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You seem smart to me, don't be ashamed of that IQ score, it's in the top 20% of the population. I think you have a lot of anxiety about school and this goal of yours. Work on things to control your anxiety and enroll yourself in a place that's practical (will the military pay for your education?).
 

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is getting over herself
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after having read your post, and as someone who worried most of my life about the very same thing, I can assure you you are mistaken. I think your problem is a something else or two.
 

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Don't be so hard on yourself. You don't have to be a genius to become an engineer. I've been in engineering classes before and the people in them aren't amazingly bright. I am in no way a genius but am going to pursue an engineering degree. You're selling yourself short. My iq is about the same as yours. If you work hard and put in the effort (which you clearly are capable of with all the reading and what not that you've done) you can surely obtain a degree in chemical engineering.
 

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^^ As the earlier posts mentioned, you don't have to be a nuclear physicist to necessarily graduate in chemical engineering. You just have to do disciplined brute force calculations ad nauseum and consider spending hours and hours doing homework with repetitive calculations spanning pages. Get it wrong over and over until you get it right over and over, then repeat over and over neatly.

Why chemical engineering (and not something else like mech eng)? Think about whether you want to do chemistry (lab research), chemical process engineering (such as in manufacturing paints, chemicals, adhesives, semiconductor chips), or mechanical-type plant design (such as refining and separations). Bottom line is petroleum engineering sucks for SA and can be brutal unless you want to be a white-collar chem eng that's not really doing chem eng and became more of a project eng specifying expensive equipment.

Regarding the military -- Keep your calculus and physics sharp and well-drilled so you can join the nuclear navy (NUPOC officer) early admission program which pays for the rest of your college (including a salary and living stipend while you finish college). Or do ROTC part-time. Enlisted flat out sucks, and if you want to be a chemical engineer, other branches such as the Army isn't an exact fit. I'm obviously not selling the military at all, but pick the one that makes sense for why you want to study something almost exactly like chemical engineering. NUPOC will qualify you to work in the energy field after done too which is theoretically a persistent need.
 

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First, I'm sorry that this is in this section. I thought it would belong here more than anywhere because in my opinion, this is the section that fascinates me the most. I also chose this section because its frequented by the type of people that I look up to the most. This is my first post in this section because I have very little in the way of intelligence to make any kind of post here.

I'm not intelligent, and it frustrates me to no end. I'm 22 this Tuesday coming. I took a job at a landscaping firm to earn some cash and try and figure out what it is that I want to do with my life. The more I work there the moreI feel like I'm wasting my life. Landscapers don't waste their lives if they enjoy what they do, but I don't any more. I want to be an engineer. Chemical engineering is the area that interests me most, but as you can probably guess from my writing, I'm not the kind of brain who can become a chemical engineer.

I'm working on getting into the military. The waiting lists in this country are insane, but everything's going according to plan. If there's any reason that I leave the military, then I don't know what I'll do. I don't think I'm good for anything else. I don't think I'll ever make it past corporal even if I'm a good soldier. I'm not stupid, but I'm not bright.

For somebody who wants to be an engineer, it may sound strange to hear that numbers terrify me. I would love to think that one day numbers wont terrify me and when I'm thinking about myself working in this type of job, I'm not. But the sad reality is that I am. I just can't use them. I can use random little tricks and tips, but my maths skills are terrible. Maths skills are my biggest problem, but certainly not my only problem. As you can probably tell from what you've read so far that my literacy skills are quite poor. I can write, but you can see that my use of punctuation isn't very good and vocabulary is fairly limited.

My other major problem is that I have a very slow learning speed. My comprehension of what I attempt to learn is minimal and my memory for meticulous facts is terrible. I've probably read over 100 books over the past two years. If I was shown the cover or read a short passage then I may remember certain things from the book, but off the top of my head I can't remember anything. I read mostly non-fiction. The only fiction I read is spy fiction. Most of the books I read are about scinence and maths because I really want to imporve on them. Recently I've been reading about computer programming and algorithms which I haven't been able to take much knowledge from.

Oh, and for the record. I did an I.Q test in school and my score was 117.

Is there any way of improving your intelligence?
I've always gotten by, by being very diligent. I've never been the guy who sits and complains about something without trying everything first. I don't expect to become a genius, but I want to do something with my life. I would give the use of my legs to be able to become a bright brain.

I've tried donating myself to scientific research as well. There must be some group of researchers out there who are looking at ways of improving intelligence and need a guinnie pig. Wether its medical or some kind of exercise.

Part of me thinks this is genetic. My mum and dad aren't very bright. They're really quite dim. Even compared to me. I'm beginning to think that maybe I'll never be able to work hard and improve my brain power. I'm beginning to think that I was born to just belike my parents. This terrifys me.

This isn't about money either before anybody brings money up. This isn't so I can go to some ****** business school after my getting engineering degree and becoming a millionaire engineer. I've never wanted to be a millionaire. I've met the kind of people who's lives are about the persuit of material trash like sports cars and mansions. Any money I made over 25 grand a year would be going to charity because I don't need it. If you disagree, then fine, but as long as I can make enough to support my needs, the stimulating career is what I'm in it for.
read, read a lot, is that easy, unless you have A.D.D
 

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Reposed in awesomeness...
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This may get deleted on the grounds of it being offensive, but here goes.

In scotland we have a saying; "You can only piss with the cock you've got."

I do not want to get into a discussion with you about your intelligence but whattever the case the fact is that you will just have to work with what you have.

I will say one thing though. Reading books is only half the battle.If you think you can just memorise stuff and pull it out your back side when you need it it isn't going to happen. You must understand the concepts and for this you require to do things other than just reading the books. I spend a lot of time just turning ideas over in my head; fumbling around with my minds hands you might say. Making associations helps to imprint the information in your head and the finer details will start you fall into place over time, as you revise your understanding.

I think writing is a good idea too but I have ADHD so I get very little of that done. As soon as I get some meds that work I plan on doing a lot of essay writing. Until now the only writing I have really done is on forums like this. I have developed a certain amount of clarity over the years. Learning to structure the paragraphs on the page has helped me to structure the thoughts in my head(to a certain extent: I still have ADHD, lol)
 

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You write intelligently, I don't know why you think different. Also, you say you are diligent and that you read a lot, this puts you way ahead of the curve, especially in your age group. Just keep at it, try challenging yourself a little bit everyday. Don't doubt yourself, take a few engineering courses so you can determine where you stand and what needs improving on. I think being diligent is much more important than being a genius.
 

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You've read a hell of a lot! Practically all I do in my free time is read nowadays and over the past year I've probably read about 40-45 books. I kid you not that is almost all I do! Science books would kill me to read! I would really like to read some psychology books, Freud's works or something but I doubt I possess the will to discipline myself for it; though it would probably be useful.

The mere fact you have the attention for that is really quite something to my eyes. IQ tests aren't all the world. I think you could easily become an enginner but then again... Needn't listen to me. I say go for it mate!

p.s. if you or anyone else has read any of Freud's books on the unconscious, if you know which particular books helped you I'd be VERY interested and grateful if you'd message me.
 

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Lol, damn man you are so depressed. Cognitive distortions are so self-defeating. The essence of you, IMO, is all-or-nothing thinking, disqualify the positives, the binocular trick, and jumping to conclusions. There's like 10 types of cognitive distortions and probably even more and I'm sure there could be more to be spotted here that I can't based on what you wrote. Maybe someone else can spot more.

Let me give my armchair analysis...

First, I'm sorry that this is in this section. I thought it would belong here more than anywhere because in my opinion, this is the section that fascinates me the most. I also chose this section because its frequented by the type of people that I look up to the most. This is my first post in this section because I have very little in the way of intelligence to make any kind of post here.
All or nothing thinking. And seemingly SA influenced; fear of criticism...
I'm not intelligent, and it frustrates me to no end. [...]but as you can probably guess from my writing, I'm not the kind of brain who can become a chemical engineer. [...] I don't think I'm good for anything else. I don't think I'll ever make it past corporal even if I'm a good soldier. I'm not stupid, but I'm not bright.
All or nothing thinking. You're not smart but also not dumb. What now? Because your all-or-nothing thinking keeps you from finding joy inbetween you're stuck at a limbo. What is wrong with average?

Jumping to conclusions. You're still on the waiting list.

For somebody who wants to be an engineer, it may sound strange to hear that numbers terrify me. I would love to think that one day numbers wont terrify me and when I'm thinking about myself working in this type of job, I'm not. But the sad reality is that I am. I just can't use them. I can use random little tricks and tips, but my maths skills are terrible. Maths skills are my biggest problem, but certainly not my only problem. As you can probably tell from what you've read so far that my literacy skills are quite poor. I can write, but you can see that my use of punctuation isn't very good and vocabulary is fairly limited.
Disqualifying the Positive & Binocular Trick. There's probably an aspect of your mental filter (another cognitive distortion) that makes you see only the negatives. Actually your self-evaluation seems contrived. I'm beginning to think this is a trolling thread. Take that as a compliment :D

BTW, aspiring to become an engineer is up there with the law/doctor cliche. It may actually come across as pretty grandiose.

My other major problem is that I have a very slow learning speed. My comprehension of what I attempt to learn is minimal and my memory for meticulous facts is terrible. I've probably read over 100 books over the past two years. If I was shown the cover or read a short passage then I may remember certain things from the book, but off the top of my head I can't remember anything. I read mostly non-fiction. The only fiction I read is spy fiction. Most of the books I read are about scinence and maths because I really want to imporve on them. Recently I've been reading about computer programming and algorithms which I haven't been able to take much knowledge from.
Not a single thing? So you expect to do a first-pass through a book, never review, and it will magically be retained? Sorry man, the brain prefers to discard unused memory circuits if not re-used. Maybe a fragment will stay, and often that fragment is just enough so you know what to review. And humans didn't evolve to retain letters. The idiom... a picture is worth a 1000 words, think about that.

Oh, and for the record. I did an I.Q test in school and my score was 117.
And because you are dominated by all or nothing thinking, you cannot cherish your relative point of position. IT HAS to be the majestic 180, eh?

117 is above average? alright, it's been affirmed. You're definitely trolling. Okay i admit it I'm being sarcastic ;)

Is there any way of improving your intelligence?
What a vague term, this intelligence thingy.

Eliminating depression is one major thing. Having conservative healthy lifestyle is another (obsessions don't seem healthy when it takes over everything). This means spotting your cognitive distortions and developing rational responses. Try to think in a hedonistic manner. If it does not feel intrinsically good, then why do it, aside from a survival position...

I've always gotten by, by being very diligent. I've never been the guy who sits and complains about something without trying everything first. I don't expect to become a genius, but I want to do something with my life. I would give the use of my legs to be able to become a bright brain.
This is a good sign, you have just practiced the very opposite of disqualifying your positives. That's a start. I wish I was more diligent.

I've tried donating myself to scientific research as well. There must be some group of researchers out there who are looking at ways of improving intelligence and need a guinnie pig. Wether its medical or some kind of exercise.
Maybe the closest you can get is to lurk longecity.org's nootropic section and start self-experimenting. lol.

Part of me thinks this is genetic. My mum and dad aren't very bright. They're really quite dim. Even compared to me. I'm beginning to think that maybe I'll never be able to work hard and improve my brain power. I'm beginning to think that I was born to just belike my parents. This terrifys me.
Jumping to conlusions -> all or nothing thinking

It's up to you if you want to self-fulfill your own fate.

This isn't about money either before anybody brings money up. This isn't so I can go to some ****** business school after my getting engineering degree and becoming a millionaire engineer. I've never wanted to be a millionaire. I've met the kind of people who's lives are about the persuit of material trash like sports cars and mansions. Any money I made over 25 grand a year would be going to charity because I don't need it. If you disagree, then fine, but as long as I can make enough to support my needs, the stimulating career is what I'm in it for.
Watch out for self-deception. Manifestations of having desires for power and wealth, both being supported by the vice of greed, does not necessarily mean money and money only.

All this reasoning of yours, based on emotions. It's called emotional reasoning and it's another cognitive distortions. But now things are getting unclear, it would take up an entire thread of arguments. That mind-body connection thing--the chicken or the egg?

Just my two cents.
 

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Diligence is the key. 'Natural talent' is WAY overrated. The most important way of becoming intelligent is to love your subject. If you love the subject, that will provide the driving force you need to get through all the work and be motivated to understand everything deeply. There is nothing more important than this.

Anxiety and depression are killers of motivation, so it's often the case that when you're in a classroom environment and you're stressed trying to get all your work done by a deadline, you will not perform as well and you'll start doubting your intelligence. But trust me, this doesn't mean you're stupid. It happens to all of us, me included. You shouldn't worry about being slow to process information or not remembering what you've read. I'm the same way. And I'm doing a PhD in theoretical physics. Being the slow, deliberate type has its pluses: it makes you think about and understand the material in more depth.

So if you like chemical engineering, get some books and start studying, on your own, for fun. You might realize how intelligent you actually are.
 

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I agree with Ape's post, intelligence isn't everything (although an IQ of 117 does make you pretty intelligent). I know people far far less intelligent than that who succeed very well in all areas of life because they have other skills such as determination, persistence, and charm. If I could be more intelligent or more charming I'd pick charming everytime. Excessively charming people go further than excessively intelligent people in most jobs I think.
 

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My sister has a chemical engineering degree and works in food production. It's not all working with harsh chemicals. Her internship was spent refining the consistency of some flour type product (I forget exactly what it was) that was being used as a base and testing the nutrient profile. She brought some home that went wrong and was playing with it like silly putty.

The part that sucks about engineering degrees is that after you spend all this time studying and having nightmares about diffeq you find the job market is even more competitive. You may make money right off the bat but it took her 6months to find a job anywhere while she had no income and the starting schedule any place gave her was crap. It seems the companies have decided people willing to get an engineering degree are very determined hardworkers so they can make them work crazy shifts with no holidays for months or the entire year before you earn a more normal schedule.

Personally I don't think it's worth it. I am quite happy to take my 2 extra math and 1 extra science class beyond what my 2 year degree requires and call it good. I'd prefer to never have anything more than a part time job and plenty of time for inexpensive hobbies outdoors.
 

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Read and talk to people that are smarter than you are, that's basically the only way to improve. One thing to remember about MENSA, is that their overall average income levels are below the average Americans.

The basic thing is that for IQ it's only a number that may show that some people are underperforming as well as helping to establish retardation. The main point is to go through practice and diligence. And some people such as Bill Gates are known to have a particular disorder called Aspergers which for all the high intelligence brings about it's own problems. So in a way, be careful what you wish for.
 

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I am in the exactly the same position as you. 19 year old who has fantasized about becoming an engineer since 15! I am probably in a worst position then you, as I probably don't have as much IQ as you. That said, I have also seen someone with an IQ of 115 get a 4.0 in E.E (On Yahoo answers) If I remember correctly he felt bad!

The few ideas I could submit to you are this,

Read 'Your memory' by Kenneth L. Higbee. Ph.D. It is using your visual mind to create stronger and more accessible memories, this truly works and is simply a more efficient manner in encoding memories.

Also, for comprehension in reading books, I recommend you read 'How to read a book' by Mortimer Adler. It is a fantastic book that I ought to read again, but it shares erudite strategies in which you can employ to gain a greater understanding of the book. If a book is good, it should be read immediately.

Man, I relate to you so much, but through reading seeing such a position in life more objectively all i can say is that, man, follow your dreams.

Use the scientific method, all you speak about is conjecture and really are asking poor questions. If you want to become a Engineer at all, you should really pursue it and see if it truly won't pan out.

Perhaps read 'The making of an expert' from HBR. Mastery from Robert Greene.

I wish for you to succeed and not to be held down by such irrationality. My heart truly goes out to you.

Watch this and other of his videos, as you will need social skills in order to become successful as an engineer.

Also on giving all your money away beyond living expenses, that is utterly irrational and comes from low self-esteem I believe. Making millions is really contributing to society in a fantastic way, in obviously a way that is in no way detrimental to people.

I will tell you this anecdote concerning money. If you are familiar with Warren Buffet, he was in a position where he was making so much money and really wasn't spending it (He lives in quite a homely place with an average car) His wife told him to start donating money, but he countered that, with accumulating money and investing it intelligently, over to the end of his life, he will be able to donate and share many multitudes of what he would have otherwise. Obviously one of the richest men in the world, he is still committed in giving it all away!

So making money isn't bad, it's really good in fact and be rational and accumulate as much money as possible so you can truly help the world in the most leveraged fashion.

I wish you the best, I really hope you become the intelligent engineer in which you intend.

I am sorry for rambling on so much, but I care for you and want to see you succeed.
 

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Son of Odin
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Realizing you are not intelligent, makes you intelligent, because you are thinking and deteriorating yourself for no apparent reason.

Intelligent people think they are stupid, while stupid people think they are geniuses.
Sadly, that's how world works today.
 
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