Nerd: a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious.

To the average teenager, a nerd is probably someone who shuffles around school hallways clutching armfuls of physics books, and whose glasses are constantly sliding down their nose. Typically a not-very-cool, unpopular person who tries to avoid social interactions at all costs.

My friends seem to have no problem calling me a nerd from time to time, even though I don’t always fit that label. So having been labelled as a “nerd”, I would like to confess to you a few things.

Confession Number One: I secretly love algebra. I understand that algebra is kind of like a looming brick wall that no matter how many times you try to knock it down, it only seems to get taller. There seems to be endless different kinds of equations, all with completing varying ways to solve them. And here’s the thing – I’m not actually that skilled at maths. It’s probably my weakest subject. However, for some completely unexplainable reason, I actually enjoy the process figuring out the solutions to terribly difficult questions. There’s something immensely satisfying about finding the answer. Even if x does equal 17 divided by 3.4.

Confession Number Two: I love music theory. Most people in my music class just turn and stare at me like I’m some sort of alien from Mars when I explain to them that I actually really enjoy learning music theory. I love the analytical process and understanding how different pieces of music are strung together in their own unique way. This definitely provokes them to say “Ugh, you’re such a nerd Darcy.”

Confession Number Three: Grammar. Don’t even get me started. When my peers write down “your” instead of “you’re” or “there” instead of “they’re” in the wrong context, I’m always the first to correct them. Correct grammar and sentence structure are very important for my mental wellbeing.

Confession Number Four: I’m already planning my university degree. I’m the only person I know of my age who seems completely infatuated by the idea of a future at university. My older brother started his tertiary study this year and is working on completing a law degree. Even though law doesn’t really seem hugely interesting to me, I’m still extremely jealous of everything he’s doing. He’s lapping up opportunities like a thirsty dog, opportunities that just don’t get presented to you at high school. I can’t wait until it’s my turn!

Confession Number Five: Now, even though these things might make me seem like quite the nerd and maybe makes me a little different from the rest of my peers, it doesn’t really bother me. “Nerd” is just a label that has been attached to you by people who don’t respect your individuality. Everyone is completely different, with their own set of quirks and strange personality traits. I encourage you to embrace your inner nerd because it makes you who you are.

Darcy Herrick is a student in Year 11 and loves music and science. She is a Game of Thrones fanatic and enjoys learning and exploring new things.

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