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Teachers Who've Taught A Legitimate Genius Reveal What It Was Like

Teachers Who've Taught A Legitimate Genius Reveal What It Was Like

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Do you know any geniuses? Have you ever even met them, or have you just read about them and heard tell of them? Well, somebody had to have known them before they were well known. And it's crazy, but someone had to have been their teacher, too!

u/JaysonTatumIsMyDad asked:

[Serious] Teachers of Reddit: Have you ever taught a legitimate genius? What made them so smart?

Here were some of the answers.


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I've had some really, really bright kids in my classes over the years. Perfect ACT's, a kid on Jeopardy, Ivy League schools. But I think "M" might be the brightest I've ever had and quite possibly a genius. He took several AP tests without having taken the class and scored 5's. He didn't really self study them either. He just knew the subject. The AP Physics C teacher wasn't happy about it.

He was genuinely curious. Shows up at my door with an old smoke detector and CRT tv monitor and wants to experiment with the radioisotopes. I had to shoot that one down. Looked beyond the labs we were doing to find the more obscure uses or derivations that come from the lab, like the relationship between molar mass and specific heat capacity for some metals. And he understood it all. Every bit. Didn't pay attention in class because he was constantly looking something up. Incredibly frustrating for some of the other teachers. He wasn't too interested in homework but his English teacher commented that the one paper he did turn in was an original analysis out of this world - and she's a top notch teacher. He rarely used my methods for solving problems. He would develop his own that actually showed a deeper understanding of the relationships involved and it worked. Every time. Rarely was there a situation where I was actually teaching him. It was more me introducing something to him and then he would go off and master it. Come back to pay attention for the next new topic and then poof - off to M land to just get it.

He isn't just bright in one subject. If he wants to I'm positive he will master whatever is put in front of him. I tried talking him into graduating early because there's only so much we can offer him. He was interested but didn't get support from home. So I tried talking him into taking some CTE classes - like welding, autos, mechatronics. We'll see if he shows up next year.

As you would expect he's socially awkward and does not understand why other students don't get it. Comes off as cocky but he's not. I think he feels that everyone is this way - just smart. I really like the kid but he needs to move on

Lab Partner

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My lab partner for college organic chemistry was a 15 year old high school freshman. He was taking it "for fun"since he had to wait for sophomore year for high school chemistry. He was the smartest student in the class, aced every test, perfect score on all homework, but was pretty clumsy in the lab. Gave me lots of laughs during our shared lunch hour. He used my cell phone every day to call his mom to pick him up at 5pm.

Thank Goodness For A Turnaround

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I worked as a substitute teacher at a high school a long time ago, and I wound up getting the same girl in class multiple times over several years. Most notably, I subbed in for the school's AP Bio teacher for four months.

She clearly had problems at home, and maybe mental problems as well. Her clothes were always really ratty, and everything about her just screamed child neglect. She didn't seem to have any friends and she was hellishly awkward whenever you talked to her.

She was also one of those smart kids that wound up so bored with school that she just checked out completely at some point. By the time I got her in high school she never did homework and rarely did in-class assignments, and she almost never paid any attention to the lesson at all. She did just enough work to pass, barely. She just sat in the back and read or drew in her sketchbooks. Often the books she was reading were things like college textbooks or books in various foreign languages, and it was always kind of interesting to see what she was reading. She was an astonishingly fast reader. She'd burn through reading assignments in five minutes that took the rest of the class almost an hour, and she'd understand them when the rest of the class was struggling.

Initially I wrote her off as just being a slacker, until I subbed for that AP Bio class. Every test I gave out, she'd get every question right, and her essay answers were absolutely flawless and often really interesting. The first time this shocked me, because again this was a student that never did ANY work and never paid attention at all. And she blitzed through the test twice as fast as everyone else, and got a perfect score when even the best and brightest students were struggling to get Bs. When the AP tests came around, she took several including some for subjects she didn't take the class for, and as far as I know she got a 5 on all of them. I'm sure her ACT and SAT scores were equally amazing.

I don't know what made her so smart. She clearly had an amazing memory and was just... smarter than the average kid I guess. Or, smarter in some ways.

I've kept track of her on social media over the years. She never went to college and for a while it looked like she was just going to burn out completely. It was pretty sad. But eventually things turned around. She owns a company now and seems to be pretty damn successful.


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He built a solar powered motor for our class's robot. He wanted to be an electrical engineer when he grew up.

His parents and K teacher thought he might be on the autism spectrum because he was so strange and awkward. He didn't have any friends. He didn't really talk to anyone. Each year I usually have one or two students that I pick out as a priority. I make a goal to help that child achieve something outside of academics. That year my goal was to get this genius out of his shell and interacting with the other students. At the time I didn't know he was so smart. A lot of kids are good readers. A lot of kids know sight words and phonics. It wasn't until we started doing STEM activities that I noticed that this kid was special. He really liked an activity where we built a simple circuit with Christmas lights and batteries. After that he started reading books about electricity and engineering. I got a circuit set for him to mess around with and decided that our end of the year project would be something with solar energy. That's how the solar powered robot happened. The other kids build the robot body and he put together the solar panel and motor. It was awesome.

He was a funny little guy, but it wasn't 6 year old humor so he never spoke up. I wrote a comment in his weekly journal telling him he was funny. From that point on he opened up and crack jokes. Even if the kids didn't get it, I would laugh and they would follow suit. He became very popular with the other students. They looked up to him.

Clock Cycles

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When I was in high school, there was a kid one grade older than me who was the smartest kid I knew at the time. Very bright, kind person, an excellent mathematician. He would regularly get perfect scores on tests and studied some advanced topics outside of class. He went on to study physics at MIT.

My high school was right next to an elementary school. One day, these parents hired this smart kid to tutor their 7-year old child in math. And when I say "tutor him in math" I mean "teach him calculus".

I would walk by a math classroom after school and see this 18-year old drawing gradients on paraboloids (so early vector calculus stuff) and lecturing a 7-year old. The older kid said once that "that kid's brain has many, many more clock cycles than mine."

When Kids Love To Learn

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I have. The student could learn complex concepts in the span of minutes. Kid once missed an entire unit that I taught over the course of several weeks. I spent 20 minutes with her when she got back, explaining and drawing diagrams and she got it...and got it better than anyone else in the class had. It was so much fun teaching her!

Good Will Hunting

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Yep. A medical resident. Reminded me of Good Will Hunting guy. His own history, as he'd tell it, was "I had 3 last names before I was 18. My dad was in prison for as long as I can remember and will be in prison forever. You can check my family tree as far back as you'd like: I'm the first one to ever attend college."

Scary smart. He learned Hungarian in his spare time as a trick to play on his (Hungarian) wife. When I first met him as a student I understood he spoke a lot of languages so I asked him if he could speak to a Greek patient. "I did not speak Greek". That was Monday. On Wednesday he was asking the patient simple questions in full sentences and understanding the answer. I was annoyed and asked him "hey I thought you didn't SPEAK Greek!?" Him: "I didn't. On Monday".

You could make an entire career of following him around with a notebook and writing down his many good ideas, big and small, about literally everything (which he seems to forget as soon as hey comes up with them). I do ok. I am a professor of surgery. I don't have any of this guy's pure mental horsepower.

I still know him and he's still white hot bright. But very much an easygoing dude, and still sometimes a product of a rough and tumble Early life. Years ago, I had to explain to him (back to Good Will Hunting guy idea) "you can't beat anyone be up in the hospital no matter how much they annoy you". Him, incredulous "never? But what if they do X?"

"No. Never". "But what if they do Y". "No. No beating up, ever, in the hospital." <>


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I attended math classes with someone that was a literal rainman. As a junior he completed all the undergraduate and masters level math courses his elite university had to offer. They sent him to a special math program we were both in to challenge him further. He skipped 16 weeks of our very difficult advanced graduate level math courses to play video games, but aced his midterms and final exams (which included oral exams). He scored perfect on every standardized test he took including SAT, GRE, Math GRE. I never saw him put any effort whatsoever into anything he did. He also published in difficult areas of pure mathematics as an undergrad. He seemed to know everything about math and seemed as if his professors were below him. He ended up completing a PhD from an elite university in pure math. One of the smartest people I ever met. He was also very bizarre in his behavior.

Historic Genius Movement

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Unquestionably a musician I've worked with is on the genius spectrum. Only one example being: We were playing a movement from John William's Five Sacred Trees concerto for basoon. It's actually quite modernist and not at all repetitive or "popular" sounding. Well... he left his percussion part at home and the show was starting in the next hour. Without skipping a beat, upon realizing he didn't have the auxiliary percussion part (which contains many different instruments all on one page), he pulled out his manuscript paper and wrote, from memory without consulting other parts or the score, his part perfectly. All different instruments, many time changes, measures of rest etc... Genius indeed and this is only one instance....

From Scratch

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Kid came to Australia at 15 from Somali, never went to school in Somali . Both parents dead. He walked his two younger siblings out of Somali to Ethopia using a map he found. Then he came to Australia and entered into school. Picked up English and math so fluently he was able to graduate high school in 4 years.

He's doing computer science at uni now. If that kid had grown up in Australia he'd be on the news for being in uni at 12.

The Workroom

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I'm a substitute teacher and I went to cover a middle school math class. There was one very shy kind of awkward kid who was working on an assignment involving square roots. Without using a calculator that kid was coming up with answers left and right. I thought I was some kind of joke or prank but for the heck of it I took out my phone's calculator and asked him to multiply different three and four digit numbers. Without batting an eyelash this kid would give me the answers almost as quickly as I could ask the question. A few occasions he had to recalculate things in his head once or twice but it was scary how quickly the answers came. I asked him what it was like and he said that it was like having a tiny room inside his head filled with white boards. You can go inside this room to work on calculations. To this day I have not met another kid like that.

Photographic Memory

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My buddy was a genius as a kid he could read something and remember it exactly. It was unreal.

Smartest dude I ever met as far as every single subject. Went to Harvard after high school and we lost touch. He's a judge now.

His memory was so good.

The Seven Ways To See History

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My one/ favorite history professor in college told me about a kid named Gabe. Gabe wasn't great with math, wasn't great with science, but this kid could create a complex map of history in his mind to be able to explain a situation in history from multiple historical standpoints.

An example was when he was in my professors Nazi Germany course and my professor was talking about Hitler's takeover in a general sense (quick overview of the course type stuff/my professor learning what people do and don't know to shape the course a little) and one questioned how they let Hitler be elected considering Hitler's jail sentence and mein kampf. Gabe apparently cited 4 or so different sources of German people at the time as well as examples of sympathizers in other countries after the Nazi take over to explain Hitler's zeal and demagogue capabilities.. My professor still uses the sources Gabe cited because he wasn't even read on them!

A Genius By Any Other Name

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I taught a girl who was an absolute genius. She hated it when I or other people called her that, because she didn't think she was.

The main thing that set her apart was her ability to understand a concept as well as the significance that concept had to other areas based on me explaining something orally once. Most students wouldn't realize that class had started yet by the time she already figured out my lesson.

See, most students, after several attempts at me explaining something, will just memorize my explanation word-for-word and regurgitate that on the test because they still don't understand what on earth you're talking about. Bright students? They actually figure out what you're talking about and can explain it in their own words. But this girl? She not only understood, but then applied it to other areas. That's why she was brilliant.

Intense Topics

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I once taught a four year old Chinese kid who really enjoyed talking about the collapse of Yugoslavia.

Nature Vs. Nurture

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Yep, a few. One was a genius in math (not the subject i teach), and the other is a genius when it comes to writing/research/reasoning/etc.

What makes them both so smart is probably a combination of environment (they both have very supportive families), and an intense desire to learn on their own. Both of these guys did way more independent learning on their own than what they got in school, and the math kid is now in grad school working on electromechanical engineering and has been published multiple times. The philosophy kid is doing his own thing and writing books.

Information Intuition

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I've taught for 12 years: all math Algebra 1 - AP Calculus, Robotics, Engineering Math, and Computer Science. All high school grades.

In that time, I have taught a lot of really smart kids. I have met a lot of really smart kids. I am not sure just how you are qualifying genius, but I am reading it to mean the truly exceptional student who displays intelligence in a way that outshines average "best" students.

To that extent, I would estimate that I have taught about five such individuals.

What these kids all have in common is that everything came naturally to them almost like it was intuition. Tons of smart kids will get bored and actually do poorly in class (they don't do their "easy" class work). But usually the genius kids have a thirst for knowledge. They are inquisitive and motivated to find answers.

As for what "makes them so smart", I would say that their lucky genetics plus an internal motivation to learn is what made them so smart.

I will end by saying that I think anyone can be "smart" with enough hard work. Depending on your genetics, your environment, and your determination it may take a little bit of work or a whole bunch of work.

Several Types Of Genius

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I've taught a lot of smart kids, and while these two stories may not be the most genius kids (I mean, maybe they were, but I can't really tell), they're good stories.

One was a little boy I had when I taught first grade. At that age he figured out that the squares of numbers always end in a pattern (0, 1, 4, 9, 6, 5, 6, 9, 4, 1 and repeat). He asked me what that was called and I didn't even know it was a thing. I spent most of his first grade year trying to teach him how to not be so obvious when he thought people were wasting his time. The kid could already read and do math, but he did not yet know how to control his eye rolling. That was sincerely the most useful skill I could teach him.

The other was a girl I taught in 6th grade a couple of years ago. Her parents had homeschooled her for a while, and basically she just learned whatever she wanted to learn. That worked for my class, so she did random reports on the history of Chinese food or essays about her grandmother or whatever. Just recently she was part of a young composers workshop, and I got to see professional musicians perform her work. She's 13.

The thing is, geniuses don't always do stereotypically genius things. The boy from the first story is now attending a pretty average state university. I'm sure he will always be smart and always be great at what he does, but that super amazing genius thing is only one aspect of a person.

A High Trajectory

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I'm a preschool teacher so I can't accurately judge a genius or not. My students range from 3-5, but I did have one student that stood out. He was a peer (not special ed/not on an IEP) and he was one of our younger students (4). We would often let kids have some supervised computer time playing on a site with lots of letter games, math games, etc for all grades. This kid taught himself how to tell time, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and started division at the end of our school year. He had little to no help with the work. If he couldn't figure something out on his own he'd ask for help once and then be perfectly fine continuing on his own. He's going on to kindergarten now and I'm so excited to see where he goes in life.


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Okay, I'm going to shamelessly brag about this kid. For the record, I teach high school Spanish.

We'll call the kid Jason because that's nothing like his real name and I don't wanna break FERPA. Jason played basketball and soccer. He was in Art Club and Beta Club and National Honor Society. He was even the Valedictorian. Jason basically taught himself Spanish 1, and by the time he got to my Spanish 2 class, had vastly surpassed his classmates. He asked great questions and even caused me to learn quite a few things about the subject. His Spanish was f-cking impeccable. He never made even a single B in my class. When we played games, his team always won. He studied hard, he was focused, and he was so fucking affable. And he was like this in every fucking class, including the AP classes.

He went on to the best college in the state, full ride. He's done study abroad in several countries , and he's been recognized several times in the school's magazine. And not a single person has a negative thing to say about him. He's so genuine and good. He's a serious, preppy white boy that gets along with everyone: the athletes, the nerds, the goth/emo kids. He can even freestyle.

I've gotten off track with the question, but he just makes me so proud. Jason is a f-cking genius.

People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.