This is a strange topic, I suppose, but it resonates with me a lot. The term “Closet Nerd” was something Sarah and I coined in high school. So, let me explain a bit. If you would have met me in high school, you would have never assumed I was a giant nerd. In meeting me you would have never guessed I had anime wall scrolls hanging on every wall, that I still played neo-pets, or that I wrote embarrassing fan fiction online through the night. Nope. You would have instead assumed that I was a shy preppy kid.
Yep. I was that girl who wore Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, Lacoste, and polo shirts to school. I kept up with the behind the times fashion of my hometown. I was shy unless surrounded by close friends. In other words, I looked nothing like a proud geeks and nerds that I saw from afar in high school.
The only way people found out was if I invited them over and they entered my bedroom, the walls adorned with equal parts hot 2D men and pages ripped from A&F catalogs. The bookshelves FILLED with manga and YA fiction books. Needless to say, everyone was always shocked. For all I know they laughed about it behind my back, but I didn’t really care, I just never broadcasted my likes.
I would see them from afar. The kids with Naruto headbands on in the hallways, with messenger bags featuring anime characters, and reading manga in between classes. I silently envied them for being so able to flaunt their like of anime, not caring about the sneers and rude whispers from all those people that looked like me that surrounded them. There I was, the closet geek.
I didn’t think that I could make anyone really understand what was so cool about anime. I was beyond relieved when I met Sarah freshman year and found out that she too, was a closet anime fan/geek/Neopet playing nerd, like me. Which, honestly, is probably why we formed such an intense friendship right off the bat. We quietly traded manga, which we hid in our lockers, under the tables, making sure no one saw it. We scribbled little doodles and planned anime watching bouts in secret.
Being a closet fangirl is stressful. Let me tell you.
Now I’m a lot more open with my likes. I’m not afraid to tell people that I like anime or that I think Pokemon is the bomb. Everyone is insecure in high school, I mean, it’s a time when everyone judges you for every little thing. But once you’re free from that period in life, don’t be afraid to let your inner geek shine! I probably would have had a TOTALLY different friend group in high school if I would have been more open about my hobbies, but who knows?
Were you a closet geek in high school?
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