those are rarely found in small talk. This makes you feel like you are wasting your time trapped in a suffocating, never-ending list of socially acceptable set phrases. All you really want is a like-minded individual to bounce ideas around with about the important stuff.

2. You think more than you speak
As your brain is wired to look for all possible solutions and answers to a problem, it may take you more time than a person of average intelligence to give your opinion or draw a conclusion. Moreover, if you are not completely sure you’ve got the right answer or a brilliant idea, you won’t speak at all. Your struggle lies in the fact that most people around you are not familiar with the way your thought process works, and they get confused or regard you as weird, introverted, or uninterested.

3. Your job can easily bore you
The need for your brain to be constantly challenged with new, greater ideas and projects can turn your once exciting job into ordinary and boring as you exhaust all ways to be creative with it. This can turn into a day-to-day struggle to finish your tasks. Additionally, in most cases, your boss isn’t so sympathetic to your longings and just wants the job done.

4. You sometimes have action paralysis
It is hard to be a thinker in a world full of go-getters that appreciate action more than great ideas. As you are too consumed with different ideas, you may at times be missing the action impulse. Unfortunately, people tend to mistake this trait as laziness which leaves you feeling underappreciated.

5. You are considered socially awkward
As if those aren’t enough, your next struggle comes as a result of all the previous ones. If you are feeling uncomfortable during small talk, refrain from speaking if not sure, don’t get inspired by old and exhausted ideas, or if you feel more comfortable with ideas than execution, people tend to characterize you as socially awkward. Little do they know, this only puts more pressure on you making you feel more self-conscious about your social conduct.

6. It is hard for you to fall in love
Finally, your quest for love is slightly more demanding than that of average people. Since you are much more cautious, analytical and independent than the rest, you tend to get mistaken for cold and high maintenance. Additionally, you can lack spontaneity at times, which makes your love interest, lose interest.

However difficult your daily struggles may seem, you don’t need to let them immobilize you from growing. You can work on expressing yourself more to others so that they can get a better understanding of your needs. You will find some common ground.

Best Study Tips

Study isn’t just for the night before an assignment’s due or the night before an exam.

It’s never too early – or too late – to develop good study habits. The sooner you get into a good study groove, the easier everything will be and the more your chances of getting good marks will improve.

Here are our top tips for getting the most out of study.
1. Pick a place and time
Everyone has their own idea about the best place and time to study. Whether it’s your bedroom at night or the library after school, find a study space and a regular study time that works for you and stick with it.

Set up your study space – Your study space should be quiet, comfortable and distraction-free. It should make you feel happy and inspired. Decorate it with your favourite pictures or objects. If you want to listen to music or burn incense, pick a space that lets you do that.
Find your best time – Some people work better in the morning. Others work better at night. Work out which time suits you and plan to study then. Don’t study much later than your usual bedtime – pushing yourself late at night can make you too tired to study properly.

2. Study every day
If you study a little bit every day you’ll be continually reviewing things in your mind. This helps you understand things. It also helps you avoid the stress of last-minute cramming.

Early in the year an hour or two a night might be enough to stay on top of things. Later in the year you might need to study more each day.

If you’re finding it hard to find time to study, cut back on some (but not all!) of your other activities. Prioritising study might mean spending less time online, or it might mean cutting back on shifts at work, or giving weekend sport a miss for a while.

3. Plan your time
It helps to have some plans in motion so you can make the most of your study time.

Set alarms – Set alarms to remind you about your study plans. A regular reminder keeps you honest and your plans on track.
Use a wall planner – Stick a calendar or wall planner up so you can see it whenever you’re studying. Mark it up with important dates, like exams and assignment due dates. Use it to block out your regular study timetable too.
Make to-do lists – Lists break tasks down into manageable chunks. At the start of the week, make a list of the things that you need to have done by the end of the week. Make a to-do list at the start of each study session too, so that you’re clear about what you need to be doing with your time.
Set time limits – Before you start your study session, have a look at your to-do list and give yourself a set time to spend on each task. If you don’t get something done in the set time, consider whether it’s the best use of your time to keep going with it, or to start working on something else.

4. Discover your learning style
Most of us have a preferred way of learning. Get to know the learning style you’re most comfortable with and study in the ways you learn best.

Note that these styles are just a way to think about diffent studying techniques – they’re not hard and fast rules that say you should only study in one way. Try each of these out and see which ways you prefer.

Auditory learners prefer to learn by listening. Try reading your notes aloud and discussing them with other people. You might like to record key points and play them back.
Visual learners prefer to learn by seeing. Try using colours in your notes and draw diagrams to help represent key points. You could try to remember some ideas as images.
Tactile/kinesthetic learners prefer to learn by doing. Try using techniques like role-playing or building models to revise key points.

5. Review and revise
At least once a week you should go back over the things you’ve studied in class. Thinking things over can help you to understand the concepts and help you remember when you need them the most.

Quiz yourself – Get a friend or family member to quiz you on key concepts. Offer to help your friends with their work too. Quizzes are great ways to get confident about what you know and find out what you still need to learn.
Make your own study materials – Think up some practice exam questions or create your own flash cards to help you study. This way you learn it all twice: once when you make the study materials and once when you use them to revise.

6. Take breaks
It’s important to take breaks while you’re studying, especially if you’re feeling tired or frustrated. Working too long on a task can actually decrease your performance.

When you take a break, make sure you get away from your desk or study space. A bit of physical activity – even just a walk around the block – can sometimes help you to look at a problem in a different way and could even help you to solve it.

7. Ask for help
If you’re stuck on something, or something just doesn’t seem to make sense, you can always ask for help. Talk to your teachers or lecturers about the things you don’t understand. Talk to your friends and fellow students too.

8. Stay motivated
When you’re studying it helps to keep in mind your reasons for doing all this hard work, like a course or career you’re working towards. It can help to have something in your study space to remind you of your goals.

You could also decorate your study space with inspirational quotes or photos of people you admire and family members you want to make proud of you.

9. App it up
There are heaps of apps out there for helping students with all aspects of study. Have a chat with your friends and teachers/lecturers to see which apps they recommend.

10. Look after yourself
You’ll study better if you take care of yourself. Make sure you eat well and get enough sleep and physical exercise. Don’t reward yourself with too many sugary or fatty snacks or push yourself to study late into the night. It’s also a good idea to make sure you drink lots of water when you’re studying.
Now come up with your own strategies
These tips are only some of the things you can do to get the most out of your studying. You might already have other things that work better for you. Find out what your friends do when they’re studying. Maybe your teachers have some good recommendations too.

Whatever it is, whatever strategy you come up with, when you find something that works for you, put it into

Special Tips to Study Smart and Save Time

I recently got my marks back from University. My grade point average was a 4.2 out of a possible 4.5, resting between an A and a perfect A+. In itself, this isn’t an incredible achievement. But I managed to do this while spending only a fraction of the time studying than many of the people I knew.

Is it just natural talent? Perhaps. I’ve always had a knack for understanding concepts and learning new ideas. But I also believe the way I learned the information played a role. Instead of cramming last minute or memorizing details, I try to organize information in a way that makes it easier to recall.

This strategy of organization I label holistic learning. Holistic learning is simply the process of organizing information into webs, that interconnect ideas. Instead of forcing ideas into your skull, you focus on the relationships between information. Linking ideas together to see the whole, instead of just the parts.

Building an Understanding

Learning is a process similar to building a house. You aren’t fed the complete picture. Limitations on communication prevent the instantaneous transmission of knowledge. Instead you listen to lectures, read textbooks and take painstaking notes to try and comprehend a subject.

You are fed building supplies, bricks, mortar and glass. It is up to you to assemble the building. Unfortunately, most learning strategies fall into two basic types:

Memorization – Instead of building anything you simply stare at each brick for several minutes trying to record its position.
Formulas – This is the equivalent to being blind, fumbling around a new house. You can’t see the building itself but you learn to come up with simple rules to avoid walking into walls.
There is nothing particularly wrong with either of these strategies, assuming they aren’t your entire strategy. The human brain isn’t a computer so it can’t memorize infinite sums of knowledge without some form of structure. And formulas no longer work if the questions they are designed to solve change scope.

Learning Holistically

The alternative strategy is to focus on actually using the information you have to build something. This involves linking concepts together and compressing information so it fits in the bigger picture. Here are some ideas to get started:

– Metaphor – Metaphors can allow you to quickly organize information by comparing a complex idea to a simple one. When you find relationships between information, come up with analogies to increase your understanding. Compare neurons with waves on a string. Make metaphors comparing parts of a brain with sections of your computer.
– Use All Your Senses – Abstract ideas are difficult to memorize because they are far removed from our senses. Shift them closer by coming up with vivid pictures, feelings and images that relate information together. When I learned how to do a determinant of a matrix, I remembered the pattern by visualizing my hands moving through the numbers, one adding and one subtracting.
– Teach It – Find someone who doesn’t understand the topic and teach it to them. This exercise forces you to organize. Spending five minutes explaining a concept can save you an hour of combined studying for the same effect.
– Leave No Islands – When you read through a textbook, every piece of information should connect with something else you have learned. Fast learners do this automatically, but if you leave islands of information, you won’t be able to reach them during a test.
– Test Your Mobility – A good way to know you haven’t linked enough is that you can’t move between concepts. Open up a word document and start explaining the subject you are working with. If you can’t jump between sections, referencing one idea to help explain another, you won’t be able to think through the connections during a test.
– Find Patterns – Look for patterns in information. Information becomes easier to organize if you can identify broader patterns that are similar across different topics. The way a neuron fires has similarities to “if” statements in programming languages.
– Build a Large Foundation – Reading lots and having a general understanding of many topics gives you a lot more flexibility in finding patterns and metaphors in new topics. The more you already know, the easier it is to learn.
– Don’t Force – I don’t spend much time studying before exams. Forcing information during the last few days is incredibly inefficient. Instead try to slowly interlink ideas as they come to you so studying becomes a quick recap rather than a first attempt at learning.
– Build Models – Models are simple concepts that aren’t true by themselves, but are useful for describing abstract ideas. Crystallizing one particular mental image or experience can create a model you can reference when trying to understand. When I was trying to tackle the concept of subspaces, I visualized a blue background with a red plane going through it. This isn’t an entirely accurate representation of what a subspace is, but it created a workable image for future ideas.
– Learning is in Your Head – Having beautiful notes and a perfectly highlighted textbook doesn’t matter if you don’t understand the information in it. Your only goal is to understand the information so it will stick with you for assignments, tests and life. Don’t be afraid to get messy when scrawling out ideas on paper and connecting them in your head. Use notes and books as a medium for learning rather than an end result.