Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Nerds No Longer Exist; Losers Remain
College is a time for many changes. It is a formative experience that allows one to not only grow mentally, but spiritually as well. So it made sense when former Drexel Adjunct Professor Timothy Wheaton wrote a formal paper declaring that nerds do not exist in colleges today.
“I’m not saying that nerds don’t go to college,” explained Wheaton, “I’m simply conjecturing that once they enter the college world, society needs them, and no longer classifies them as ‘nerds’ per se.”
In Wheaton’s article, entitled “The Nerd: Society’s Butterfly,” he attempts to explain that while nerds are abundant in high school, they seem to disappear entirely by second semester freshmen year of college. Wheaton’s argument rests on his theory that the social dreg of the high school world consists of nerds and losers. When nerds enter college they can either excel at the skills that made them an outcast, or they become a full-fledged loser.
“It’s amazing how timeless losers are,” marvels Wheaton, “You can be a loser from the age of six until the day you die. You can start a loser and shape up, or you can become a loser after being on top of the world. It knows no age, race, or socioeconomic boundaries.”
Nerds are a horse of a different color though. There aren’t really a significant amount of black nerds. Additionally, the skills that make a white kid a nerd (Math, Science, Pokemon) make an Asian kid just seem all the more Asian. You can’t be an old nerd, it’s literally impossible. You’re just old.”
So what does this mean for nerds around the country? Though it might seem nice to lose a degrading label like “Nerd”, you can’t move seamlessly from a nerd to normal member of society.
“Nerds should be happy about this, but they should know life doesn’t get better that fast,” said Wheaton. “They can expect to spend the first two or three years being used for their unique skill by kids that are obviously much cooler. The utilitarian purpose they serve lifts off the mantle of nerd, but the yoke of loser can be put upon them even more easily if they don’t perform up to expectations.”
Wheaton’s article clarifies that if they want to ensure a smooth transition, their nerdy skill should be as marketable as they can make it. Nerds who can fix computers, do complex math equations, or are handy with stereo and cable systems are going to see high gains in popularity and female contact. Nerds who collect comic books, build model trains, or play Magic the card game won’t see much change after high school except the label hanging over them.
“If nerds can take anything from this theory, it’s a measure of hope for the future,” said Wheaton. “If there is a lesson to be learned for all the cool kids out there, it’s that they should do their best to learn the distinguishing factors between nerds and losers. Losers are characterized by WWE and Nascar shirts, poorly developed facial hair, a complete lack of direction, and love for Budweiser. Quality nerds can be spotted by their trademark pre-pubescent body, when they constantly tuck in shirts that don’t need to be tucked in, and if they use words like “ubiquitous” in casual conversation.”