Proof That My Intelligence Has Declined Since College

February 5, 2009 at 9:40 am 8 comments

I’m a believer in the “use it or lose it” concept.  This is exactly why the muscles in my arms and legs function like wet noodles. This is also why my cursive looks like I am writing with my toes. I’m learning more and more how this applies to your brain as well. I’ve always heard about older people doing crosswords and other games to “keep their mind sharp”… and it makes sense. I didn’t realize that the mind-dulling process begins the second they hand you your diploma. (Or in my case, you sit outside with 5,736,829 of your closest friends, hear speeches, see fireworks, and then someday maybe they’ll mail you your diploma… speaking of, where is that thing??)


Lately I’ve been noticing that I’m not smart. I used to think I was smart. In high school, I was smart. College, well, I think my intelligence was the same but I was surrounded by thousands of students with brains so big they were oozing out of their ears. Now, as I’m in the workforce, I know it’s not just them, it’s me.


How else could you explain my new appreciation for Brittney Spears and Beyonce? I am not one to like that type of music… but sadly, each time Womanizer or Single Ladies comes on, I turn it up and sing along. And you know that these come on at least 12 times each day. I know they are stupid songs. I can’t help myself. The clapping or tapping or whatever is going on in the background of Single Ladies just makes me excited. And can someone please explain to me what type of swagger a champion actually has?? Because I’m singing it, but I’d like to understand it!


I’m also realizing that when you’re in school, you learn many non-school related things. News spreads like wildfire across college campuses: Popular names, brands, lingo, party plans, meetings with free shirts or food, etc. It’s amazing. I think there is some sort of newsletter. How else did 5000 sorority girls at UT learn to wear their Uggs, Nike shorts, and Northface jackets the same day? The connection we (the old, boring people) have to this information is quick and fleeting. Occasionally you can catch it in a blog, in a song, in a witty reference on a sitcom. So the other day I was on facebook and saw an acronym that I’ve seen a lot in the past few months. “FTW” I couldn’t figure it out. The way most people use it is at the end of a sentence, or as it’s own sentence… this makes the usage of context clues almost impossible. I was too embarrassed to ask anyone so I actually googled “What does FTW mean?” It’s sad, I know.


I think the tipping point was yesterday. I am now accepting that my brain is melting (maybe too much hulu?). I started the day with one of those instances of not knowing where your keys are. I was wondering where they were as I was driving to work. I found them on my desk. (After I took them out of the ignition, brought them into my office and put them down on my desk.) Yeah. Ridiculous. Last night, I took the Murano to get gas. This was the first time we’ve filled her up. I got out of the car and walked to the back. I had NO idea how to open the gas thing. I’m talking about the outside opening thing that you have to open in order to get to the thing you unscrew. I sound so smart right now, I know. It was flat, no lip to grab onto. So I walk back to the driver’s side and look for a button. I know there are some cars where you push a button and it pops it open. Nothing. I go back and push and pull and beg. Nothing. I call Stephen to see if he knows. No idea. I’m two seconds away from calling my friend Veronica (who also has a Murano) when I push the “sweet spot” and it opens. Thank God. But the damage was done. I felt like a fool.


I read regularly. Stephen and I do crosswords for fun. We watch and read the news. It’s not enough. It’s time to start doing even more crosswords. Maybe I’ll take up bridge. I should also become a regular viewer of Wheel of Fortune. Anything will help at this point. To all of you college kids, remember what it’s like. You’re the smartest you’ll ever be.


For the win!


Entry filed under: Chelsea, Getting Old, Stephen. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Loser Week 5: Look How Sweaty He Is Another Mumbo Jumbo Friday

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. osarah  |  February 5, 2009 at 10:31 am

    We’re already there on the Wheel of Fortune thing. Actually, it’s an hour of TV watching: Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. If I don’t see Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak in a day, I feel like I’ve lost something.

    And yes, we are out of the loop now. I have had to Google many phrases lately, and I accept that I no longer know what’s cool. *sigh*

  • 2. Jimbo  |  February 5, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I think that saying that you’re getting less intelligent is the wrong way to put it; I think that you’re probably getting less “hip” and “plugged in.” Keep reading real books (include some non-fiction and some P.G. Wodehouse every now and again), watch television in moderation (I would say none at all but there is some good stuff out there in the midst of all the junk), and keep talking to your husband…that will keep you on your toes mentally!
    I felt the same way in my old job at the bookstore; thankfully, I now work in a position where I have to analyze issues, problem solve, and talk to such a variety of people that it helps cultivate the old gray matter.
    Good post Chelsea (as usual)!

  • 3. Matt  |  February 5, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    I severely dislike the mass wearing of fleece and nike running shorts. they make me feel like i’m in a place where there is no individual thought….oh wait….i’m at a greek heavy campus.

    you aren’t old. shut up.


  • 4. Lindsay  |  February 5, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Single Ladies is getting annoying…I suggest Circus by Britney Spears…and yeah, I’ve never liked Britney before either but she’s amazing me with every new song she puts out.

    oh, and if you’re wearing a northface, its too cold to be wearing shorts…and uggs. people here know that..i dont think texans have gotten that memo.

  • 5. The Husband  |  February 5, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    As I’ve found at my job, it isn’t that people get less intelligent as we get older. Your intelligence just becomes a concentration of relavent material that helps you function in day to day life. During college and highschool you were stretched to have to function in multiple areas of use (english, math, art, etc.), but now we have a very narrow inlet and outlet of ideas and necessary to-do’s.

    Chelsea, you aren’t less intelligent, you are just very less called upon to use your mental skills. I’ve lost all track of government, because frankly, my industry is only tied into government at the highest and lowest levels, to where my comfy little mid-section can sit tight in just having to worry about who’s buying what, when, and how they’re using it.

    Might I just point out, btw everyone, that you can’t expect us to know how to open up a new type of gas tank cover after we’ve owned nothing but 10-15 year old cars our whole lives.

    That being said, I LOVE our NEW car and enjoy the simplicity that car engineers have provided for us in the driving realm of life (fyi, this means that I will have to know even less about taking care of a car…sorry car).

  • 6. The Husband  |  February 5, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    ok… and I just asked Chelsea what FTW means… that’s gay to the nth degree. Stupid kids nowadays!

  • 7. Mom  |  February 5, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    OBVIOUSLY I don’t know what FTW means….I am waaay out of the loop with all that initial cr–. It does drive me crazy…no one can talk anymore!!! AND YOU ARE SMART – YOU WILL ALWAYS BE SMART!

  • 8. What The “Hip” Kids Do… « Roots and Rings  |  June 10, 2009 at 11:55 am

    […] I am too old for my age. I’ve had plenty of posts about being old… see here or here or here or here or here… (there are more, but I’ll stop) so I’m not going to prove to you […]

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