Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Why Being a Nerd Doesn't Suck

I was a senior in high school. Horribly scarred by my PE experiences from middle school, I avoided taking physical education my first three years. Then I realized I was fucked because I HAD to take PE to graduate...
But I wasn't going to do that... instead I went and talked to the athletic trainers--they let me videotape the football games and practices that season for a PE credit.
Ellison High's football program sucked.
It had sucked for years.

But then outta nowhere, this one year, we were actually doing good. The game that would qualify us for the playoffs, this Brazilian exchange student kicks a record breaking field goal. I'm videotaping the game from behind the field goal and am thoroughly surprised when the ball smacks me in the face.

& what's worse, there were other trainers videotaping the game from the top of the stadium who got the kick and my resulting injury on tape.

Monday, all the football players smiled when they saw me; I thought maybe it was my outfit. Nope, a JV player with a locker close to mine told me.

& then they played it at the football banquet.

I cannot sum up for you how much my high school experience sucked.

I could tell you like this: my high school experience sucked so much, that although I coulda gone anywhere in the state--I was top 10%, k?--I didn't apply to any schools my friends were going to. INCLUDING the school my best friend went to (and the school it turned out Mr. Flintstone went to) because I didn't want to be around anyone who would remember me from high school. Because more than anything, I desperately wanted to wash off that nerd stigma.

What I found at college was that I couldn't wash it off, BUT instead I met people who loved nerds and outta nowhere, being a nerd became the prerequisite to being cool. Early junior year, I broke my glasses. When I went to buy new ones, I chose the biggest, thickest frame glasses I could find--because if I had to wear glasses, dammit, I was going to wear GLASSES. Initially, people laughed when I wore them around campus. Then the hipster era ushered in & gigantic, no prescription lenses were EVERYWHERE; Hollywood, the clubs--EVERYWHERE.

& what I've found is that the nerds are the Most interesting people you'll ever meet. The nerds grow up to be successful, in some cases, they grow up to be stars. Sometimes, they become dream chasers--living in a van and following the summer.

The nerdiest, geekiest kid I  ever knew did more by the time he was 16 than I have done at 23. By 16, he'd already jump-started his own computer software program. Although he doesn't have a college diploma, he works at MY ALMAMATER UNIVERSITY in the business department.

So what I mean to do is say that being a nerd is incredible and enriching. Own it, even if it seems like hell in your pubescent years.

I hope this helps some of you, even just one of you. I wish I knew a really nerdy adult when I was a teen to tell me it'd be okay. :)

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