Natural talent does not trump hard work

Abbe Murphy, Editor In-Chief

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






I’ll be the first to say that I’m not naturally smart. I wasn’t reading chapter books at age four and I definitely am not the kind of person who can breeze a test without opening my textbook. Up until middle school, I never saw a problem with this. Sure, there were people who put less work in and got the same grade as I, but it’s the same grade so who cares, right?

I soon learned that no, it’s definitely not the same.

The first time I was ever called a “try-hard” was in the seventh grade. Being the overachieving and awkward pre-teen that I was, I spent embarrassing amounts of time color-coding my notes and prepping for every single assessment there was.

I would earn good grades and feel proud of the hard work that I put into my studies, all to be shut down by my peers.

“You may have gotten an A, but you had to actually work for it.”

Wait, what? Since when is putting in effort a bad thing? Before this, I had always been under the impression that my achievement through hard work was equivalent to that of my peers who were naturally talented.

I guess that you aren’t actually intelligent unless you came out of the womb knowing how to apply Newton’s second law of motion, because that totally makes sense.

However, research from the Brookings Institution shows the importance of grit and drive in the success of an individual. GPA has been proven to be a better predictor of college success than ACT/SAT scores due to the long-lasting motivation and perseverance that it takes to maintain a high GPA.

While natural intelligence may be the fast route to success, it definitely isn’t the indicator for the long term.

Throughout my high school career, I’ve found it more and more difficult to resist pretending that I’m naturally intelligent. Hearing my peers brag about how little they studied just seems so backwards to me.
It’s great that some people don’t have to put much effort in to be successful, but that just isn’t me.

Success is success even if I had to stay up til 2 a.m. studying to achieve it. In the end, I’m proud of all that I’ve achieved, whether I had to be a “try-hard” to get it or not.