Dear American Girl,
I'm good at school. Kids in my class think of me only as "the smart kid." But I'm not just smart—I'm a lot of other things, too. How do I let them know that?
Here's your advice:
It sounds to me as if you're being labeled. People only know that you're really good at one thing—in your case, it's school. So it's hard for them to see that you're good at anything else. Here's an idea: If you're athletic, bring some pictures of your games to school. If you're crafty, bring a hat you just knitted or a blanket you made. It might help to show people that you're more than just smart and that you have personality. Remember that being smart isn't a bad thing. It's part of who you are! Stay true to yourself.
-Claire, age 12, Virginia
When someone says that you're "the smart kid," say thank you! Try to see it as the person giving you a compliment. Don't be scared to add something else, such as, "You know, I also enjoy writing," or whatever you want to say. Maybe someone will relate and you'll have something to talk about.
-Shiana, age 13, Utah
Show people—don't tell them. Notice what others are doing and play what they're playing for a while. Then maybe they will realize that you can do more than schoolwork!
-Addy, age 9, Kentucky
I'm pretty smart, too, and I work to stand out in other ways. I like telling jokes, so I do that. I also give advice and try to help friends with problems. What other qualities do you have besides being smart? Talk about the other stuff you like, too. I think people will find out that you're a cool, interesting girl who is other things in addition to being smart. Good luck!
-Eliana, age 11, Pennsylvania
Just try to be yourself, and people will realize you are more than smart. But you know what? Be proud of being the smart one! It's great.
-Krupa, age 10, Pennsylvania
If you are talented at dance, join the dance club. If you like soccer, try out for the team. Just do the things you like!
-Annie, age 10, California
Invite your school friends to come over and hang out. When people see who you are outside of school, they'll see past that "smart kid" label.
-Anneliese, age 10, Michigan
Maybe you could tie some of your other qualities into your school smarts. Use your best creativity on projects, or show off your athletics in gym class. This will help your classmates see that you're not just one thing.
-Willa, age 9, Oklahoma
When you are talking with people, you could ask them about their hobbies and then tell them about some of yours.
-Natalie, age 11, Ohio
What about recess? Can your classmates see your talents there? Show them that you're good at other things, too. If your other talents aren't active, then maybe bring along your "talent" to school and get it out at recess.
-Annie, age 9, Texas
Kids used to think of me that way. They only came to my desk when they needed help with homework. I sometimes felt left out of their conversations. But one day I just walked up and asked a girl if she wanted to hang out. I figured that if people got to know me better, they would see all my other qualities. It worked!
-Maddie, age 10, Ohio
You could tell your friends what's bothering you. They might be able to spread the word that you're good at lots of things.
-Sammi, age 11, Michigan
I had a similar problem. Nobody knew about anything else I was good at, besides school. They just thought of me as "the smart kid." To change that, I looked around the school for ways to share my other talents. I found an ad for our school's talent show, and I signed up. You could try that. If your school isn't planning a talent show, you could suggest one.
-Kyleigh, age 10, Florida
When people call you "the smart kid," they might be complimenting you for doing a good job at school. But they also could be bullying you. Next time people call you "the smart kid," ask them what they mean. If it turns out to be bullying, handle it like you would other kinds of bullying.
-Alix, age 12, California
Hang out with your friends, and even make some new ones. When people know you better, they can start thinking of you as the girl who's a great friend.
-Chloe, age 9, Colorado
Don't EVER try to bring down your grades so that people won't think of you as smart anymore. Always do your best. But you can also make sure that you don't only talk about school—you should also talk about your other interests, too.
-Lilac, age 14, Michigan
Don't worry about what the other kids think about you. Your friends know who you are, and that's what matters.
-Destiny, age 13, Hawaii