The Phenomenon of Gifted Kids Burning Out in College

Harper Quill

Updated Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 12:55 AM CDT

The Phenomenon of Gifted Kids Burning Out in College

Gifted kids, often praised for their exceptional academic performance throughout school, sometimes face unexpected challenges when they enter college. Many of these students find themselves****ting a brick wall and experiencing burnout, resulting in mediocre grades or even dropping out. This phenomenon raises the question: why do some gifted kids struggle in college? In this article, we will explore several factors that contribute to this issue and provide insights into the experiences of these students.

Lack of Study Skills and Independent Motivation:

One possible reason for the burnout experienced by gifted kids in college is the lack of study skills and independent motivation. As pointed out by Reddit user Glum-Swimmer78, some of these students have been pushed relentlessly by their parents throughout their school years. While their natural intelligence may have allowed them to excel without much effort, they may not have developed the necessary study skills and self-discipline to thrive in a more challenging college environment. Without the constant guidance and pressure from their parents, these students may struggle to adapt and find themselves sinking instead of swimming.

Transitioning from Helicopter Parenting to Freedom:

Another factor that can contribute to burnout is the transition from being under the watchful eye of helicopter parents to experiencing newfound freedom in college. Some gifted kids may have been sheltered by their parents, not being allowed to attend parties or engage in social activities during high school. Once they enter college, they may take advantage of their newfound freedom and prioritize socializing and having fun over attending classes and studying. This sudden shift in priorities can lead to a decline in academic performance and ultimately result in burnout.

Delayed Academic Challenges:

Gifted kids who have coasted through their education without encountering significant academic challenges may find themselves unprepared when faced with rigorous college coursework. As mentioned by Reddit user TempoRolls, the education system plays a role in this phenomenon. If students have never been challenged academically before college, they may struggle to cope with the demands of higher education. The ability to read for a test or personalize their curriculum may be entirely new concepts to them, making it difficult to adapt and succeed.

Undiagnosed ADD:

Undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is another common issue among gifted kids who experience burnout in college. As Reddit user TempoRolls suggests, being above average in intelligence can mask the symptoms of ADD. However, once these students face genuine challenges, they may become overwhelmed and struggle to keep up. Undiagnosed ADD can make it difficult for gifted kids to concentrate, follow complex instructions, and manage their time effectively, leading to academic difficulties and burnout.

The phenomenon of gifted kids burning out in college is a complex issue with various contributing factors. The lack of study skills and independent motivation, transitioning from helicopter parenting to freedom, delayed academic challenges, and undiagnosed ADD all play a role in this phenomenon. Recognizing and addressing these factors can help support gifted students in their transition to college and ensure their continued success. By providing them with the necessary tools, guidance, and support, we can help prevent burnout and enable these gifted individuals to reach their full potential in higher education.

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