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by Abigail Van Buren

Gifted Student Feels Alone Among Her Average Friends

DEAR ABBY: I am 12 and in seventh grade. I have the highest GPA of my six close friends. Sometimes they call me "Freaky Genius Girl." When I make jokes, none of my friends comprehend what I'm saying.

Right now I am tutoring three of them and often get calls from the others asking me how to do the homework. I like my friends, but I wish I had someone other than my mother to have an intellectual conversation with. Should I find new pals or tone down my abilities when I'm with them? -- TOO SMART FOR FRIENDS?

DEAR TOO SMART?: Rather than try to "dumb yourself down" with your classmates, ask your mother to help you find a special interest group where you can interact with other girls and boys who are also intellectually advanced. Many school districts offer special classes for gifted students. In addition, explore activities where you can simply let yourself go and have some fun -- like sports, music, drama or art. You're a bright girl and you deserve some time to simply be carefree.