He is almost fourteen, a whiz at video games, loves to read his Kindle, wears shorts in the winter, and I can't remember the last time he wore a coat. He can alternately drive his sisters crazy and then make lunch for them when no one asks him to. He can be moody one minute and intellectually inquisitive the next. He's smart, gentle, creative, funny, and all man/boy. He's my grandson, and he thinks I'm super smart.
What is it about your first grandson - that his words can strike a place in your heart where no one else has been able to make a dent? The past five-plus years I've been making up for lost time, earning first my bachelor's degree, and now finishing up my master's. I still go into every single test or paper with apprehension about my grades; wanting perfection and fearing the worst. I don't feel smart, or I didn't, until my daughter relayed his comment. He thinks I'm smart!
Ben, I love you, and I think you're smart, too. You will deny it, much as I do to myself. But being smart takes many forms, and not all of them mean that school work will come easy. When you find something you love, make the commitment to put your heart and soul into it. Study. Study some more. And then for good measure, study again. Your friends will moan and groan and you'll be tempted to give in and join them. Go ahead! Moan along with them, and then go home and study. (It's the little secret that successful people have!)
Take advantage of any help along the way. Do you know someone who excels in that field? Make friends with them and pick their brain. Panicking about a big exam? Use study helps, just as I did. There are a lot of them, ranging from study books, audio tapes and even online helps such as SAT tutor designed to help you review things you learned some time ago. I spent three months listening to audio files every spare moment to prepare for a comprehensive exam I needed to pass. It was worth every single minute. You'll hear lots of people say that such-and-such wasn't worth it, and they're probably right. The worth of the material lies in the amount of work one does. There's no substitute for plain hard work. The prep material simply pulls it all into one place for you to review what you already know. The reward comes in being able to do what you enjoy doing, and knowing that you do it well.
So, Ben, your words about me are precious, and I love that they came from you. Someday, your grandson will say the same about you, I'm sure of it!
Disclaimer: I am being compensated for the link in my post, but not for any endorsement, either explicit or implied. I write what I think, and my opinions are my own, such as they are.