Search
Close this search box.

Charlotte’s ‘magic feather’

Do you sometimes feel that you’re a bit different from those around you but can’t quite figure out why? Charlotte McHale-Williams can relate. She shares her experiences of feeling “a bit odd” at school and at work, and how everything just fell into place after taking the Mensa Supervised IQ Test and becoming a member. 

I’ve been a member of Mensa for two years. I took the test after having a chat with my boyfriend – who is now my husband – about what he calls my “busy head”! He commented on how much more quickly I seem to think (his words) than anyone else he knew.  

This led to me opening up about my experiences at school and how I often felt frustrated at work when people weren’t seeing what, to me, seemed obvious. I’d always just assumed I was weird and a little impatient. I took the test in the hope it would offer some explanation as to why I had always felt a bit odd.  

My experience of taking the test was surprising. I took it in Manchester and was struck by the diversity of people taking it. All different ages, genders, ethnicities. I was also surprised by how relaxed I felt; I’ve never had particularly good academic results but, as soon as I started Section 1 of the test, I thought “this makes absolute sense” and relaxed right into it. 

 ‘Was it Socrates who said to know thyself is the beginning of all wisdom? Well, he wasn’t wrong’ 

I had no expectations of becoming a Mensa member because I didn’t consider the prospect of it happening. The only thing I knew was that Carol Vorderman had been a member and is excellent at maths. My maths skills could be described as adequate at best! Being a member has boosted my self-belief hugely. Was it Socrates who said, “to know thyself is the beginning of all wisdom?” Well, he wasn’t wrong. 

Since becoming a Mensa member, many aspects of my life have changed. From a very young age I was riddled with anxiety, and I was bullied incessantly during high school. I was so concerned with it, in fact, that it left no room for concentration in class, and I gained average GCSEs, barely enough A-levels and dropped out of university after what can only be described as a breakdown.  

After seeking help for my anxiety and depression, I used my 20s and early 30s to work up the ladder in my career. I gained a reputation for being hardworking and intelligent, but by my mid-30s this progression had plateaued. And I never forgave myself for not achieving a degree. 

After joining Mensa this all changed. My self-confidence boosted, I enrolled in the Open University and am now in the second year of a law degree, achieving assessment averages of around 90%. No one is more surprised by this than me. I’ve started two new jobs since joining Mensa, both with increasing seniority and rewards. I also recently married my very encouraging husband! I liken my Mensa membership to Dumbo’s magic feather; he could fly without it; he just didn’t know he could.  

Aside from my full-time job as a Learning and Development Partner at a marketing agency, and my degree (also full-time), I love music. I’m learning piano and working through my grades (Grade 3 so far!). I also love any sort of quiz, so the Mind Games section of our membership magazine IQ is my favourite. In fact, if anyone needs an extra member for their pub quiz team in the Derbyshire area, let me know! 

Charlotte’s ‘magic feather’

Do you sometimes feel that you’re a bit different from those around you but can’t quite figure out why? Charlotte McHale-Williams can relate. She shares her experiences of feeling “a bit odd” at school and at work, and how everything just fell into place after taking the Mensa Supervised IQ Test and becoming a member. 

I’ve been a member of Mensa for two years. I took the test after having a chat with my boyfriend – who is now my husband – about what he calls my “busy head”! He commented on how much more quickly I seem to think (his words) than anyone else he knew.  

This led to me opening up about my experiences at school and how I often felt frustrated at work when people weren’t seeing what, to me, seemed obvious. I’d always just assumed I was weird and a little impatient. I took the test in the hope it would offer some explanation as to why I had always felt a bit odd.  

My experience of taking the test was surprising. I took it in Manchester and was struck by the diversity of people taking it. All different ages, genders, ethnicities. I was also surprised by how relaxed I felt; I’ve never had particularly good academic results but, as soon as I started Section 1 of the test, I thought “this makes absolute sense” and relaxed right into it. 

 ‘Was it Socrates who said to know thyself is the beginning of all wisdom? Well, he wasn’t wrong’ 

I had no expectations of becoming a Mensa member because I didn’t consider the prospect of it happening. The only thing I knew was that Carol Vorderman had been a member and is excellent at maths. My maths skills could be described as adequate at best! Being a member has boosted my self-belief hugely. Was it Socrates who said, “to know thyself is the beginning of all wisdom?” Well, he wasn’t wrong. 

Since becoming a Mensa member, many aspects of my life have changed. From a very young age I was riddled with anxiety, and I was bullied incessantly during high school. I was so concerned with it, in fact, that it left no room for concentration in class, and I gained average GCSEs, barely enough A-levels and dropped out of university after what can only be described as a breakdown.  

After seeking help for my anxiety and depression, I used my 20s and early 30s to work up the ladder in my career. I gained a reputation for being hardworking and intelligent, but by my mid-30s this progression had plateaued. And I never forgave myself for not achieving a degree. 

After joining Mensa this all changed. My self-confidence boosted, I enrolled in the Open University and am now in the second year of a law degree, achieving assessment averages of around 90%. No one is more surprised by this than me. I’ve started two new jobs since joining Mensa, both with increasing seniority and rewards. I also recently married my very encouraging husband! I liken my Mensa membership to Dumbo’s magic feather; he could fly without it; he just didn’t know he could.  

Aside from my full-time job as a Learning and Development Partner at a marketing agency, and my degree (also full-time), I love music. I’m learning piano and working through my grades (Grade 3 so far!). I also love any sort of quiz, so the Mind Games section of our membership magazine IQ is my favourite. In fact, if anyone needs an extra member for their pub quiz team in the Derbyshire area, let me know! 

Related Resources

Got What it Takes

Take the Mensa IQ Test to see if you have what it takes to join the world’s highest IQ society.

Share this online