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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
And you know what? I was then, I am now, and I’m damn proud of it!
*Names have been changed to spare the feelings of friends who may not have had the same realization as me.