The world is full of stereotypes. Look around and you will find them without much help. A popular one that everyone knows about would be the stereotype of "Nerd."

Wikipedia (the unreliable supplier of information that I inexplicably rush to like an antelope to a piranha infested water hole.) describes nerds as thus:

"Nerd is a derogatory slang term for an intellectual but socially-impaired, perhaps obsessive person who spends inordinate amounts of time on unpopular, obscure, or highly technical pursuits, or relating to topics of fiction or fantasy, to the exclusion of more mainstream activities."

Alright, first of all let's examine that:

Intellectual. I'm okay with this.

Socially impaired? Some may fit into that category, but the truth is, NOT ALL NERDS ARE SOCIALLY AWKWARD. Nerds are often actually wonderful and nice people.

To quote John Green---“Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan."

Now I am in no way insinuating that non-nerds are stupid or vapid, but what is wrong with valuing intelligence? What exactly is wrong with being enthusiastic about things that are actually cool? So what if I spend more time reading than your average teenager? So what if I'm mildly obsessed with classical literature, or Star Wars or the impossibility of the Necker Cube?

I believe that nerds exist to keep the ardor for things that actually matter alive. There are many reasons that being a nerd is okay. These are a few.

1. We have an excuse for having a huge vocabulary: One thing I hear often is "You use big words!" "I don't understand a word you're saying!" Oh. I'm sorry for having a vocabulary bigger than seven words. I find it darkly humorous that I am laughed at for not juxtaposing the word "swag" to every idiom that comes out of my mouth. Nerds take in a lot of information, and speaking from experience, we take pride and enjoyment in sharing it.

2. Nerds get awesome jobs: What separates the men (or women) from the boys (or girls) in the work force? INTELLIGENCE. If you were looking to hire a new employee, who would you be more likely to choose? Someone who understands quantum physics or someone who knows the lyrics to every Lil' Wayne song ever written?

3. Nerds are understanding: One of the side effects of being a nerd is an overall sense of comfort with who you are. As most of my nerd friends are, (and as i aspire to be), nerds are not very judgmental. If you're comfortable with yourself, you will most likely be comfortable with others.

4. Nerds are interesting people if you get to know them: Nerds know a lot of stuff. It's not that difficult to hold a conversation with a nerd once the right topic is found. Most nerds are just dying for a stimulating discussion anyhow.

So the next time you see a nerd, don't lump us into a false stereotype. Because when the chips are down, we're people too. To all my nerdfighters out there, don't change for anyone, because you are all great and I am proud to be one of you...

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Comment by Nate Pez on February 26, 2012 at 3:16pm

Which one of us are you?  ;)

Comment by Wendy Curry Zearfoss on February 26, 2012 at 9:56am

Well put! 

Comment by Lucìa on February 25, 2012 at 1:24pm

Hey, I really like what you are saying here. I remember when I use to think of nerds in the stereotype way, until I grow older and discovered I am a nerd too. lol. 

Anywas, lets be proud of being ourselves, lets be proud of being nerds!

Comment by Jared Loper on February 23, 2012 at 11:56pm

Boosh! Well said.

Comment by Cora Cullen on February 21, 2012 at 6:01pm

I'm a complete nerd, but my problem is, because I'm not wearing glasses, and dressing like a grandma, i get sterotyped into a completely different catagory, the dumb bimbo, i hate it. i wish i got sterotyped as nerd, then at least people wouldn't treat me like i'm stupid. NERD AND PROUD!!!!!! xx

Comment by Carissa Mahorney on February 20, 2012 at 4:22pm

What I love is how many different kind of nerds there are.  But in the end we all can look at each other and acknowledge just how awesome we all are, not because of something so flimsy as class or looks, but because we are the ones that actually see the world and do something about it (even if it is small ways).

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