February 3, 2012 - submitted by Liam, United States of America

Q. TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #57
Oh, Oracle, I need you (and who ever else is willing)'s help. My life is in shambles, I'm trying to pick up the pieces. My teachers hate me. My grades are in the toilet, even though I have an estimated IQ of around 160, and I can't go one day without getting yelled at by my parents or teachers. I was kicked off my school duties when a teacher overreacted, I'm constantly in trouble for things I don't do, I'm confused, about love, life, and everything else. Please help, I just need to know, what should I do? Life advice, jokes, humor, anything, I just need some help.
Thanks.
Liam
P.S. I have tickets to see Coldplay in Chicago in August, and I love them, but I'm so sad I'm having trouble even getting excited about that.


The Oracle replies:

My first reaction was wow, that's a high IQ score but your grades are in the toilet. I was wondering if you're bored or find it difficult to concentrate. The question is WHY are your grades in the toilet? You need to tackle each part of your life one at a time rather than see it all as one big mess. I doubt your teachers hate you but perhaps you need to take a look at why you think they may. They might see an intelligent student who is flunking and they find it frustrating. Focus on what it may be about you that seems to wind people up. If nothing, then you have to be mature and rise above it - some people may be threatened to have someone so intelligent around. Don't give them any reason to say it's justified. If you are indeed in trouble for things you don't do, you need to find a calm way of telling people that you are not responsible for those things. I can imagine I'd get quite angry in your position but the thing is to recognise what you might be giving off. There may be an attitude that you don't know you're giving. I would ask parents and teachers privately why they yell at you. Your parents may be taking their stuff out on you and that may help you to discuss it. If the problem at school continues, there's surely a student mediator or head of year / school that you could chat with. My tip is this, don't have an accusing tone, just an enquiring one.
I'd forget love and life advice for now as it will not necessarily make sense with everything else that's going on. Put that high IQ to good use; try and figure out why you're provoking these reactions. In the meantime, where do you find a one legged dog*?
Over to you.

I felt compelled to reply to your question because I experienced something very similar to your situation a few years ago. I was depressed, anxious and I didn't have passion for anything. It was the most terrible time of my life. Thankfully, I found the help that I needed. Now, when I think back on that time I can't believe how far I've come and how much that horrific struggle taught me. You have to believe that the problems you are having now will pass and that you are the only person who is capable of changing your life. While it is unfortunate that your parents, teachers, etc. aren't there for you, use this as an opportunity to get to know yourself better and realize how strong you really are. Also, whenever I'm feeling down I think of a line from a Florence and the Machine song called 'Shake it Out'. It says 'It's always darkest before the dawn'. I really believe that in order to know true happiness, you have to know true suffering. It seems dark now but it will get brighter. If nothing else works, remember that you will be seeing the greatest band in the world, Coldplay, live which is one of the most amazing experiences ever! Good Luck, Katie.

I'm really sorry about the situation which you're going through. First, you should think about your life. With the IQ you have, maybe you just need to feel motivated to improve your grades. If you can't do it because of your teachers, talk to your parents, try to persuade them to get changed of school.
If not, try to do all your schoolwork to cause a better impression.
Do some research, find something you would like to do in the future, and that will motivate you to start and keep going. Trust yourself, you can do it.
About your feeling of confusion, you should think about what is making you feel that way, what makes you feel good, what makes you feel bad and how you can avoid that. It might not be easy, buy when you realize what's the problem, you'll be able to solve it and be happy again. Just try. If you need help, you can always lean on Coldplay's music. It has always been an inspiration for me. Good luck! Love from a Coldplayer, Gloria.

I have been in a similar situation. I had one teacher who insulted me often and lied about my grades, causing me to fail the class.
One way to solve this is to perhaps contact the principal or school board.
Maybe they can help you and understand what's happening.
If not, try your hardest to talk to your parents and teachers until they get your point. Just keep your head high and take hold of the situation (unlike what I did).
Good luck! Danny S.


Having an IQ of around 160 means that you are most likely smarter than most of your teachers, congratulations. But the problem with this is chances are you don't know what to do with that high of an IQ. This can get in the way of every day life. A good book for you to read is "this the grandchildren should know" this is by Mark Oliver Everett its depressing at some point but it shows how he coped with his life and hearing about your circumstance made me think of the book. About the school you might look into an online school this way you have more options about how you learn. Hope this helps. Laura, a fellow Coldplayer. (P.S. I am so jealous you have tickets :D)

At this point, the first thing I would suggest is thinking about what is most important to you. You sound very intelligent. If doing well in school is important to you, focus on it, and prove to all the teachers that are giving you hassle that you are better than their expectations of you. This will probably make your parents thrilled but more importantly could give you a brighter outlook on everything. School may be rough and frustrating, but it is a good time to figure out yourself and what to expect out of your life. Don't lose yourself in the hardships - they do make you stronger. Whatever it is that means most to you, put your heart into it, and it will make you happier.
When you are feeling down, stand up and spread your arms out, and look at the sky with a huge smile. I do this sometimes and it's so ridiculous it makes me laugh and feel a little better. Now about that Coldplay concert - let yourself get excited about it! You're going to be serenaded by freaking Coldplay! Listen close to the lyrics, they will make you feel good. Best of luck, Allie.


Liam, it seems you are on sensory overload, it numbs us from feeling joy. I've been there recently and everything seems so much more than it is, including my reactions. Find a place of quiet to connect with your thoughts and find your inner peace. People yell when they feel they aren't being heard. Take what is yours to hear, acknowledge them and maybe they won't keep yelling. When you yell back you feed the flame and everything intensifies, peace and calm diffuses it. Coldplay says in "Us Against the World" slow it down. Our instinct is to push against forces in front of us, teachers, parents and others. We lose so much energy that way, move with the tide and flow with and around them. Sometimes we feel powerless, but you have the power to choose how you react and what you do next. Focus on what you need to at each moment and let everything else go until it needs to be focused on and that may help with the overload. Everything has it's time and place, school work, love, relationships, home, etc.. Trying to take on everything at one time is too overwhelming, but know you can deal with them when it is time. Slow it down and breath in calm and enjoy the upcoming Coldplay concert in Chicago, I'm hoping they'll be at Alpine Valley in East Troy WI again soon. Dawn.

Wow what a positive! An IQ of 160 puts you in the same league as Bill Gates and Einstein! I reckon with your brains and intelligence you can work things out in no time at all. Is there a chance you can get away somewhere cool for a weekend break soon with a close friend or a trusted family member? The friend needs to be from your school that isn't getting distracted to the extent you are, and with your parents blessing, a relation who can share the middle ground between you and the immediate family.
Try getting outdoors, aware from your routine and in direct contact with the natural world. Hopefully you can develop better self awareness. Being in good company and sharing your feelings and confusion will enable you to focus and promote feelings of self help.
You are growing up fast and you need to step back and look for all your positives and concentrate on avoiding the negatives that are getting you into conflict.
As for seeing Coldplay in August - that is cause for celebration in it's self. I saw them in December and the show was so moving and uplifting - you are going to have such an amazing night! Listening to the new album a lot makes me so happy. I reckon it will have the same effect on you too. Hope this helps. Kind regards, Jonathan.


Liam, I am very sad to hear what a tough time you're having right now. Not much makes me more upset than people getting treated badly when they don't deserve it.
Firstly, you need to really stand up for yourself if people are blaming you for stuff that isn't your fault. I understand that it's sometimes easier said than done but you can't live your life paying the price of someone else's mistakes. So be sure to let your parents and teachers know how you feel. Also, your parents love you and they will hopefully understand your pain and become more compassionate. When it comes to the grades, I hope you're not too hard on yourself. I am sure you are smart, intelligent and capable of reaching great grades. But people fall sometimes, and that's okay. The only good thing about falling is that you get back up again, which I truly believe you will do. Just brush the bad grades off and the better ones will come before you know it! I think the road to happiness is everything but smooth, but it is also completely possible to cross. As long as you have faith in yourself, you will get to the end of that road and experience it for yourself. Living a happy life is the most important thing, so be sure to try and grant yourself that, despite everything that's going on. I wish you all the best, from the bottom of my heart. Medina.

Oh Liam, Im so sorry to hear of what you're going through. I want you to know that you aren't alone. Its so easy to feel like the worlds against you, but don't give up on it! I know it's easier said than done, I know, I'm kind of in the same situation, but with the help of people that care (like the Oracle) life seems to be bearable. It might be unreasonable, but I honestly think life will get easier. I have to believe that. Try being around people that make you happy and understand you. Try not to worry about how life will end up or what people think of you and just enjoy it. You're going to see Coldplay in the summer (lucky duck), you have something to look forward to! Use that, or anything, to motivate yourself. You're so smart, you will get through this, I feel you're only misunderstood by a lot of people. A man by the name of Ralph Waldo Emerson once said "To be great is to be misunderstood". I wish you the absolute best. Love, Darem.

Dear Liam, I've to confess that I find me a little in you so you're no alone!
I think all the time about the meaning of Life, about the purpose of love and so on. It's really hard to stop thinking so much, all the time, about everything and it gets me tired! You are very intelligent and that's why you feel no one could understand you.
I think you should be proud of who you are, no matter people are saying. They probably only are jealous! When I get deeply sad, I listen to Coldplay's song LOW...but than I change the tune and put LOST! and thought to me: "Just because I'm losing doesn't mean I'm lost!"
You said you can't even get excited for your Chicago Coldplay's show. I felt the same way before my last December Coldplay's gig but trust me, I can assure you that you're going to get better!
As you were asking for some jokes... I found this funny French quotation that I remember sometimes when I feel low: Sorry Oracle, I don't know how to translate the quotation, but I think it goes a little like this: "If your work is hard, and if your results are thin, remember that one day the great oak was an acorn like you."
Get well soon, much love from France, Marie.

Here's some humor: Your teachers don't HATE you - unless they specifically said so. If your grades are in the toilet but you have an IQ of 160, you aren't necessarily dumb, just distracted. Odds are that you will eventually go one day without having both your teachers AND parents yell at you. If you are getting in trouble for something you didn't do, then perhaps you should start your own trouble instead of taking someone else's credit! And seeing as you're not excited to see Coldplay, you can do yourself a favor and give your tickets to me! But honestly, take a deep breath and live your life one day at a time. Keep your chin up, Blake.

Let's start with a joke: A horse walks into a bar, and the bartender says "My God! Someone call Animal Control!"
Now that that's out of the way, at school, teachers are always going to be strict, and it is easy to get caught in their line of sight. All through high-school, I tried to be nice and respectful, but my teachers would still treat me like I was one of the kids that misbehaved. I can reassure you that, once you get to a college, all of this changes, and your teachers will treat you like the adult you are. And for the tickets, the excitement will kick in once the date approaches. It's just barely February, you have quite a while until August. I saw their New Orleans show live, back in June '09, and I was practically bouncing off the walls the month before. Bradley H.

Thanks to all who sent in their replies. If you'd like to take part in this week's Team Oracle, click to read this week's question, and send us your answer.
*Where you left it!