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Being a nerd

Samantha Castaneda | Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Today, the word “nerd” has negative connotations, oftentimes associated with being anti-social and constantly completing homework. Sometimes I hear students call each other nerds in an endearing way for passing a tough biology test. I also notice students teasing each other for leaving a football game early to finish their essay due the following week.
Webster’s Dictionary defines a nerd as an individual who is “intelligent but single-minded, obsessed with a certain hobby or pursuit.”
Dr. Seuss, a well-known children’s book author, coined the word “nerd” when describing a character in his book “If I Ran the Zoo.” Today, the word is used to describe a studious person with giant glasses, happily studying his or her book of gadgets.
I do not think being a nerd is, by definition, being “single-minded.” I think it is more about being dedicated to learning from multiple sources, such as classes and newspapers.
Being a nerd is no easy task. One is bombarded with multiple exams, papers and responsibilities every single school day. A person must make time to complete assignments while marking in her planner time to think about her passions and find a way to incorporate those passions into possible goals.
Even though I struggle with academics at times, I find myself completing homework a few days before the due date. I make time to learn the material in my classes in depth, and I scribble questions that I will ask my professors. Some of my friends, on the other hand, cram for their math exams the night before or complete their homework during class.
Time management is essential for completing assignments and learning material, but a lot of the time students forget to become dedicated in their studies by finding a connection to their learning in their lives.
I often think to myself after completing a written reflection or a creative writing piece, “How will learning this material help me to become a better younger sister?” or, “How will reading this book in depth help me to become a better writer?” Questioning one’s learning and homework assignments may help the person become a brighter “nerd” and find his or her direction in life.
Being a nerd does not mean having one area of focus, but rather, having multiple interests in various disciplines. I am focused on writing diverse pieces, such as poetry and fiction, and I have an interest in learning concepts in biology and physics.
It is important to realize that nerds are not simply a candy or a Dr. Seuss creation. They are students that are passionate about finding success through learning – even if they don’t wear giant reading glasses when completing school work.