You May Not Be 'Smart Enough' For School, But The Real World Isn’t All About Good Grades

by Mylene Mendoza   |  Apr 16, 2020
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When we think of intelligence, most of us would often associate it with getting high marks in school, knowing the answers to quiz and trivia questions, or accomplishing life goals you set for yourself. In Ateneo, we often call the smart students who get As in all their subjects kuwatro kids because a numerical grade of 4.0 is the highest grade achievable in school. Other schools might have their own iterations, too, but the sentiment remains the same: that getting good grades equals being smart.

In the real world though, getting a bunch of As isn’t the sole indicator of just how smart and competent you are. There are other kinds of “intelligence” out there, not just the one we were taught to acknowledge since childhood. It’s all a matter of realizing which one you have. Here are a few you might recognize within yourselves:

You know how to handle emotions well.

According to Psychology Today, emotional intelligence is one’s ability to “identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.” Being able to recognize your emotions for what they are—even the negative ones—and knowing how to handle them is a skill not many people have mastered.

It also applies to being able to identify and help with other people’s emotions. If you’re the kind of friend your barkada would typically run to when they have problems because they trust your judgment, then kudos to you! It’s an admirable trait your friends need to appreciate more. 


You know how to interact and associate with different types of people.

We all know at least one person who has so many friends from different cliques, not just because they’re super friendly, but because they really know how to connect with different types of people. And nope, we’re not just talking about our extroverted friends, because even introverts can have this, too.

These are people who are able to adapt a broad perspective in life, the ones who can efficiently assess social situations and act accordingly, and can communicate with people even non-verbally. People are often drawn to this type of individuals because they know how to make a situation feel more comfortable for everyone who's in it, and that's something that would prove useful even in the professional realm.

You know how to utilize your body and are aware of its limits.

When it’s UAAP season and teams are battling it out on the court, doesn’t it make you feel excited and proud when you’re rooting for your team, regardless of whether or not they won? Deep inside, we all have a certain admiration for athletes for the amount of discipline and athleticism they exhibit. We wish we could be as physically strong and skilled as they are, TBH. 

Many won’t often regard athletes as smart, but what they have can actually be considered “intelligence.” Athletes, dancers, performers, labor workers—they all have excellent physical control and refined body movement not a lot of people are blessed with. You may not be the type to get As in math or science, but you can be MVP material, and that’s something that should count, too.

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Mylene Mendoza
Candy Staff Writer
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