Coming Out Nerd

By Mackenzie, age 18, Michigan

Ever since the beginning of middle school, I've never exactly been able to fall into the "cool crowd." I think walking around wearing a store's name embossed across my chest is a waste of $30. I didn't know the difference between eyeliner and mascara until my junior year. The most I ever do with my hair is brush it.

That's not to say I didn't try to make my way into the cool crowd, because I did. It turned out, however, that sitting around obsessing about boys or celebrities, two of the most popular activities in middle school, always ended up bringing my nerdiness to light, not masking it. They wanted to talk about Brad Pitt or Cody Linley; all I cared about were the actors from Harry Potter and Wicked.

During freshman year, my past experiences made me terrified to tell people that I watched Star Trek: Enterprise every Monday night or wrote Harry Potter fan fiction in my spare time. I was largely timid, nervous, and had a really hard time making friends. I played in my school's marching band, but was embarrassed by it. I was a nerd in denial, and I hated every minute of it.

I don't know exactly when I decided that hiding my nerdiness was pointless and responsible for a lot of my self-esteem problems. Maybe it was when my best friend first read the Harry Potter series and fell in love with it. Or when I started hanging out with my nerdy group of guy friends. Or when I joined Plurk, a social networking site a lot like Twitter, where I made a ton of friends who are the biggest nerds I know. Whatever the case, I made the leap and never looked back.

Now, I'm about two months away from graduating from high school, and I'm so glad that I "came out nerd" before it was too late. I wear my nerdy t-shirts down the halls with pride. I post pictures from the wizard rock concerts and Harry Potter conventions I attend on my Facebook, with tags and all. My friend and I even recorded a parody of the song "I Kissed a Girl" called "I Kissed a Nerd" that has received over 10,000 views on YouTube.

This year especially, my nerdy activities have abounded, and any embarrassment I had about them is gone. I played flute in my school's marching, concert and jazz bands. I sang Spider Pig" with the school choir. I competed with the quiz bowl team. I spent 12 hours scouting other robots at a regional robotics competition and danced on the sidelines. I was in my school's production of Godspell and wore huge glasses. I was the managing editor for my school newspaper.

But beyond that, I've surrounded myself with people who get it and accept me for who I am, nerdy obsessions and all. My best friend and I spent the last three months of our lives watching the entirety of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in my basement. My friend Danny is currently working on catching all of the Pokemon in existence and loves playing Magic and World of Warcraft. Kris spends his free time making robots and could argue with you for hours about why Macs are better than PC's. Katrina writes historical fiction and is working her butt off to get into an Ivy League school. They're my inspiration to keep going and not to sweat it when a group of jocks laughs at me.

So please, if you're one of those nerds who is still in the closet, believe me when I tell you that it's worth it to come out. Don't be afraid to read your graphic novels in class or talk about anime in your Facebook status. Don that Star Wars t-shirt, young Padawan.

It may be rough at first. If you earn the scorn of the uneducated masses, don't let the Muggles get you down. Coming out here and now is the best way to make friends who will respect you for who you truly are.

Nerds unite! Live long and prosper.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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