My name is Katie, and I’m a nerdy girl.
I own more books than I have room to hold on my bookshelves, and the ones on the shelves are organized by genre and then alphabetically by author’s last name. I have playlists on my iPod inspired by my favorite movies, TV shows, and fictional characters. I write notes in the margins of every book I read, carefully analyzing (some might say overanalyzing) each sentence. I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 four times within the first week it was in theaters. I have a charming habit of crying over things that happen to fictional characters more than I cry over things that happen to my friends.
Ten years ago – heck, five years ago – I would have never admitted those things to anyone. Being a nerd was something I was afraid of. I used to work hard to convince people that doing well in school didn’t automatically make me a nerd.
I’m not sure when my mindset changed, but I think it was somewhere between buying the Star Wars Character Encyclopedia and dressing up as Hermione Granger for the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
Being a nerdy girl is something to be proud of – not something to be ashamed of or something to be picked on for.
Being a nerd means that you care about things, and you aren’t afraid to show that you care. It means that you’re passionate about something – whether it’s books or movies, sports or fashion, technology or television. Being a nerd means you’re intelligent enough to become actively engaged with the world around you; it means you like to look deeper than the surface to appreciate and study the details that make up the things you love.
I can’t imagine how boring life must be for the non-nerds of the world.
Some of my happiest memories are nerdy memories: making friends at all of the midnight releases I’ve attended for my favorite film franchises, impassioned book club discussions about symbolism in the Harry Potter series, parties for television premieres and finales, pretending to be Star Wars characters with my cousins when I was a little girl (for the record, I was always Princess Leia)…
Someday, I’ll hopefully have a daughter of my own, and I will pray with everything in me that she grows up to be a nerdy girl. I’ll pray that she finds things to be enthusiastic and passionate about, things that inspire her to look at the world around her in a different way – a brighter, clearer way. I’ll pray that she finds a book, a TV show, a band, or a team that makes her think, makes her feel, and makes her care. Because nothing would make me prouder than raising a young woman who isn’t afraid to love something with her whole heart – even if that something is “just a TV show” or “just a character from a book.”
The world is becoming a better place for nerds. We’re a little more accepted, a little less ridiculed. And I hope that trend continues because I can’t imagine a better, more fulfilling life than the life of a nerdy girl.