5 reasons why being a dork gets better with age
Let’s face it. Adulthood is a double edged-sword. Yes, you have more freedom to do whatever you want, no one can tell you what to do and you get to watch as many R-rated movies as you want. However, with adulthood also comes really annoying things like responsibilities. You have to work so you can pay bills. You have to worry about health insurance, student loans and, for many, the dating world. All those things pretty much suck.
As kids, we think that being an adult will be so much better than being a kid. Then when we become adults, we realize just how stupid we were.
There is one exception to this general rule. Whereas being a dork/nerd/geek as a kid was an awful experience for most, being the adult version rocks. It’s one of the few examples where life satisfaction only increases with age.
Having been a big dork my entire life, classified to the sub genre of bookworm, I can attest that this is true. Dorky adulthood is the best thing to ever happen.
Don’t believe me? Here are five reasons why being an adult dork is awesome.
#5 Dorks are smarter than everyone else.
As a kid…
You were the one that would get excited about the science fair, do extra math problems because they were fun, and hang out in the library. Other students hated you because you’d either obliterate the grading curve or just make everyone else look bad by knowing the answer to every question.
In the realms of childhood and adolescence, being smart made you a target for ridicule, earning names like smartypants or bookworm. You couldn’t help it if you understood things faster than others or that you were intrigued by the material. The only friends you could have were equally smart and shunned students. And while the popular kids were off having parties or cruising in cool cars or whatever it is cool people do, you were at home reading novels in French or finishing calculus homework.
As an adult…
Turns out all that smartypants behavior was the best thing you could ever do. While your popular friend peers were struggling to get accepted to the local community college, you had offers from much better universities. While all of us dorks can’t get into Ivy League schools (though a good amount of us do), we still can get into good universities. And while the other students may struggle with the demands of college courses, this is something you’ve yearned for your entire life.
Not only do you graduate (something that only a bit over half of the people do, less than 30 percent at UVU), but graduate with honors, get advanced degrees and accept job offers at companies, and end up being appreciated and doing work you love.
Being smart opened a lot of doors – doors that were simply not available to others that thought being smart was uncool.
#4 Dorks run the world and are revered for it.
As a kid…
Us dorks were, by definition, not cool. It was the popular kids that ran for student government, got picked first for kickball and other activities and had no trouble finding partners for class projects. Dorks are loners, usually only traveling in packs of two or three. We live our lives unnoticed and unmentioned. We’re lucky if our teachers know our names. We don’t get put in charge of things because we don’t have the charm or good looks that the popular kids do. Essentially, we’re reduced to quiet and insecure nothings.
As an adult…
Ever hear of a guy named Steve Jobs? What about Bill Gates? Mark Zuckerberg? Al Gore? Steven Hawkings? Any of these ring a bell? While they may have been the last picked for kickball and never would have won a student council election in a million years, these guys came up with stuff that basically changed the world and the way we interact with it.
There are others that may not be a household name but made dorks everywhere proud. There is Peter Cashmore, who founded mashable.com in his small Scottish town at age 19. He’s now 27 and makes more money in a year than I’ll make my entire life. Satoru Iwata, current president and CEO of Nintendo, helped the company grow 41 percent in sales in his first year. Larry Page, who is the co-founder of a little thing called Google, Inc. I could go on and on listing powerful adult dorks. Let’s face it. Dorks run the world.
#3 Dorks unite and have a blast doing so.
As a kid…
You spend a lot of time on your own. Not being incredibly popular, you had your small group of friends who would find something to do on the weekends. You didn’t go to all those awesome parties. Maybe you didn’t go to all the dances (I, for one, didn’t ever get asked to Homecoming. And I went to Senior Ball on a blind date my best friend was willing to arrange for me). Our high school lives weren’t incredibly exciting.
As an adult…
When dorks go out to party, we party hard. Maybe it was all the isolation we endured growing up but when dorks decide to get together, it’s pretty epic. Every year there’s a little event called Comic Con. It’s a convention that features comic books, sci-fi fantasy entertainment, video games, television, web comics, horror and pop culture. It’s like the Oscars red carpet for dorks, but instead of tuxedos and ball gowns, people dress up like their favorite comic book character, TV/film character, video game character, etc. The costumes are sometimes so elaborate, it baffles the mind.
Other conventions exist as well, basically to get a bunch of like-minded dorks together so they can geek-out in a spirit of camaraderie. There are video game conventions, horror film conventions, steampunk conventions and of course Star Wars and Star Trek conventions. They can even get more specific, like the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival & Cthulhu Convention or the first ever Doctor Who Convention.
#2 Esoteric and random bits of information are not only useful but also pretty cool.
As a kid…
Along the same lines as being too smart to be cool, being a dork also comes with knowing a lot about things that other people think are weird. For some, it’s comic books. For others it’s physics. For me, it’s random movie trivia.
As a kid, when you’d try to share this information with anyone, your peers would look at you as if you were speaking in tongues and then promptly ignore you. If you shared it with your folks, they’d look at you puzzled, say, “That’s nice, dear” then exchange a look that essentially meant, “There’s something wrong with your kid.”
The trouble was what you found fascinating or interesting didn’t really have any value at the time. You were bursting with information and there was no one to appreciate it.
As an adult…
Random bits of knowledge actually pay off. You’re an adult now. Other adults will listen to you and appreciate what you have to say. Not only that, your knowledge will most likely benefit you socially.
Say you’re at a party (yes, you go to parties now. How cool is that?) and the subject turns to the new Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.” Someone then asks who the villain is. You say that it is going to be Bane. Since nearly everyone else’s knowledge is based upon previous Batman movies, they just stare at you. Casually, you begin to explain who this Bane guy is. You reference the comic books and perhaps the animated series. You offer your own opinion on whom you think should’ve been the next Batman villain since the Joker is no longer an option (I vote the Riddler played by Jude Law).
In our generation, pop culture knowledge is held in almost as high of a regard as actual knowledge and here you are, discussing the merits of Batman villains the way scholars of old discussed different existential crises. Everyone around you is impressed. Your random knowledge is paying off.
#1 Dorky is the new cool.
As a kid…
I don’t know if it’s a rule but it seems like the popular kids are always gorgeous and the dorks are always weird looking. You (and I) were no different. We never wore the right clothes. Our hair was never perfect. Heck, a lot of us were very lucky that we mastered the fine art of personal hygiene. We were not hot, sexy, alluring or any of those really cool adjectives.
As an adult…
While most of us will never be Emma Stone gorgeous, we can manage to look attractive and cool without betraying our roots. Your old comic book t-shirts are now trendy. Those beat up old converse sneakers are in. I’ve had several people tell me my black-framed glasses give off a distinct sexy librarian vibe.
Not to mention, we can wear clothing that can act as a signal to other dorks, letting them know not only that we’re the same but that we’re hot as hell. Wear the same necklace Arwen wore or Mario inspired earrings. People will notice. The only time anyone has ever bought me drinks at a bar was because I walked in wearing a Doctor Who t-shirt.
Adults can be proud of their dorkiness and show it off because, hey, our lives are pretty freaking awesome.
By Kelly Cannon – Life Editor
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