The Day I Realized I Was a Nerd

Growing up, I was never really lacking in friends.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was popular, but I was known well enough to win both my 6th and 8th grade presidential elections. (Maybe that should’ve been my “nerd” tip off.)  So although it was intimidating going away to a college where I’d know not a single person, I wasn’t all too surprised when I became a part of a group within my first few days at La Verne.

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The person I attribute to holding the whole group together was David*.  Poor David was 18 years old, but looked like a 35 year old man.  His brown hair was clean cut, combed, and parted on the side.  He had a deep voice that boomed with self-confidence, and his stride was that of a man on a mission.  His pants were tapered and flooded the tiniest bit over his almost high-top-like black tennis shoes.  And to top it all off, he only listened to Jazz.

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David introduced me to a few guys from his hall.  First, Sam: a tall, overweight kid, who kind of leaned over in a hunchback fashion and had a squinted look to his face.  He was a quiet kid, but when he spoke, his lispy, soft voice didn’t seem to match his body type.  The other guy, Tommy, was an average sized guy who had a Native American look to him; although that could be contributed to the touristy t-shirts he would wear that depicted rattlesnakes from Arizona and coyotes from New Mexico.

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I, in turn, introduced the group to a couple of girls I’d met.  June, my dorm roommate was the first person I brought around.   She was the tiniest Vietnamese girl I had ever laid eyes on.  She wasn’t born in America and had a very Asian style to her; noticeably, her bowl cut hair.  And if you think I’m quiet, then you’ve never met June.  She usually answered questions in one-word responses.  When she would talk, I was just so amazed and focused on hearing her crackly voice that it was almost impossible to pay attention to what she was saying.  My other friend, Amy, was a tall, broad, girl from the backcountry of Montana and clearly looked it.  Her thin blonde hair lay long and straggly, and no matter what she wore, Teva’s were stuck to her feet.

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Now I wasn’t a cookie cutter La Verne girl either.  I hid my petite figure under loose fitting t-shirts and non form-flattering jeans.  If I wore any make-up at all, it was a quick brush of light blue eye shadow and mascara.  To top off my plain look, I had long, thick, wavy dirty blonde hair that knew nothing of the benefits of mousse.  I combed out those waves every single day to produce a large mass of frizzy goodness falling in one even layer down my back.

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Sitting in the dining hall with my friends one day, I glanced around at the other tables.  There were the football jocks, the girls dressed for clubbing, the stoners, etc.  Then I looked around at the faces of my table.  That’s when the realization hit me: Oh my god!  I’m sitting at the nerd table!  I’m a nerd!

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And you know what?  I was then, I am now, and I’m damn proud of it!

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*Names have been changed to spare the feelings of friends who may not have had the same realization as me.