Q: I am a nerd. Every single person I see looks at me and laughs. I’m fourteen, five feet, two inches tall, weigh ninety-two pounds, wear thick glasses and braces, am in the ninth grade, and try to make bad grades so everyone won’t think I’m a nerd.
All the good-looking girls hate me and get guys to scare me so bad that I cry, and then everyone laughs. Our cafeteria is really crowded, but not a single person has ever sat with me. When my parents ask me how school is going, I just can’t let them know what a failure I am.
A: Who determines whether or not you are a nerd? I think • of many friends who appear to be «nerds»—complete with glasses and braces and undesirable bodies—and yet some of them are my heroes. At times I find myself wishing I could be them! Or at least I wish I could do what they do, be it singing, writing, playing baseball, or whatever.
What makes the difference? They capitalize on the talents they have. Refusing to listen to what others call them, they rise above their shortcomings and do whatever it is that they do best. I am sure you have talents that enable you to do some things better than any of your classmates. Even if your talent is being a goofy nerd, do it well and others will admire you. You can be a whiner and complain about your situation, or you can be a winner and make the most of what you have. A winner or a whiner —I say be a winner. It’s up to you. Karl Haffner