The Inner Life of the Nerd | Teen Ink

The Inner Life of the Nerd MAG

August 2, 2010
By Anonymous

My name is Sarah, and I am a nerd. I don't know when it happened, but sometime between my boobs growing lopsided, my skin running rampant with acne, and my hair going limp one day and never recovering, I decided that the scent of new books turned me on more than guys' cologne. And I guess one day, mathematical equations and calculators just started to be appealing. So here I am, a nerd.

Being a nerd's not all bad. You don't have to worry about which party to go to on Friday night 'cause you're not going to any of them. It doesn't take long to get ready in the morning 'cause there's nobody to impress. And, your future is basically laid out – college, cubical job where you prod at computer chips, and maybe a nerd husband if you're really lucky. Oh, and one more thing – you don't have to worry about pesky high school drama 'cause you don't have anyone to experience it with.

Okay, so maybe that doesn't sound great, but it's my life and it's what I know. The truth is, it won't change. I mean, think about it: if I weren't the nerd, who would be? The cheerleader? Please. The jock? Not likely. The emos? Ha. So, this life has already been chosen for me; it's predetermined and there's no exit sign. But I have always wondered what it would be like if fate had offered an alternative.

High school for me is like being in a glass bowl, actually a foggy glass bowl. The only things I see clearly are chalkboards and teachers. Everything else is hazy. I can make out the shapes of other students as they trudge through the halls, but I can never quite make sense of them. There is the blonde sucking her boyfriend's face. Everyone knows what she did last weekend. I want that. Not the boyfriend, the attention, or the hair – I want her confidence.

Then there's the Asian girl. Although she's bright, she's not a nerd. Being intelligent makes her well known and well liked. People know her parents would disown her if she got an A minus. She's well put together, hair tight and laces bowed neatly. The teachers adore her and no matter how much I study, I'll never know as much as she does. She's pretty much a shoe-in for any Ivy League school, and her parents are depending on that full-ride scholarship. I want that too. No, not the full ride or the smarts, but her poise. Her ability to be smart but look good doing it.

The emo artsy girl inspires me. She dresses in tutus and spiked necklaces. Nobody knows her real name, but they definitely know her. She doodles anime characters and song lyrics on her notebooks. Her back pack displays key chains and tattered ribbons. She's always with that boy and two other artsy emos. I want that. Not the key chains or the emo clan, but her creativity and dedication to her passion.

Then there's my favorite: the Converse girl. Her androgynous wardrobe gives her appeal to both sexes. The guys accept her as one of their own, and the girls fuss over how her shiny hair can look so good in a baseball cap. She drinks coffee out of a silver mug and has posters of Batman in her locker. She's a child at heart and a true chameleon, the poster child of laid back. I want that. Not the Converse, but her attitude. She doesn't care what tomorrow holds, because today's a good day anyway.

The only thing is, I'm not the confident blonde, the poised Asian girl, the creative emo, or the laidback Converse girl. I'm the nerd. I wear ill-fitting jeans and stained T-shirts. I eat lunch in the cafeteria, and I study for fun. But you know what? I'm okay with that. Because being a nerd means being myself. And that's what I want – to simply be me.

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This article has 14 comments.

on Jun. 10 2014 at 7:51 pm
vegetariangirl, Hamilton, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 92 comments

Favorite Quote:
Being normal is boring - Marilyn Monroe
You only live once -?
A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit -Richard Bach

You are an amazing writer!! Keep it up!!

The.YUUKI said...
on May. 13 2011 at 11:23 am

Nerds unite! Although, I'm not the same nerd in the article.  I wear frilly miniskirts, love anime, own a spiked necklace, and I do nothing but read. I am emo, punk, otaku, nerd, lolita...I am a nerd of the highest calibur, because, in addition to books and school, I am always doing something  unusual. And I love it. Because, afterall, what's the point of being normal when being weird is so much fun?

And getting exam exemptions for having a straight A average is awesome too...but my point is, there is nerd in all of us, we're just different types. Long live the nerds! <3

madisen8 said...
on Mar. 29 2011 at 3:02 pm

She was obviously trying to explain why the stereotypes, true or untrue, were not affecting how she feels about being "nerdy".

Maybe at her school, there are nerds and loose blondes. And maybe there are brilliant asians and laid back relaxers with Converse shoes.

However, steretypes or not, I really don't think she meant to be offensive or hurtful. She was only saying how she feels about herself.

Good job, I really enjoyed reading your article(:

on Feb. 24 2011 at 6:48 pm
Weightless2015 GOLD, Roselle, Illinois
17 articles 0 photos 55 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Dream with my eyes open, sleep when I'm dead, love who my heart's chosen, and conquer what lies ahead." -Ryan Follese (lead singer of Hot Chelle Rae)

^Agreed. I don't think you can label yourself as one person; squeeze yourself into one little box. Like you said, be yourself, but dont change things about yourself to fit the 'nerd' label, and don't label others. There's more than one side of every person.

on Dec. 30 2010 at 1:14 pm
IsobelFree DIAMOND, Hamilton, Other
71 articles 20 photos 296 comments

Favorite Quote:
"As long as there is open road, the familiar has the most formidable competitor." - Anonymous

Ok, you ask what you would be if not a nerd. A jock? A cheerleader? Do you have to use labels? Don't be any of those things! That "emo artsy girl?" That is just offensive. Stereotypes make me sick.

sarah12 said...
on Dec. 21 2010 at 4:00 pm

Dear ThatBlonde,

Thank you for your criticism and I would like to apologize if my article was in anyway offensive--it was meant to be quite the opposite actually. 

As you mentioned, this article represents only the attributes of the other girls that I was able to observes from the outside, which may not be the full picture of who they are.  However, this article was in no way meant to ridicule, it was meant to express the positive qualities of each girl--the qualities that I most admired and wished I, myself, possessed. 

Everyone has flaws, everyone will at times feel insecure, and everyone will want something they can't have.  What's important is that we are able to look past the limits of societies stereotypes and realize that a label is only skin deep. What’s important is that we love who we are.


ThatBlonde said...
on Dec. 21 2010 at 1:51 pm
While I find your outlook on Highschool to be pleasant, I do not find it accurate. From what I take from this article, you don't want to be judged or changed from your "nerdy" ways.  But throughout this article you are judging these other girls in your school. The "loose" blonde girl that you talk about, may be as smart as you are. The asian girl that is "naturaly" smart probably works as hard as you do. The "emo" artsy girl could be secretly insecure about herself. Maybe the Converse wearing tom-boy is having family troubles and doesn't know how to show her sorrow. In your article you only talk about how these girls seem on the outside, not how they feel on the inside which in my personal opion is the most important variable in creating someones personality. I am the "dumb blonde" from the outside. People look at my dyed hair and large chest and don't think "That is a respectful intelligent young women." I am not dumb. I am allowed to look however I want and people will judge me for it, I understand that. So when you pass down your schools hallway, take a second look at all the girls that you look up to. They may not be who you think they are.

on Dec. 11 2010 at 5:26 pm
soaringbug GOLD, San Francisco, California
17 articles 0 photos 9 comments
i wasn't interested at first, but then i read this in the mag, and... it was so worth it! ♥ awesome article. it's the kind that's fun, interesting, nice, and different to read.

.Boo. BRONZE said...
on Dec. 4 2010 at 4:20 pm
.Boo. BRONZE, Humboldt, Iowa
2 articles 1 photo 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
Judge a man not by the answers he knowsbut by the questions he asks.Voltaire
Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.WinstonChurchill
I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by makin me hate him.BookerWashington

don't listen to people like MIKE, sarah. dont ever change:)

on Dec. 2 2010 at 4:49 pm
emergingtalent SILVER, Riverton, Utah
5 articles 0 photos 33 comments

Favorite Quote:
Be who you are and say what you feel, Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter won't mind. -Dr. Seuss

How can you say that? This is exactly what this article is talking about! We need to stop judging people! I am so with you nerd sister! I feel the same!

on Nov. 26 2010 at 10:11 am
thebushhippie PLATINUM, Sandown, New Hampshire
24 articles 0 photos 49 comments

Favorite Quote:
Leave behind your own footprints! :0)

Awesome article! I feel the same way. I liked how you described the different people and their traits. I could totally picture them walking down a hallway.

on Nov. 25 2010 at 9:12 am
inksplatteredfingerz SILVER, Union, New Jersey
8 articles 4 photos 48 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Where I'm from, we believe all sorts of things that aren't true--we call it history."--the Wizard; Wicked

Nice article=) You have really good descriptions on everything from the other students, to the nerd, to the way she sees high school. (A foggy glass bowl? Genuis! I never would have thought of it like that, but you are absolutely right=)

JennyBabe said...
on Nov. 23 2010 at 9:29 pm
I Agree. Thats Really Me. I Like To Study But I Like To Do Good Too. So Im With Ya. Im A Nerd But I Love It

on Nov. 23 2010 at 6:58 pm
nolongerinuse SILVER, San Antonio, Texas
8 articles 0 photos 60 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.” - Kahlil Gibran

Excellent. I consider myself a nerd, probably because all my friends have labled me as such. I often wish to spend a week in the shoes of one of those other kids, from the popular blonde who's mean and allowed, to the sporty female jock best know for her volleyball skills. I'm glad you posted this.