I was going through my clothing and rooting out the items I will never again wear, and my Slytherin shirt ended up in the pile. That’s when I got to thinking. I may not be a nerd anymore. I certainly haven’t been viewed as one by society–my high school–in at least a few years. In fact, “cool” people have even expressed interest in being my friend (until they got to know me, that is). This all comes as a revelation because not only did I at one point fit the modern definition of “nerd” but also the antiquated one.
There are two definitions for “nerd” as given by the New Oxford American Dictionary. The first is
“a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious”.
“a single-minded expert in a particular technical field”
Six years ago, I would have fit both these definitions. In middle and elementary school, I stressed rules and never broke them with all the paranoia of a hamster on meth. I was exceedingly awkward, and hung around exceedingly awkward people. The dynamic bounced off of itself until I and my nerd friends had reached a new, supernova level of awkward.
Then I went through the contemporary nerd phase. That’s when I got aforementioned Slytherin shirt. I became obsessed with Doctor Who (Ten’s my favorite), and joined the ranks of Nerdfighteria. This decade is like the golden age of nerddom, what with British television being so easily accessible via the internet (I’m talking about you, Sherlock) and with the fast book-to-screen adaptations of young adult novels. Though no franchise will quite live up to Harry Potter.
The point is, I’ve gone through both phases of nerd and somehow didn’t notice when I no longer fit the bill. The last time I reread the Prisoner of Azkaban was at least two years ago, I haven’t seen an installment of Vlogbrothers in who knows how long, and I no longer read young adult post-civilization novels (because that is the setting of ALL of them).
And it’s actually kind of sad. While I’m happy to have left behind the first phase of nerd, the second was actually pretty comfortable and homey. I liked binge-watching series one and two of Sherlock over winter break. And it was kind of nice to know the plot whenever a YA franchise hit the big screen, because we all know how badly executed the movies are in comparison to the books. So it’s bittersweet.
But who knows, series eight of Doctor Who comes out in the fall. Maybe I’ll get sucked back in.