Filipino Gifted Burnout Gen Z Kids, What Went Wrong with Us?

This article is dedicated to our Accelerated 2 class adviser, the late Mrs. Evelyn Florentino. May she rest in peace.

Early ripe, early rotten.

Gifted children are always associated with this line. A proof that so-called ‘giftedness’ can be both blessing and curse.

In gardening, if you let one rotten fruit stay with healthy and ripe ones, chances are the other fruits will decompose more quickly. If gifted children are fruits that ripened too early, then would a burned-out gifted child create a domino effect with their peers? Should they even mingle with others?

When The Ink Starts Becoming Inconsistent

Whenever Special Education in the Philippines is talked about, it is discussed along the lines of students with disabilities and slow learning capabilities. People would not believe that high-functioning students can also be under the said spectrum of SPED students. We were bullied for being SPED students without even “looking like one.” I guess it is also one of the reasons why gifted children have problems accepting who they are because people will still categorize us as regular students even if we know we are not.

On the other hand, if we start telling people that we are part of the above-average children, the fear of higher standards with our dreams and decisions in life, or becoming smart-shamed in society, will creep under our skins. Besides the smart shaming, once a gifted kid shines with their talents, the worst word that would be thrown unto them once they fail to meet society’s expectation is “loss.”

Pariwara in the Filipino language, associating a bright and astonishing kid full of passion and yearning to learn and ace school, is a shame against their hard work throughout the years if being compared to failure at this phase in their life blew all of those away like a house of cards.

I never knew I was gifted until I was placed in an acceleration program at a Special Education school here in Manila. My early understanding of my gift in Linguistics, Music, Intrapersonality, and Existentialism was only with hobbies. I could fluently speak Filipino and basic English and belt Bituing Walang Ningning by Sharon Cuneta at a young age. I always visit the Encarta Kids on our family computer to play puzzles like matching the US States and Canadian provinces to their correct locations, trying my luck on the Spelling Bee, or researching who Anne Frank and Martin Luther King are.

I entered Nursery at the age of 3. After Kindergarten, my mother asked my private school afterward to make me skip Preparatory and accelerate me to 1st Grade. The school refused, explaining that it would only be for kids at 6 or 7. Despite all of that, I became a consistent honor student, but I noticed that school was more tedious as time went by, making me start writing stories in 1st grade. It began with mocking Wikipedia biographies and making short character information of the people I imagine meeting once I become a journalist. After being obsessed with almanacs, curiosity about geography, politics, history, journalism, music, and current events comforted me from boredom. In 3rd Grade, I used to make origami 4-page-paper to write short stories that I could share with my classmates. I opened a Wattpad account in hopes that I would be a famous kid writer on the platform.

My parents’ main reason for making me shift to public school from private is financial. The Aquino Administration approved the K-12 Curriculum in 2012. They decided to let me enter the Acceleration program offered by the Silahis ng Tagumpay of the Santa Ana Elementary School for fast-learner students or gifted and talented children. I just thought it would be a curriculum that makes me “cheat” by finishing 4th and 5th Grades in one academic year, only to realize that the simple tests were more complicated to recall. We first started with a multiple-choice full of circles and patterns, then the academic-leaning questions from the subjects of Science, Math, and Languages. The final stage was an interview with the SPED teachers specialized in handling gifted students while solving many puzzles in front of them. After getting a fever because of tiredness from the examination, the next thing I knew, I was qualified to accelerate my elementary education.

Our class is relatively smaller than the public-school standards, ranging from 40 to 60 students per section. All with different kinds of giftedness, all brought together to learn in a fast-paced curriculum and spend the rest of their two years in Elementary school finding their chosen path to high school. We may have petty conflicts that show our childishness; one student may be better than us. Still, we all strive to be better in the environment thanks to peer support and the life lessons that our teachers gave. The educators nor the students are not perfect to begin with. I admit that conflicts placed us on the edge of being sent to the principal’s office and not having the right to graduate, but that was part of life. It is hard today to wrap into my head how such circumstances happened, why our intelligent minds came up with those stupid antics, and why our teachers still let us graduate after those things?

Well, just like what Maya-sensei from the 2000s Japanese drama, The Queen’s Classroom, taught her 6th Grade students:

“Keep your eyes open to take those important things. Keep your ears open and listen. Feel everything with your entire body. That is the meaning of life. When you go to junior high and then (senior) high school, there are many things you can only do then. Stop focusing entirely on the future and experience those things. If you never look to the present, you can never discover anything.”

Ironically, Maya Akutsu’s strict teaching methods in the series correlate with the kinds of disciplines that the late Mrs. Evelyn Florentino gave us during our time as Accelerated 2 students. Watching the series gave me nostalgia, adding that it was during the time she was battling her cancer and still dedicated to her calling to teach us life lessons before we leave and become high school students.

Unfortunately, these kinds of teaching methods in elementary might get teachers reprimanded at the infamous public-service show of Raffy Tulfo, like what happened in 2019. I am also divided by the fact that some parents and teachers now consider these under the “child abuse” standards.

Accelerated 2 Batch 2014-2015 Recognition Day

In Accelerated class, I learned to embrace the talents that were once seen as hobbies of mine. It came to the point that my teachers recommended that I try applying to the Philippine High School for the Arts specializing in Creative Writing after they noticed my talent in Journalism and writing stories. That is still a regretful decision because I did not pursue it, fearing homesickness and living for six years in Mount Makiling. Instead of leaning toward the arts, I left that dream with practicality by applying to nearby Science high schools. It is a decision that I was against with my parents because getting into a place that I have no interest in is not even worth experiencing. My disinterest eventually showed as I failed to enter the Makati and Manila Science High Schools. Some of my classmates passed the science and laboratory high schools, while I entered a high school offering a Special Science Curriculum class.

Leaving the haven for our gifted minds was a hard point in our lives. I started noticing that some of my former classmates were not excelling in their expert subject area when we got to high school, a typical result of a “big fish in a small pond” moment. I lost contact with some of them, but I still got to connect with others because they are my close friends, still in the same school, or we are mutually active in our social media accounts. The environment eventually turned harsher than expected, and we could not please everyone in our mixed environment. It was a culture shock, and we still tried to stay afloat in all of our problems. The biggest fear that we had during our elementary years is turning into reality: some students will always be better than us, and that can be average too.

I see myself as a brutalist in my status as a gifted child. Once I knew my capabilities and embraced them, it paid the price of making my ego and pride bigger as time went by. Impostor syndrome came in, and I did all means to prove that I am not close to burning myself out. Hustle culture pressured me to flow my life so fast-paced with achieving something that I failed to stay for a while, reflect, and admit where I failed. Because of that habit, I tend to cling to the latest achievement and milk everything out from it while fearing to try and achieve something else that is now out of my comfort zone. When I know I need to evaluate and accept a moment as a failure, I will run away from it and consider it a “bummer moment,” even if it will inflict significant mental and emotional damage. To avoid focusing on that failure, I will drag myself to getting a lot of workloads in volunteering and schoolwork, which pays the price of self-peace and healthy decision-making.

The wake-up call now came when the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila’s stipend was delayed, and I had a lot of conflicts between my friends, colleagues, and even family. It was the big reveal moment where I reflected on the failures that I tend to see as something delicate and should not cry about. It was a brutal quarter in my life to accept that I am already an adult, and I should change my view if I want my mental state to be healthier once I go to my 20s. I was seizing that moment of failing to go to my dreamed and planned schools, studying overseas for university, or clinging to the nostalgia that my latest achievement, which is becoming an exchange student, gave me hours of crying and self-doubt. I eventually surrendered all of those thoughts to God and started finding out the root cause of the problem: escaping problems and vulnerability with emotions.

But one thing is for sure: I am a burnout workaholic like other gifted kids, I lived long enough to place my achievement and goals to what society expects me to do, and I failed to give time to ask myself what I want to do and achieve in the first place.

Gifted Kid Burnout: Mass Hysteria or Quarter-Life Crisis Sign?

Checked all the squares that can give you a Bingo? Congratulations, you indeed are part of the gifted burnout children that continuously call the attention of everyone in social media. But for self-checking and being unbiased with the topic, what if this phenomenon is just a mass hysteria movement on Tiktok that demonizes our depressive state rather than helping us raise awareness?

In 2019, Spire Magazine released an article about the Gifted Kid Burnout Phenomenon, which draws the question of whether it is just a phenomenon or already a mental health pandemic. Though they explained the topic well, they still concluded the report by telling the readers that it is still a complicated claim to prove or reject if it is already a pandemic pestering the younger generation’s minds. The lack of new data and further analysis within the child’s development, IQ level, and correlation of the burnout phenomenon with each other make it harder to identify.

Perhaps, the COVID 19 Pandemic and the long isolation of the youth finally gave light to the reality about this mental health problem today, and not just a simple phenomenon that we tend to associate with hysteria or overreacting. It is one of the epochs of life crises, but only less-known or understandable. Unlike the midlife problem that has been known in pop culture, the quarter-life crisis has the same feelings but is seen as underrated. Still, it is more fragile and alarming given that it starts at the time when the youth should focus more on education and building themselves before they turn to 30s. Gifted children, in my opinion, hit it more complex because of our sometimes unrealistic goals and a different mindset than others.

When Angel Martinez’s article about growing up as a gifted child and turning into an average adult was published by VICE in 2021, it was a call to accept that we are not the only ones struggling with these issues. What makes it closer to home is her acknowledgment that the constant reminder of people around us about being the best contributed profoundly to making us perfectionists and failure dodgers.

On the other hand, Harvard-trained psychiatrist Dr. Alok Kanojia, also known as  HealthyGamerGG on Youtube, opened up how gifted kids are special needs after reacting to the famous Doge meme from Reddit. It states that being perceived as a gifted child will lead children to be perfectionists, burnout, depressed, anxious, and under existential crisis. He called out how society only sees the positive outcome that gifted children endure and somehow disregards the burden they carry later in life because of the failed reality checks, parental and societal pressure, and mismanagement of their needs that leads to burnout and depression.

But according to another article by a gifted program student until high school, Shelby Talbot, this is not just an epidemic of mental state. This is also a reflection of the flawed education system that values results over wellness and prioritizes grades over learning. This type of education eventually leads gifted children from associating success and their sense of identity with high rates and outstanding achievements alone, which can sometimes invalidate the truth about them needing emotional support regardless of their academic performances. It is the harsh price of associating generations of children’s self-worth and identity with their grades and an unsustainable mindset to deal with, especially if the kids become adults and start working.

With fellow gifted children acknowledging the problem, I do not want to go further away with the topic to ask for more receipts and proof that it is stigmatizing our lives than my Accelerated class batchmates.

Silent Pandemic

Our batch’s struggles after the Acceleration program are enough to prove what is happening in our community. Society needs to take action as soon as possible before all gifted children, or even the rest of the students, lose their faith in education, which makes us all depressive and unenthusiastic.

In our small, accelerated class, it was the time that we had the opportunity to do complicated science experiments, overnight camping, the courage, and unity to question authorities, and to deal with childhood bullying, drama, and the puppy loves. It is just two academic school years, but the bond was enough to impact our current lives still.

Accelerated students throughout the years

As the last elementary students under the 10-year-education curriculum, it was a huge transition for us to be under the K-12 Curriculum in High School. We had confusion with the repetitiveness of lessons in our class (which they call the spiral method of teaching) or the constant reminders of high school teachers that: “you should have known this in elementary,” even though we did not, but what can we do at that time, anyway? It is a significant sacrifice that progress in the education system took a toll on.

Martyrs of education? We wish never to be lab rats like the 1st Batch of K-12 Senior High Schools. Still, our fate intertwined again as we ended our secondary education as the pilot batch to graduate under the full-time online classes of the academic year 2021.

Janelle Carasi would probably be the fellow gifted child that knows me the most, and vice-versa. We were classmates from Kinder to 7th Grade. We became classmates again in 9th Grade, and we both worked as editors in our school publications during the 10th Grade. Today, we are studying at the PLM, with her taking a Bachelor of Science in Education, majoring in Science. Our friendship’s story is still on the roll through thick and thin; healthy competitors turned to frenemies, then best friends. Because of this, she also became the first one that I thought to interview with when I started planning for this article. Besides being good in dancing, writing, and general academics, one of the gifts that I noticed was her leadership skills. Since we’re in grade school, there has been no time that she will not be elected as a class and club officer, especially with Presidency.

“Truthfully, it never really crossed my mind that I was gifted. I always perceived that the good grades I achieved were products of hard work and effort, and while it is true, it dawned on me that my thought process was quite different from others. I was able to enroll in school from an early age, comprehend complex ideas easier than other kids, and study independently with minimal guidance. When I passed the accelerated class, I had the passing thought of: maybe I am gifted after all.”

During the accelerated year, Janelle understands the essence of belongingness and understanding with our peers. According to her, communicating and finishing academic tasks were easier with our fellow accelerated students when we were still under the program.

“The simplest exchange of ideas between my peers and me is memorable. Not once have I felt foreign inside my class; I enjoyed being part of it because I could communicate with kids the same age as mine with things that might seem more advanced than the other kids. We give our two cents on different things that pique one’s interest, and those interactions were consistently stapled into my mind, for it was gratifying.”

Meanwhile, Giann Asadon is also a fellow gifted child with whom Janelle and I are close friends. We have been classmates since Kinder to Accelerated 2. We eventually parted ways when Giann chose to study in Paco Catholic School, with Janelle and me going to Manuel Roxas High School. Our schools are not far from each other, plus our parents also still have close contacts, that is why we still somehow managed to see each other. Currently, she’s a B.S Nursing student at the Universidad de Manila.

In our preparatory class yearbook, Giann was described by our class adviser as “a very smart and a good reader.” From the fragmented memories that I can recall, she is my classmate that can quickly memorize declamation pieces, memory verses, and even songs from her lyrics. We also tend to roleplay iconic movie scenes whenever she comes to our houses. Did I almost forget that she was a kids’ fashion model during our elementary days?

“Based on Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence, I am under the Linguistic – Verbal Intelligence. I love writing essays and stories, mainly fictional stories, learning new languages, and trying to speak with other people who have the same interest as mine.”

 When Giann entered the accelerated class with us, she went entirely out of her comfort zone, though it cost her the sense of being in between the courses. She is known as a pageant girl in our private school after winning back-to-back at the Mr. and Ms. United Nations. Still, the YMCA Camp Pageant in Baguio is a national-scale competition for elementary students. It can be compared to the Binibining Pilipinas for kids. A darling of the accelerated class, she used all of her skills in modeling, her cute charm, and her verbal intelligence to represent Sta. Ana Elementary School.

“I competed in a beauty pageant against different schools in YMCA in Baguio City. That was way out of my comfort zone. However, I have experienced before but competing with the support of my friends and teachers, it became enjoyable and memorable for me even if I lost in the first cut and the camping experiences in and out of the campus which I gained new friends, new learnings and experiences, and actually, it was both! There were times I felt like I belonged and not after something bad happened in my last year.”

The last of whom I contacted was Khyuomie Formaran, who is currently a De La Salle University-Manila scholar. Khyuomie and I were close buddies during our time at the accelerated class. We separated our ways when we became high school students; we split our ways, with her entering Mariano Marcos Memorial High School. We somehow got to see each other once a year thanks to the School Press Conferences held at the City of Manila, where our schools compete in various journalism categories’ writing contests. Like other accelerated students, Khyuomie never fully realized in our period at the accelerated class that we are under the gifted and fast-learning kids in school and how big a deal it was for our peers back then.

“Even though I know what accelerated class was before, I never thought about being gifted. It came out naturally, and I was unaware of it until other people, especially my family and teachers, saw my potential and then appointed me on different tasks and helped me become better with whatever makes me gifted. “

But unlike Janelle and Giann, who are both undeniably famous extroverts of our class, Khyuomie’s memories during our time at the program were trained to deal with her intrapersonal talents and introverted side. The cost of this soul-searching is the slower confidence build-up in her early teenage years.

“I spent two years being an accelerated student, and it gave me an overwhelming and apprehensive feeling in those years. I felt like I did not belong until it took away my confidence. During those years, I did not feel like myself. I cannot even join any programs or school activities because of low self-esteem. I missed out a lot, but each day was memorable because of the people I met, especially my teachers who inspired me until today.”

High school life changed all of us, nonetheless. Towards negative or positive outcomes? It depends on whomever you ask. What everyone answers in common, they have to strive harder.

When we were under the Special Science Curriculum (SSC), Janelle was with me. I agree that because our class was already mixed by students from regular courses and fellow accelerated students in different schools, it became a more challenging time to fit into an environment with more differences. Unlike in Accelerated class, where independence and self-time are encouraged and valued, being at an SSC class gave us a lot of exposure to exhausting and sometimes commensalism-like group collaborations. Though the curriculum offered programs that can help the students with hustling to their skill-improvement activities such as science congress researching and participating in advanced math lectures, Janelle believes it is not as micromanaged and focused as we were in accelerated class. It is more about the sake of hustle culture, which pushes pressure on students that leads to burnout.

“Knowing that the class was full of intelligent students, I admit studying was a lot of pressure, which pushed me to study harder. That was the habit I got in high school to always strive for the best. I became more focused and dedicated to studying even during the hard times. That was the major change I had,” Giann claims, having a similar sentiment with us even though she entered a private school.

Khyuomie, on the other hand, had a 180-degree experience with transitioning from elementary to high school:

“Many students also thought of me as special because of being an accelerated student; at first, I felt awkward about it and being with them who were ordinary or regular students, but, as time went by, I slowly changed my mindset and attitude to become better. I became more approachable and more vocal with what I have in my mind without hesitation or overthinking—maybe at first.”

Did all of this lead to burnout? Definitely, but self-destruction, life crisis, and “loss” as what others describe our fellows whenever we hit rock bottoms of our life? Not really. Yes, the gifted kid burnout idea was built up by this negative or positive stress after leaving the gifted children’s laboratory environment that helped us build our early teenager selves. But, just because we were experiencing burnout for a period does not mean we are not capable of being out of that stage. The problem with dealing with failure was making gifted students believe that it would be the end of the world if they hit rock bottom, but it is not.

For Khyuomie, her intrapersonal giftedness trained during the accelerated years helped her balance life in high school. It did help her a lot with dealing with burnout, but not everyone deals with burnout as Khyuomie does.

Janelle learned it the hard way when, for the first time, she received a grade lower than what she expected. The first significant failure that she had in academics gave her the reality that being gifted could also be a disadvantage, such as invalidating emotions for achievements and success.

“As I experience more failures in my life, I learned that being gifted gives me an upper hand, but I had to acknowledge what happened first before anything. It was valid for me to mourn about a low score on a test I studied hard for, or cry about a grade that I expected to be higher. I can view it as a lesson to improve and keep pushing through the rocky education path. “

And for Giann, it is more of acceptance and moving on. She lives by it and continues fighting her demons, which keeps her from overcoming stress and standing up for herself.

During our talks, I noticed three common signs that show someone is at that moment and has to do something to prevent themselves from catastrophic decision-making, or worse, depression and existential crisis. The first sign was the numbness with acknowledging their failure and normalizing unaccountability for it, which prevents progress. Second is over-hustling and overworking, just like what I am doing most of the time, to hide that it is already an unhealthy way of life, success, and impostorism. Last is resorting to frequent breakdowns. Accepting the state of burnout takes a lot of humility and reality checks. Other people may have other signs of burnout, which can be up to debate. Still, the more aware we should be, the easier it is to deal with burnout and the domino effects it might give.

In a Special Education Teacher’s Perspective

Pinpointing where it did fail is not enough if it is just about the students’ perspective. As for conducting qualitative research, we need an opinion from someone far from the epicenter of the problem but knowledgeable and aware of it.

Talking to our former class adviser, Mrs. Rochel de Leon – Aliwalas, for this article then made me realize how privileged we are to be even noticed for our giftedness and be under her supervision in the first place.

“There are too many underachieving kids because their giftedness was not properly addressed.”

According to her, it is not them, SPED Teachers, who are responsible for deciding whether a student is gifted. Instead, they can only refer to observations specialized by their degree in special education. Interpreting the data, they came up with observing the kids is done by other professionals to finalize the decision. If that being said, even regular teachers can have the opportunity to attend to a student’s gifts and talents based on their assumptions and gut feeling. But why is it not even a common thing?

“They (teachers) are afraid to go beyond what is expected of them. They follow their curriculum verbatim. Another observation that I guess must be tackled is addressing gifted and talented pupils in their class. Training must be conducted to address the individual potential of each kid in the classroom,” she explained.

According to her, teachers should also understand gifted children during their transition stages, such as advancing to high school from elementary to face-to-face to online.

“Based on experience, the transition will make or break them. These kids are volatile both on extreme sides. They can either reach their fullest potential or sulk. It requires teachers’ attention and their significant others’ constant presence to at least handle their giftedness.”

Not all gifted children may even know they are gifted, which will make them forever unsatisfied or even bored with the standard curriculum. Even if we already have the Philippine Center for Gifted Education that gives awareness regarding the acceptance and nurturing of the gifted and talented kids, the lack of information and slow de-stigmatization effort with gifted kids under the special children spectrum contributes to this problem.

Because of this, Mrs. Aliwalas addresses the lack of support to our country’s Special Education sector, specifically on handling SPED students.

“Handling Gifted and Talented children is not a walk in the park. It requires so much commitment! The support system is lacking. Different professionals must be available at all times for reinforcement.”

Failure will always be such a big word for gifted children and teachers dedicated to helping them in their fragile and rigid moments. Now that we accepted the failures are the lack of support of the education sector plus the massive pressure pressed upon gifted children who are torn in between getting their label as gifted or not because of its blessings and curse lead us to the conclusion:

If not now, then when will these problems be accepted and acknowledged? In the next generation, gifted children will still be there. There is also a high possibility that giftedness is multigenerational, so when will this cycle of burnout and unmotivated generation stop so that the next generation will live to their fullest? We want these children to have better education and support as future parents or relatives. Action toward this should start now by letting the majority of our population understand how this is alarming and needs reformation.

What We Should Do For The New Gifted Generation

The easiest step that my generation can contribute for the betterment of the new generation of gifted and talented, for now, is guiding them with reality.

It was an honor to talk to the gifted and talented children that Mrs. Aliwalas is now in an online class. With a topic about the challenges and expectations gifted and talented children can have during high school, they enjoyed the whole talk thanks to their active participation and eagerness to learn about high school life. Pessimistic as I might be, I thought they would be scared and traumatized by my high school stories. Still, their giftedness showed their maturity and broad understanding of complex scenarios they might encounter as teenage high school students.

The best part of my conversation with them is the vast generation gap, even if it is just six years. I told them that we talked about the 2nd generation of Kpop idols (2NE1 vs. Girls Generation). We are already discussing the 3rd gen of Kpop consisting of Twice, BTS, Blackpink, and the 4th Gen that I have little knowledge with. They were also curious about my experience with the Manila Science High School’s entrance exam, even if I already told them that it was a not-so-fun experience after my brain went to Error 404 during the scientific problem-solving equations (with solution sheets required)!

“They can’t get over you! They are still noisy in (our class’) group chat,” Mrs. Aliwalas informed me.

I eventually reminded them that being a gifted student makes them more prone to burnout, but they should still humble themselves by experiencing such phases in life. Being under burnout sure means we are tired but not giving up. Burnout is proof of continuing to fight for dreams and aspirations and shows that we are all still in the process of becoming the best that we can be. We can say we’re in a state of being tired of something but not done as we still live.

And as what my fellow gifted children advise:

It’s okay to fall or stumble but learn how to pick yourself up and remember why you started, especially when you’re already halfway through. Use this as a motivation to go on and never pressure yourself a lot. Take things easy, baby steps. You’ll still get there and get the best result possible from all your hard work when you’re enjoying it. It’s okay to rest while feeling or near burnout and think everything will be OK. – Giann

Despite being burned out for some time, I believe that the gift will continue to ignite my thirst and passion for achieving my goal. The same goes for gifted people in a rough state right now who may think they would not like to go further down the rocky road anymore. Being gifted is heavy indeed. Many internal and external pressures will push you forward to either the end of the cliff or the top of a mountain. What matters is the actions you will take when that comes, take a step back or enjoy the view from the top, be decisive and always acknowledge your gift. – Janelle

Intelligence affects our perspectives and decisions in life, and our choices can tell our personality. Work is not just about finishing the job but also working with other people, and no one wants to work with people who have difficult personalities. – Khyuomie

And for future special education teachers who have the passion and willingness to commit to their sworn oath and vocation as educators of the nation for the progress of the children, Mrs. Aliwalas concluded:

“Future educators must step up to embrace all exceptionalities of their future pupils. The challenge is not about keeping up with their intelligence, but developing the kids’ ways to embrace their giftedness.”

Early ripe, early rotten, turned into fertilizers for the great crops next season.

Now that is a better description of the cycle for gifted children, who are now average adults that are starting to appreciate and live the life they should, in the first place.

Many of us may have the exact sentiment of disappointments in high school or currently in college. We wish we had closure with all of it so that it will not haunt us whenever we face failures again, but that is how harsh life would be now and in the future. We know our fellows like challenges, but those life challenges should not be to the point that they will be exploited for their sake. The exploitation of their raw talent and dreams for the future society should not be tarnished by the multigenerational trauma in our education and societal system. The best way we can do closure with our past, in my opinion, is that we will never repeat those horrors and doubts that we have with our young gifted minds.

We always recall when adults tell us that we will lead our generation in the next era where our potential will peak. Now that the future relies upon us, let us do the right thing by casting our votes not just for our endeavors but also for these children to not suffer in the past that we endured enough to better their education and social life.

In that way, maybe the gifted burnout kid trend will be canceled when the next generation’s gifts and talents will prosper and be at their full potential.

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