You might be smarter than a fifth grader, but you’re definitely not smarter than this kid.
Lydia Sebastian, a 12-year-old girl from the UK, has achieved the highest possible score on a Mensa entry test. Mensa is an international society for people with extremely high IQs that boasts membership from such brainiacs as Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein. By achieving the maximum score of 162 points on her test, Sebastian actually bested both Hawking and Einstein and is now among the top one percent of smartest people in the entire world.
Not only did Sebastian blow the test out of the water; she says it wasn’t even that difficult. “At first, I was really nervous,” she told The Guardian, “but once I got started it was much easier than I expected it to be and I relaxed.”
Sebastian is an only child and has shown academic promise since birth. She started talking at only six months old and has been playing the violin since age four. She says she begged her parents for an entire year to allow her to take the Mensa exam. They found practice tests online and told her to go for it when they saw how well she was doing, but even they were overwhelmed by her incredible success.
Surprisingly, Sebastian isn’t the only child genius to ace the test this year. Nicole Barr, age 12, and Aahil Jouher, age 10, also received perfect scores on their exams. The next step for all of these brainy kids is to take the second part of exam, which will result in an official invitation to join Mensa if they score within the top two percent. Currently there are about 1,500 Mensa members under the age of 18, with the youngest being only four years old. Four!
Are you suddenly feeling less accomplished? Because I sure am.
Most kids probably don’t even know what Mensa is and that’s kind of a shame because I can’t think of a better role model for them than someone like Lydia Sebastian. Is it possible for everyone to master musical instruments in toddlerhood and go on to be smarter than Albert Einstein? Probably not, but it’s not possible for them to be Taylor Swift either and we still give her plenty of idol worship.
We see pop stars and professional athletes dominate kids’ hero lists all the time. It’s fine to admire famous people, but wouldn’t it be awesome if we idolized these young geniuses just as much? A 12-year-old girl who can outsmart some of the world’s best and brightest is nothing to sniff at. She might not hold all the appeal of Miley Cryus or LeBron James, but she’s totally and completely worthy of being your kid’s new hero.
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