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by Abigail Van Buren

Girl at Head of the Class Feels Socially Left Behind

DEAR ABBY: I am 13 years old and people say I'm cute. I have many girlfriends and a 4.0 GPA. I excel in sports and had the lead in the spring musical. So why do all my friends have boys coming up to them to talk -- and I don't? Every time I talk to boys, they act like they can't wait to get away from me. When I say, "Hi," they don't answer.

I've asked my best friends about this. They say I am "too smart," and it makes boys feel uncomfortable. I love school, and I confess I like doing my research projects on the night they are assigned, even though we're given two weeks to complete them.

At a slumber party a few nights ago, we played a game where we all predicted where we would be in 20 years. My friends told me I wouldn't be married. I would be a rocket scientist instead.

Should I concentrate less on school assignments and work on my social skills with boys? -- A GIRL WITH ONLY GIRLFRIENDS

DEAR GIRL: Absolutely not. You are the girl who has everything -- looks, brains, talent and coordination. The boys in your age group are behind you in their social development. Please be patient. Do not "dumb down" for anyone. In a year or two, those boys will not only catch up to you, but they'll be beating down your door -- and that will open up a whole new set of "problems." Trust me.