Everyone thinks I’m smart but I’m not!

by Rhina Cepe

When I was still in High School, my dad would always boast about me in front of our relatives and friends, telling them I am a prodigy.

I would just listen and shyly smile at their compliments.

But I know I’m nowhere near a prodigy. I’ve always had breakdowns which I tried so hard to hide from anyone, including my parents.

I’ve been very successful at hiding my breakdowns and depression…until now.

To everyone’s eyes, I am the family’s most intelligent, most promising daughter.

But for me, I know I am just a normal person. No way near as smart as people think.

I graduated High School and as expected, my dad asked me if I would go to law school or not.

I said I’ll try but I won’t promise.

I tried applying for Mass Communication and Journalism which I badly wanted ever since I was in 5th grade. I thought I’ll make a good journalist and also it would be a good prep course for law.

Unfortunately, I failed both entrance exams.

Time was ticking and it was only a month till class starts at the university I applied.

The only choice I have was to study Business at another university (a university that specializes in engineering) where I passed the exam.

As someone who doesn’t want to get held back, I enrolled and started my college life with a course that was not even on my list of choices.

My college life was fun, nonetheless.

I met new friends (which have gone on to become my best friends) and also learned to love the course.

At some point, I was almost failing all my grades — I did actually fail one eventually.

I had a lot of breakdowns and quarreled with some of my professors.

I thought about suicide almost every day.

But eventually I managed to graduate on time. It was a roller-coaster ride which I have come to value today.

After graduating, as expected, my dad asked me once again about my plans for law school.

And once again, I told him I’ll think about it.

I applied for a job and was employed not later than one month after graduating, all the while still searching out for law schools and their admission processes.

I was very determined at that time to get into law school because I didn’t want to let my parents down anymore.

After all, it’s all I could offer after everything they’ve done for me.

But one day, out of the blues, I was filled with hesitations about everything I do.

I had thoughts like:

Would I really be able to finance my own schooling?

Would I be able to finish this degree and not back out?

Would I be able to balance my work and school while also dealing with other things?

Suddenly, I was scared.

I was scared of the future and I was scared of what could happen during law school if I decided to continue.

I know I have let my parents down a lot.

My dad has been rooting for me ever since to become a lawyer. But I just couldn’t grasp the idea of law school.

It scares me.

It isn’t what I want to do.

I finally realized that our life decisions, most of them if not all, are solely based on what people would say about us.

We care about how others sees us and sometimes forget our own feelings.

We make decisions that would make other people satisfied and forget about our own happiness.

Now, I am still working at my first job since I graduated, as a department assistant in a construction company.

I haven’t dismissed the idea of law school entirely but I am not trying so hard to please anyone anymore either.


Rhina Cepe studied entrepreneurship at the Technological University of the Philippines.
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