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Old 10-16-2011, 06:20 AM
 
Location: 39 20' 59"N / 75 30' 53"W
15,719 posts, read 22,782,500 times
Reputation: 17466

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Its not necessary to be a walking encyclopedia. Most of us concentrate on areas of interest. Knowledge is acquired.

You're too young to start labeling yourself unintelligent and from your posts, far from the truth.

The biggest problem seems to be self confidence, you can work on that too.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,004 posts, read 9,671,359 times
Reputation: 19409
You're young. That said, remember that many people do not truly KNOW something after simply reading it in a book once, twice, or even three times. The only way to truly know something is to do it. Perhaps instead of laughing nervously, you should learn to say, "What? What do you mean? Can you show me?", or "Can you explain that to me?" Ask questions and actively listen. Surround yourself with intelligent and caring people. They will teach you and explain things to you, if you're truly interested and willing to learn. Trust me, the average 22 year old knows very few things, because they not only have not lived long enough to learn them, but many of them are too afraid to ask questions, for fear of something thinking they're stupid. Ignorance and stupidity are two vastly different things. You sound ignorant.....not stupid, and the cures for ignorance are education and experience.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,722,259 times
Reputation: 14499
Quote:
Originally Posted by hamburglarchick12 View Post
I was born and raised by immigrant parents. I've never really been exposed to a stimulating environment. I'm a 22 year old female. I feel really stupid. I feel very uneducated, I've always studied hard in school but I feel like never know anything.

I honestly try to dedicate two hours of reading everyday but I don't feel like I'm learning anything, I've gotten to the point of note taking so maybe my brain will pick something up. I mostly realize how much I don't know when I hang out with others. I only know about popular things like Britney Spears and Family Guy.

I find it is so hard to just sit down and read/watch something (I'm just not interested in most things). Any knowledge that I have is extremely superficial. I've tried reading the newspaper (I find it to be a hard read), I've gone so far as getting back to the basics - reading high school text books (maybe I can learn something by reading easier material). I'll always hear something I don't know: a band name, a movie, some politician's name, a car model, a name of food, a town I don't know. I've never really been good at anything and I'm just not smart or I can't retain information at all. I really try but I'm not getting anywhere.

Whenever I talk to people, its always small talk, superficial conversations because I don't know a lot about anything. If they bring up a topic of interest - I just get quiet because just never know anything (I try to just share opinion because I lack knowledge of facts). I don't know what to do anymore.

And to further make you realize how dumb & pathetic I really am, I'm one of those girls that laugh a lot because I don't have anything to say or know anything.
Note taking while reading is an excellent way to help yourself learn. One crucial step is to stop, every so often, and summarize what you've read. Reading is actually a passive activity and we're easily distracted when reading. Note taking helps you stay on track.

I, actually, have some experience here. Due to a brain injury, I lost much of my ability to memorize when I was 18 and felt kind of dumb as a result. It was a long struggle to develop logical reasoning skills that allow me to compensate (I took up logic puzzles). You need to continue doing what you're doing. Trying to learn and making adjustments when it doesn't seem you are. Don't be too hard on yourself. It doesn't happen over night. Pick a topic you're interested in and work with that. Perhaps something you can do hands on. Maybe you're a tactile learner. Maybe you're an audio learner (I am...I actually do little informative reading other than research).

Pick a topic and research that topic. it sounds like you might be jumping around, learning a little of this and a little of that so that you end up feeling like a jack of all trades master of none. Find one you can stick with then try different learning methods. I'll recommend the Khan academy site. Khan Academy The nice thing about videos like this is you can replay them as often as you need to learn something.

With that, I'll pass on some advice from my mother. Walk the walk and soon you'll talk the talk. If you want to be something, act like you're already there. Look at what people you want to be like do. For example, if I want to play piano like a professional, a good starting point would be practicing as much as a professional. Intelligent people don't usually study several things at once like we do in school but rather dig into one then move on to another and in time they build up an internal library.

And, BTW, it's usually intelligent people who think they don't know anything. You may be smarter than you think. I've always had a problem with thinking others know more than me. Over the years, I've learned that they don't. They just have more confidence in what they say. I've always second guessed my knowledge and preferred to sit back and listen. Getting involved in debates on line is a good way to learn too. To see how people tick. Again, you can review a thread as often as you like. See what makes the ones that go well go well and see what makes the ones that fall apart, fall apart.

And when you are comparing yourself to others, remember that you compare your insides to their outsides. You don't know what they reall feel/think on the inside. You may be closer to their level than you think. Perhaps they are just more experienced.

Good luck.

Last edited by Ivorytickler; 10-16-2011 at 11:58 AM..
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:53 AM
 
4,101 posts, read 5,901,079 times
Reputation: 5637
You have received several comments and the general consensus is that because of your young age you haven't learned enough to be happy with yourself. None of us know everything there is to know, we are smarter in some areas than we are in other areas. For starters, re-read beachmel's post above, she has given you some good advice. Learn to read the news paper, it will get easier if you practice daily, pretty soon current events, read in the newspaper, will begin to soak in. Another thought, spend more time at the library reading and less time watching a TV. TV programs on various learning channels might be of interest, the History channel and Discovery channel might be other good programs to watch. Get rid of the nervous laugh and replace it with questions that are well thought out before you ask them. People are interested in answering questions, but get annoyed at nervous laughter.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,821 posts, read 39,399,524 times
Reputation: 48621
Based on your writing quality, I'm finding it hard to believe that you're unintelligent.
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:31 PM
 
7,508 posts, read 3,597,130 times
Reputation: 3885
I'm 22 and I did the same thing as you are doing now. I forced myself to read things that I'm not interested in like politics. I do engage and listen, but there are just some things in life that I will never understand. I posted a while back why I feel so stupid because of the IQ test. I compared myself to other people who had higher IQ and I did believe that they were smarter than me. now I'm not sure if this is what you mean but here's a fact: there are 7 (or 8) of different types of intelligence and most people try to fit themselves into the typical "logical/mathematical" intelligence. I got Interpersonal and Intrapersonal intelligence. We're all different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobman View Post
I actually wonder if at 22, you're trying to care about all the wrong things.

At your age, I wasn't concerned with news, or current affairs, merely what band was playing where, where we were meeting for a few beers, and who was dating who !

As I've matured, those things have become less important, and my interest in other things has grown.
I must admit, politics still bores the crap out of me tho, and I don't think I could name very many of our elected representatives !!

If you have something you are passionate about, even if it is pop culture, then you should never feel embarassed about it.

You can't force yourself to like things, and you won't learn if you aren't interested.
Wow. Maybe I am caring about the wrong stuff too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmel View Post
You're young. That said, remember that many people do not truly KNOW something after simply reading it in a book once, twice, or even three times. The only way to truly know something is to do it. Perhaps instead of laughing nervously, you should learn to say, "What? What do you mean? Can you show me?", or "Can you explain that to me?" Ask questions and actively listen. Surround yourself with intelligent and caring people. They will teach you and explain things to you, if you're truly interested and willing to learn. Trust me, the average 22 year old knows very few things, because they not only have not lived long enough to learn them, but many of them are too afraid to ask questions, for fear of something thinking they're stupid. Ignorance and stupidity are two vastly different things. You sound ignorant.....not stupid, and the cures for ignorance are education and experience.
I rep. you!

Last edited by ho hey!; 10-16-2011 at 06:42 PM..
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:08 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,351,992 times
Reputation: 32238
Believe it or not, one of your greatest strengths is that you can admit to a weakness. You've gotten some terrific advice. What do you love? Start with that. Learn to learn by studying what interests you.

(I think you're smarter than you think. Your post made sense. You expressed yourself very well.)
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Exeter, NH
5,200 posts, read 4,208,097 times
Reputation: 5454
Quote:
Originally Posted by hamburglarchick12 View Post
I was born and raised by immigrant parents. I've never really been exposed to a stimulating environment. I'm a 22 year old female. I feel really stupid. I feel very uneducated, I've always studied hard in school but I feel like never know anything.

I honestly try to dedicate two hours of reading everyday but I don't feel like I'm learning anything, I've gotten to the point of note taking so maybe my brain will pick something up. I mostly realize how much I don't know when I hang out with others. I only know about popular things like Britney Spears and Family Guy.

I find it is so hard to just sit down and read/watch something (I'm just not interested in most things). Any knowledge that I have is extremely superficial. I've tried reading the newspaper (I find it to be a hard read), I've gone so far as getting back to the basics - reading high school text books (maybe I can learn something by reading easier material). I'll always hear something I don't know: a band name, a movie, some politician's name, a car model, a name of food, a town I don't know. I've never really been good at anything and I'm just not smart or I can't retain information at all. I really try but I'm not getting anywhere.

Whenever I talk to people, its always small talk, superficial conversations because I don't know a lot about anything. If they bring up a topic of interest - I just get quiet because just never know anything (I try to just share opinion because I lack knowledge of facts). I don't know what to do anymore.

And to further make you realize how dumb & pathetic I really am, I'm one of those girls that laugh a lot because I don't have anything to say or know anything.
You are 22 years old. By recognizing you know virtually nothing and what you do know is largely superficial, you have just shown both intellect, logic, and insight. You also noted that when you don't know much about a topic, you get quiet. This is EXACTLY what an intelligent person does in this situation. You listen and later do research if the topic interests you. You make your own stimulating environment, because the internet and libraries have information for free at your mere request. And when are interested and know a little about a topic, conversations flow naturally and lead you into more in-depth areas of the topic. Again, listen and research. This is the process every intellectual goes through.

When you say you are not interested in most things, don't try and become experts on those things. When you study things that interest you, learning is a joy and becomes a lifetime habit. The people you see that look like they know everything about everything ALWAYS have subject areas that they know nothing about. Typically they are good at manipulating conversations to topics they DO know and enjoy. It's a big world, and you yet haven't seen enough to come across some of topics that will fascinate you later.

There are tricks that students who do well in school learn over time. Note taking is one of them. I never study without taking notes, even today (such as if I had take driver's exam for some reason), and I highlight in books I buy. There are also memorization techniques and other tricks of the trade that are found in study guides for exams like the SAT and GRE. Your memory, even if it seems poor now, can be trained to do amazing things virtually without effort. School grades are also dependent upon how much the teacher likes you, and there's nothing a teacher likes more than a student who is enthusiastic and seems interested in the topic. This is even more useful in college, where the teachers actually love the topics they teach.

In my experience the biggest predictor of how intelligent and logical you are in later life, is the people you hang around with. The more you hang around brilliant people, the more you will understand logical thought processes, and the more you start thinking that way yourself. But be very careful: the know-it-alls, the people who have total and unshakeable self-confidence, and the braggarts are in all likelihood NOT brilliant or even above average. I'm not saying the math whiz in class who KNOWS he's right because he understands how to do the problem--that is simply self-awareness. But the person who claims he knows everything about everything is probably simply a Narcissist. This is the most common make made in society today--mistaking Narcissist for intellectuals, and discounting intellectuals because they are NOT Narcissists who loudly boast that they know everything.

I have no worries about you as a future member of society. The only worry I have is that there are not nearly ENOUGH young adults like you out there to pick up the pieces of our nation left by the last 30 years' reign of pathological Narcissists in both Big Business and Big Government.
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Old 10-17-2011, 09:23 AM
 
409 posts, read 330,116 times
Reputation: 267
I just wish to point out that there is a distinction between being literate and being intelligent.
Literacy is acquired through effort over a period of time, intelligence is inherent.
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:48 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
9,457 posts, read 16,424,092 times
Reputation: 13154
The way I look at it is that you can't know everything. Your best bet would be to keep reading the newspaper for now even though it's hard. I doubt it's your reading ability that makes it hard so much as the fact that you don't yet have the background to understand the underlying issues. If you want to make sure you've covered all the basics you might want to check out the books by E.D. Hirsch. I'm not sure if I have the titles correct, but one is Cultural Literacy and the other is The Core Knowledge series. This will give you a broad overview of the things that all Americans should know and then you can follow your interests from there. Oh, and for a good and entertaining overview of science, I really enjoyed A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson.
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