Does IQ matter?

I read this article that was part of a pre-interview process for a tutoring program I’m interested in getting into. It contained research findings pertaining to learning specifically for children and the youth, but it got me thinking about adulthood and the lack of learning there is. When we attend school we are constantly working our brain which is actively adding to our intelligence. The main point in the article was that IQ is not a static position, it can grow. It showed that learning mindsets affect the progress and success of learning. So, for example, when one says “I’m just bad at math,” it is viewed as a static statement implying that one has always been and will always be bad at math. There is no perspective of improvement, thus creating an excuse for continuing to be bad at math. It was proven that students who were taught growth learning got higher scores than students who were taught study skills. The mindset is what makes the difference. With growth learning, students are taught that learning is a process and can improve with effort and dedication. Thinking, “I may be bad at math now, but I can improve” is the mindset that is set forth. Understanding that the brain is a muscle and needs to be worked to get stronger is a key step in growth learning. Also, understanding that there is time and room for improvement helps students view themselves as successful.

There are goals set forth. Goals specifically pertaining to learning. When I think about adulthood I see a lot of hoops that we have to jump through. Whether it be the job search process, acclimating to a new career, or gaining experience, we lose the mindset of growth learning. We forget to actively learn, and it’s because society has made it easy. It has set certain goals that we think we have to meet and gives us a satisfaction that isn’t necessarily productive for our learning. Make this number of calls, send these emails, make this amount in sales, memorize tonight’s menu offerings, etc…But do these actions contribute to the growth of our IQ? I’m not saying that people don’t learn from these experiences because we do, and they are important. But it’s the kind of learning and the mindset that we accustom ourselves with that will make a bigger difference.

The first year after I graduated from college, I felt this void that I contribute to my lack of learning. I focused on finding a career and enjoying life as it was thrown at me. I never thought about expanding my mind more by continuing to educate myself. My mindset was, “ok I graduated, I know a lot now and got through the hoops I needed to get through to get to the next step in my life.” But I found myself missing studying for tests, I found myself missing learning new things and having the mindset to improve my brain. I got lost in improving the social and emotional aspects of my life, which are just as important, but realizing now that my lack of intentional brain growth may have been the foundation of my struggles. We find satisfaction in watching documentaries, watching the news, or reading articles because we think it makes us knowledgeable. And it does, and it keeps us relevant. But, often we get lost in our relevance as we are filling our brains with information rather than setting goals for ourselves to improve the strength of our mind. It’s like when Einstein was asked what his phone number was and instead he grabbed the directory and said, “why should I memorize something that I can find in a book?” It’s the idea that clutter takes up our mind power. It creates deceiving learning growth and contributes to the excuses we make as to why we aren’t at a certain point or level. It’s part of why we end up settling.

Now, this is me dissecting the article and kind of running away with it. The focus was on youth learning growth and the positive impact it has on overall success and IQ. But being an adult, I can feel how this is true throughout life. Once you give up on the idea of actively learning, your brain, as a muscle, will not get stronger. Now, I’m not saying you get dumber, but to get smarter you have to have the perspective and understanding of learning, of working out your brain, and what is entailed to grow.

Travel guide to homelessness and happiness

Today I starred a bunch of big girl jobs on Craigslist. Jobs that seemed interesting enough that dealt with marketing/pr—things around my degree, jobs that come with security—401k, health insurance, a salary. Because jobs like this is what I’m being told I should take. Being told by society, my student loans looming over my head, my family, the voice inside my head when I think about my future, my money problems, and my adulating self. I found myself getting exciting, saying “hmm that could be cool, I could do that.” More times than that though I did find myself thinking I’m not qualified enough for that one, or I would never get past the first round of the interview process. So, I moved on, I moved through, job after job, not starring anything lower than $15/hour.

But then I starting thinking of something else, like my brain usually does when forced to focus on a particular task. Damn.

I slowly, but quickly, started realizing that maybe these types of jobs are what I don’t want, shouldn’t have right now. I am in a place in my life where I feel pretty lost, wandering in a familiar path, looking for something that can prove itself as new to me. Thinking, if I land one of these security jobs, what happens when I realize years down the road that I took the job too soon. I fell into a life that I swore I wouldn’t ever stumble into, because of well, health care.

I found myself saying “shit this job wants me to commit to a 2 year program, NEXT!” I cannot, in every cell in my body, commit to something for over a year at the moment. Love is the only thing I can see as an exception. I simply am just too goddam unsure, ok, more like scared that I’m going to make the wrong decision and send my life into a direction of tripping in puddles and looking up to see that I am nowhere near anything familiar. Hell, when the gym guy was signing me up for my membership and asked me if I want a lower-priced committed plan vs a higher monthly priced non committed plan I pretty much screamed OH I DO NOT WANT COMMITMENT.

I know that right now, in my 25 year old self, body, and soul that I aggressively am against putting myself into anything that I am not passionate about. Yes, I know I need to start setting myself up for the future, and I know that can be seen as an incredibly selfish and naive statement, but if I am setting myself up in a way that will actually put me 5 years back when I’m 30, is it worth it? Because I know myself. I know that I can’t allow myself to settle and feel ok about it. Is it worth always wondering if I could be doing something I actually enjoy, something I made for myself because of the giant risks I took in my 20’s? If I put myself in a position right now of setting my creative 20’s life away, where will that put myself in the future? Is now the time when I need to be taking foolish jobs, wandering even more, falling in love even more, feeling even more scared, and jumping into some not so lucrative creative things?

Recently a coworker was just talking about how almost everybody out of college gets a job that pays over a 30K salary—not sure how valid that point is— and it got me to thinking that, damn, I really don’t want to be in a category of people that go into the fucking “job market.” Right now, I don’t want to picture myself saying, “yeah I never saw myself marketing ceiling fans, but damn I’m sure good at it and its makes me a make a hefty salary.” No, right now I want to picture myself standing strong on my own in my own art studio in painted overalls sipping on tea while a soft jazz number plays in the background. I want to see myself as someone who made her own path. Made something of HERSELF. I don’t want to market SHIT. I want to find a passion, run with it, and be proud of it because it is a part of me. Ceiling fans will never be apart of me. I don’t care how good I could be at it, I don’t even want to imagine myself in that god awful position no matter how good looking that salary looks. Label me crazy. Hell, I sure feel like it. I think it’s an inner battle that I’ve been having with myself for awhile now. I just haven’t realized it. I know what I should do, aka get a security job. And I also know what I want to do/should also do because it’s something I want. And I sure know, I do what I want.

Listen,

I’m not sure what kind of decisions I’ll make, nor what I’ll base them off of. I do know I’m nervous, and I also know deep down that whatever decisions I make will be the right ones, because life has a way of working itself out. I truly believe that. It’s all perspective.

1 week

It has come to that beautiful point in the semester where classes magically are ending throughout campus. Finals week is a bittersweet experince…ok probably more like the kind of experience you forget about after it’s over because of the grueling memorization BS while trying to put together concepts from the entire semester…BUT after this week we enter into a world we dream of… SUMMER.

Michigan summers are by far my favorite–I may be a bit biased. But weekends up north, festivals in my parking lot, walks to downtown, and of course the general shenanigans with fellow adventurists are by far the best times of the year. So, here’s to y’all studying your little booties off this week!

Stay focused, take no (OK, minimal) Netflix breaks, pop that needed ADD fixer, and enjoy this week because it’s the week that’s in front of a wonderful sunny beginning.