I’m not claiming to be genius-level or anything, but I feel that I have above-average intelligence. I always did relatively well in school, although I didn’t have the ambition to really push myself. After high school I didn’t feel like I wanted to go straight into full-time college. I took a few classes, one or two at a time, but I never would have finished my degree that way. The big impetus for returning to school came when I first moved to Colorado and spent a year packing seafood for a distributor. Yes, that’s putting slabs of fish into tubs to send out to grocery stores and restaurants. I could feel my brain turning to pickled herring ;) I literally ached for intellectual stimulation. A year of that was more than enough to convince me to return to school fulltime, at the age of 25. I struggled with a few subjects (especially Chemistry, Physics, and the first semester of Calculus) but overall I really shone in college. Not only did I make the Dean’s list several semesters, completed my degree with a 3.9 GPA in the classes for my major, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and ended up graduating with distinction, but college made me realize that other people, intelligent people, were interested in what I said and thought. That give me the intellectual stimulation I was craving but even more importantly it helped me to make enormous advances in overcoming the extreme shyness I struggled with throughout my junior high- and high-school years.
When I joined 43 Things over 6 years ago one of the things that I was really struck by was the high level of intelligence that the community has. There have been and still are people on here that can blow me out of the water with their intellect. That is sometimes a little intimidating but for the most part it offers a very welcome chance to be able to have an intelligent conversation.