The Nerd

High school is full of cliques and stereotypes that dictate who is in, and who is out. Jocks, cheerleaders, student government: in. Chess club, tech club, any kind of club: out. The problem for the “out” crowd – the dignified nerds – is that people do not look past their dorky exterior.

Many people hear “nerd” and instantly think short kids, nasally voices, pants pulled up high, and taped glasses. The truth is that nerds come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Here, I have classified some of the more prevalent nerd types for you so that you can better understand them. Hold on, my team is about to win. Caffeine in hand and mic ready for action, these video gamers are some of the most obnoxious nerds.

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Though they have no problem putting down other gamers for how much time they spend playing games, they would never admit that they, themselves, are nerdy. By hiding behind controllers and television screens, gamers are able to scream and complain about “n00b tubers,” the players who use rocket launchers for easy kills, without anyone knowing who they are. However, they then proceed to equip one of their own rockets, achieving a guaranteed headshot to win the game. The knowledge that no real harm can be done to them due to their anonymity leads the nicest gamers to turn arrogant and rude. The ability to use profanity and put down strangers, however, is an acquired skill.

Each video gamer believes that he is cooler than every other video game nerd. So what if he hasn’t showered in a week and has eaten cold pizza for every meal? His girlfriend? Oh don’t worry, she understands that he promised the guys he would be online. If there is a midnight release for a new game, do not even bother asking this nerd – for at least the next week – if he wants to hang out. This one time at band camp… The band geeks are a special kind of nerd, and by far some of the easiest to pick out in a crowd. They travel in a pack, each person sporting a band shirt and sneakers.

Other than by their clothing, an easy way to determine if the students around you in class are band nerds is to watch their hands. Are they tapping on the desk? Are their feet keeping a beat? Yes, that annoying, repetitive noise you hear is one of the clearest signs. To most it is a distraction, but to them it is only second nature. Band kids are also known for considering themselves a giant family, and sharing millions of inside jokes from the hours spent at practice. They are found on school grounds practicing while everyone else is at home eating dinner, and they stay out on the field until dark, filling the air with the sound of instruments.

The truth is, band geeks have been ridiculed for ages; however, today they stand high on the social ladder at many schools. By some chance, these nerds have managed to climb from “geeks” to “fabulous.” Want me to reboot your hard drive? The technology-savvy nerd is one of the most commonly stereotyped. These nerds will often be seen wearing cargo pants with pockets large enough to hold all their different devices: calculator and a Playstation Portable in one pocket, MP3 and a cell phone in the other. On the outside, a multi-functional, waterproof watch is worn on the wrist, and a laser pointer pen is fitted nicely in the shirt pocket.

When not in school, tech geeks are known for participating in activities such as robot wars with the contraptions that they have spent half of their life preparing and perfecting for battle; or, easily hacking their way into a database just to prove to their friends that they can – as if their friends were really interested. If your computer ever crashes, or you need to hack into your ex-boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s Facebook account, the tech geek is the one to turn to. …*cough*…

Oh the quiet nerd, isn’t he cute? He may be wearing a sweater vest or hiding himself in an oversized hoodie, but one thing is for sure: he never speaks. Social interaction is avoided at all costs and eye contact is incredibly awkward. Despite the fact that ice breaker activities are created for such kids, it is the quiet ones who detest them the most. Though it may be a hidden quality, the silent kids are likely to be the smartest kids. With no distractions like talking to friends or late night parties, paying attention in class becomes simple. They probably always know the answer, but who can tell since they never volunteer to speak? I have my own personal library.

The bibliophiles are most often seen with a new book under their nose every week. Laughing out loud at each of the funny parts and filling the book’s pages with sticky notes to mark “Oh, that’s a good quote” moments, the book nerd can not pull themselves away from a well-constructed story. Unlike the video gamers who stand in line for the latest game, the book lovers will be spotted at a midnight release for the next book in their favorite series. As soon as their eyes meet the words on the first page, they are in the zone, the world freezes, and the characters come to life. To prevent the disruption of such focus, their cell phone is turned off, laptop shut, and bedroom door locked.

While other people, even other nerds, may find this dedication preposterous, it is only natural behavior for the book nerd. High school will always be categorized by different groups, full of a variety of people, who all interact with others in their own way. What is important is to not look at the clique as a being filled with a bunch of clones, but as a group uniquely created because of the individuals who bring their own quirks to it. Contrary to popular belief, nerds are not programmed on a computer, saved to a server, and printed out in bulk copies. In reality, each nerd is singly designed with different pixels, attributes, and resolutions (it is quite the elaborate process).