I know there have been threads before about Mensa, but I have a specific question. I have been considering joining. The problem I see is that there are a lot of pretentious assholes. However, as a high school students, I don’t really have very many peers (yes, I am as pretentious as they are). Anyway, my question is to members: is there a significant number of people in highschool, or is nearly everybody an adult?

I’m a junior in high school, and my parents are joining me up too. I guess I’m as scared of the pretentious assholes as you are.

I once worked with a guy who proclaimed himself too smart for Mensa. I laughed with him, not at him. No, really, I did.

And I work with a guy who’s a charter member of Densa.

I,ve seen a lot of ads for joining Mensa and although I found the “if you can solve these puzzels you could be smart enough to join” questions pretty simple I have always been repulsed by the idea of joining.

I mean come on it’s a bit like that club you can only join if you have a big dick.

Athough I admit I have no real idea about the kind of people who join Mensa, but any one who wants to hang around with other people because of their IQ rather than if they are nice, fun or kind seems kind of shallow. I can get, for example, clubs for very tall people or very short people who can find it difficult to socialize normally within the normal population but smart people?

Could any one actually enighten me on what is the real pupose of Mensa. Do you just hang around and back slap each other on your IQ or is their some higher pupose.

For me Mensa people are like the one’s who feel the need to constantly tell you their dick size. Why oh why would you join? Would you join an organization called BDA (Big Dicks of America), if you could. Sure you have the right equipment for it, but why join an organization that just gives you the right to brag about your dick size.

Yup it’s basically a club for people to go HA! I’m smarter than you are… ya know crap like that. Point is joining some club won’t make you smarter. Should you join Mensa? Yeah I guess if you need an ego boost. I find myself not joining simply because of all the crap I’ve read about them as a group in hole. Seems like a large majority are arseholes. If your a smart kid you shouldn’t really have a reason to join I mean hell why do you need them? No real reason you don’t get much of anything by joining them except saying that you are a member. Skip that and do something more constructive with your time.

Mensa in spanish means “Dumb Girl”.

Anyone I’ve known in Mensa has tended to be, if not entirely arseholish, definitely rather strange. (And I fear certain family members are going to discover these boards shortly, so enough of that:) )

I doubt very much that they’d want me in (number puzzles? bah!) so bear in mind that my opinion could be biased, of course. And I’m trying not to be, really.

They do have sub-groups for different interests, so it shouldn’t be impossible to find people of your own age group.

Finally, I suppose you could join to see how you feel about them, and you need not stay if you choose not to. It might be the only way to establish your own opinion of them.

All I know is that, historically, those who mention that they are members of Mensa rarely do well on Jeopardy. I think that says a lot.

Dude, you’re right! Heh, it would be funny if someone else opened up a club called “Menso” or “Tonto”.

I’m thinking of joining the mensa alzheimer’s club. Or is it alzheimer’s with mensa club?
Someone else feeds you.
Someone else wipes your ass.(I never did like doing that.)
And you get to talk like Homer’s dad,saying things like,(Hey, people, remember when we were really, really…SNORE.

I’ve been to a Mensa meeting/gathering (or was it a whole weekend? I can’t actually remember). I was the ‘date’ (smart enough, but why join when you can check them out without joining?). My date let his membership lapse after this event, too.

My opinion: Mensa is 1) a social group for people whose social skills are not high enough to meet people in other ways, and 2) a group for people who don’t WANT to have conversations on non-technical subjects, and 3) a group where you actually CAN have a conversation on a highly technical subject and have people understand what the hell you are talking about.

Nerds, mostly. Okay, nerds account for about 85% of the people at that event. There were a few geeks, some otherwise non-nerds, and some definitely cool people. But it was not worth wading through the nerds to get to the cool people. (Geeks being smart people with high-level technical knowledge of some sort AND social skills, Nerds being smart technically-knowledgable people without social skills… you know, the kind who never notice that your eyes glazed over, and who have nothing else to talk about other than things they know a lot about?)

Mensa is useful if you have no social skills and don’t think you’ll learn any soon, because you can hang out with people who don’t mind that at all. It is also fine for cooler/geekier people who want to get into a really intense technical discussion now and then (these are the people who don’t usually announce that they are Mensa members). You might even get lucky, and land a (relative) babe who is obsessed with 12th-century Italian looming techniques… you ARE interested in fabrics - AHEM, TEXTILES - right? (I hope so, because that is all you’ll ever be able to ‘discuss’, and by the way, discussion involves her telling you all the things she knows that you don’t…).

Okay, I did have a few decent conversations, a lot of leers (don’t wear anything sexy to these things), more hugs than any other group I have EVER been in (I wore a green dot on my nametag, meaning hugs were okay… quick, hug the woman in the hot dress!), and a few offers to dump my handsome-babe-king-geek and run off to the hotel room of they-not-handsome-semi-nerds for a quickie (or some group groping, depending on who was asking). Much ‘action’ at some of these things, apparently.

The guy who suggested we join (or at least give it a try) is still a friend, still cool, still someone I’ll spend time with any day, and still in Mensa. I don’t think I’ll ever bother. Once was enough. :stuck_out_tongue:

Your results may vary - I suspect that each sub-group has its own flavor and style.

oh, and nearly everyone at THIS event was an adult - but I think there are also events for younger people.

Anyone who thinks about joining MENSA should go out and buy one of their QUIZ books. It’s a lot of fun. My mother and I found at least a dozen errors in the one I bought.

Hey! All of you! This is my Mom your talking about.

And as far as I know she is not interested in convincing anyone she has a big dick. And she does have social skills.

She joined after she got divorced- when she was looking for some people to hang out with, people who wouldn’t look at her blankly if she mentioned…well lot of thing, lets just say people who wouldn’t look at her blankly.And while she did meet a few nerds (and, regretably, dated a few) she also met some interesting people.

And my impression, having attended a few events with her, is that Mensan’s are weird and obnoxious and opinionated. And therefore hanging out with them is…well, kind of like hanging out here.

At none of the meeting I attended did anyone bring up a puzzle. Or a word game.

To actually address the OP- Hmmm…everybody I knew was always older than me. But there must be younger members. I think you could find a crowd you could hang out with. There are a lot of different people. Like I said, despite what people have posted, it’s a lot like here.

I see a lot of people are going on about the idea that Mensa is “elitist”. It is no more elitist than any other organization in the world. In fact, there are many which are much more elitist.

The sole requirement to join Mensa is to score in the top 2% of a standardized IQ test. That’s it. You pay your $49 a year and you’re in. No one forces you to attend anything. If you want to pay your $49 a year and do nothing, you can - that’s your own prerogative. You can do things in the local group - everyone in Mensa is equal regardless of age, gender, ethnic background, political leanings, or financial status.

Some groups have monthly business meetings which are usually accompanied by a “talk” on some subject either by a fellow Mensan or an invited speaker. Topics can range from Gifted Children’s programs to Zoo maintenance to anything else. Most meetings are socially oriented and seem to include a lot of food and a lot of good conversation.

Some members do not attend any meetings in the local group. Instead they choose to do the RG/AG scene. An RG or Regional Gathering is a small convention, usually filled with lots of activities from a costumed ball to Jello diving. A particular group of Mensans, called Hell’s Mensans, are the party group. Each successful RG has a hospitality suite which is filled with all kinds of food. Some have a second one dedicated to chocolate (which I think might be a new food group grinz). There will be a game room where you can go 24 hours a day during the RG to play any of the games that might be there. An AG is the Annual Gathering which is like an RG only much bigger and lasts usually a week. At some RGs and the AG, you will usually find big name speakers - some in Mensa, some not.

Some people choose to use the SIG part of Mensa - a SIG is a Special Interest Group. There are many to choose from. If you can’t find a subject to interest you, you are welcome to start one. Most SIGs have a newsletter which comes out once a month or once every other month.

While most members are adults, and most of them tend to be 30+, there is a growing number of young people in the group. Depending on the local group you join, there may or may not be a Gifted Children’s coordinator. It is one of the very few organizations where a child of 6 is equal to a 75 year old in status. (While adults can’t deal with this, the 6 year old member has the same rights as the 75 year old member.)

I have been in Mensa since 1985. During that time, I have been area coordinator for my local group, Membership Officer, President of the chapter (once before for 4 years and currently for 2 years), and have been the local group newsletter editor for the past 4+ years. I chair the MERF (Mensa Education and Research Foundation) annual scholarship contest (which is open to anyone who is American and accepted into a post secondary school). I have been teased about my Mensa membership by non members, mostly because they don’t know about Mensa.

Mensa is not a “think tank”. We do not talk about Quantum Theory at meetings. We are just like anyone else - for that matter, since 1 in 50 people can qualify for Mensa, statistically speaking, there are probably a lot who qualify here. We have doctors and teachers… but we also have high school drop outs and unemployed people in the group. The only tie we all have is that we have an IQ in the top 2 percentile.

Sorry this is so long - but there are too many misconceptions about what Mensa is. I hoped to clear it up.

Neglected to mention… (rereading is useful… late, but useful)

The vast majority at that event were perfectly nice people. Just, a lot of social skills were lacking, which made things occasionally awkward and/or unpleasant for me. I like a good conversation, on a good topic. At that event (clearly a regional gathering, per DebiJ’s post), well, I experienced enough awkward/graceless/clutzy moments in high school, thanks, I didn’t need to go back. Plenty of topics, not much communications skill, let alone finesse.

I didn’t see it as elitist any more than a hiking club is elitist.

And very like here, in some ways, indeed. The communications skills here are higher, on average, IMHO.

For those of you who think that we talk about our IQ at a mensa meeting… well in the past 15 years I’ve been in there, I have heard mention of a member’s IQ only once during a meeting. It was in a conversation with a member who, after boxing for several years, retook the test just to see if there was a difference in his score. He found out he went up 10 points! Not one person I know in Mensa has bragged about their IQ.

The Mighty Tiki God: Point is joining some club won’t make you smarter. This is true, however, joining a History club doesn’t make you a History expert, nor does a cooking club make you into a gourmet chef just by joining. Like anything else, it’s what you put into it. You said “Skip that and do something more constructive with your time.” Just what is more constructive than talking with someone who has gone thru the same feelings as you, when you go to school and are labeled “nerd” because you maintained an A average? I know of kids who deliberately “threw” tests to keep their grades average.

Hedra: I’m sorry your experience at a meeting was bad. But just like anything else, don’t judge everyone in the organization by a few jerks. You don’t judge all men because one date was a jerk, do you? Like other people, some of us have poor social skills, but most of us don’t. As for non-technical conversations - the most technical conversation that I have ever heard in my local group was when someone described her cataract surgery. Most of our conversations range around the NBA, NFL, politics, food, and jokes. The reason you had all the hugs is because there is a “hugging” SIG who think that everyone needs to be hugged. If you don’t like it, you tell them no.

You all seem to think that Mensa is a bad place to hang out. I guess no one told Jean Auel, Alan Rankin, Issac Asimov, F. Lee Bailey, Handsome Henry Milligan, Richard Lederer, or any of the other “celebs” who have, thru the years, joined Mensa.

I tested and joined Mensa three years ago. Since then I have been to only one event (last year’s Game testing thing in Atlanta). For the most part, everybody I met there was very friendly and open, for which a wallflower like myself is grateful.
Yes, some of them were socially retarded, some were geeks, and one guy amazed me that he was proud of the fact that he hadn’t seen a movie in ten years.
Others were friendly, professional, humorous, a pleasure to talk to, and just plain interesting.

It is kinda’ like going to the mall, except the food is better.

(P.S. If you ever read their publication, and specifically, some of the letters to the editor, THEN you see who the pretentious pricks are… but that is no different than the dickwads who take up two car spaces at the mall)