Former 'Gifted Kids' Explain Where They Are Now In Life
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A lot of "gifted" kids go on to be very successful adults, but that is by far not the case for everyone.

Many find that their "gifted" status leads to higher expectations and less support from adults and they end up struggling in later years of school.

If people on Reddit are any gauge, "successful adult" seems to be the less common outcome.

Redditor Otherwise-Spread-557 asked:

"'Gifted kids' and 'old souls', where are you now?"


"Working a dead-end job"

- JedLeland

"Welcome to the club. I don’t have anywhere for you to sit because we couldn’t afford it with our sh*t jobs."

- beingapersonoverhere

"Damn, that's a pretty specific coincidence."

- lycanthrope6950


"in therapy"

- SeveralOnion8752

"Unpacking childhood trauma and abuse."

- Benrein

"Learning the difference between genuine drive and passion vs a race against my crippling fear of failure and if I stop running I die."

- testsubject347

Burnout City

"burnt out and constantly on the edge of a mental breakdown."

- xBoopyBean57x

"Hey me too! But don't worry I was voted mostly likely to succeed. I guess succeed by not having a mental breakdown weekly."

- drunkdayzee

"Same… Burnt out, riddled with performance anxiety, depressed and too introspective for it to be cute."

- Amethystine_3702

"Oh hey. We're gifted though. Looking back on it now, I wonder if "old soul" was just another way to say traumatized."

- towalktheline

Successful, But...

"PhD and working academic with an impressive list of anxiety-related disorders."

- More_Movies_Please

"Post doc here (well, actually, post my post doc), working in industry. Anxiety doesn't go away and now I get to deal with imposter syndrome! Thanks, brain!"

- Jeremiah_da_Bullfrog

"Hey me too! I still love what I do, and I’d be anxious either way. At least now I can be anxious and get to play with sweet equipment and work with students."

- Aaaaagh

"That's my perspective! I might as well teach and do what I love since the anxiety has made my chest its forever home."

- More_Movies_Please

Doing Quite Well, Actually

"I'm doing ok, actually. I make a six figure salary, have my dream job in an interesting field, have a great partner I adore and I'm relatively healthy. And I'm debt free other than my mortgage, I paid off 70k of student debt with no help from anyone."

"Of course I dropped out of the gifted program because I'm dyslexic and my mom told me I 'wasn't smart enough' to do some academic stuff I was interested in, so I'm partially fueled by spite here."

- blue_effect

"Ah yes, delicious spite. What got me to the top of first-year chemistry when my lecturer told me I'd fail her class 😈"

- NewttheCat

"Nothing drives me to succeed more than someone telling me I CAN’T do something."

- Sanchastayswoke

A Doctor

"Doctor, albeit one with severe depression that needed rehab."

- TravelsByNightAndDay

"One of us. One of us. No rehab since i don't respond well to drugs... but rest are checked off."

- bobbi21

"ICU/CVICU/RRT RN. I’m the friendly, experienced 'big sister' people go to for advice, help, and comfort. I’m the one they call to talk to the scary doctors, unreasonable family members, and belligerent patients."

"I’m they one they ask to have the This Isn’t Going To End Well talk with loved ones when a patient is actively dying. I work 3 jobs, 60-72 hours a week. I hide from my inner self and oppressive depression by being endlessly useful at my job."

"Isn’t not satisfying, it’s not enough, it doesn’t make me happy. But at least have so much going on that I don’t have time to dwell on what’s in my head."

- Ennui_Having_Fun_Yet


"Older, stressed out, battling various mental health issues and neurodivergencies, and pretty lonely."

- Winter_Cheesecake158

"Is this the price of too much self reflection? What gives?"

- Arpeggioey

"Same here. Didn’t know I was autistic til I was 31. Would have loved to have known that way earlier."

"I look back at most of my GT classmates and go 'oh.' Graduated in 98, lots of us were missed."

"Now I struggle, but I’ve been working in the arts the past 3 1/2 years and finally feel like I belong. I’ll never make lots of money, despite being in the top 1% of test scores back in school."

- sunsetcrasher

​The Imposter Syndrome Is Real

"Dealing with imposter syndrome every other week."

- ledlin99

"Man, I really felt this comment. I just keep moving forward a little bit each day trying to become what I think I should be. It turns out most of the others are doing the same thing."


"Oof, I feel this sh*t in my SOUL"

- MotherOfPiggles

Why Try

"Ok, by most measures. Work is boring, but stable and lucrative. I live in a modest house with my wife and our cats and am happy."

"I don't feel that I've lived up to my potential, but I got tired of pushing to be better and do better when no one around me seems to care to do the same. What good is it trying to do something novel and exciting at work if no one else is on board and you have to spend years building up influence and power to make even something small, but obviously best practice happen? Oh well."

- ScarySuit

"I definitely feel that. When I was younger, my classmates would jokingly refer to me as the person who would find the cure to cancer."

"My teachers were always pushing me aim higher and speculating on what I'd do with my life."

"The hardest realization I've had to make in my adult life is that I'll likely never do anything groundbreaking or particularly special in my career."

- deez-t*ts

​Pretty Darn Great

"Happy, peaceful, content. Curious, engaged, enthusiastic. Found a good life, but it wasn’t by striving super hard for material wealth and status."

- sat-chit-ananda108

"I’m another happy old soul! Curiosity is key. All we need to do is grow and have fun in life."

"Old soul tiny kid. Now actually old. Had a bit of a tough time emotionally in my younger life, I was just overly sensitive and perceptive which caused all sorts of pointless angst. Things got way better over 40!"

- ohnobobbins

"I feel the same. I am not overly ambitious, and probably look from the outside to not have reached my potential (yet), but life is a long game and I am genuinely pretty content most of the time."

- greygreenblue

Being "gifted" definitely doesn't guarantee success, but happiness is out there.

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