I like to call myself a nerd. Someone who is interested in what she’s studying, always pays attention in class, takes down notes during lectures, religiously completes her homework, submits assignments and projects on time, does well on her tests and all in all, considers school important. However, being a 16 year old, I’m expected to do the complete opposite of all that. That is, only if I want to be considered cool.
I’ve been blessed with friends who are nerds themselves, who are perhaps smarter and more intellectual than me. But what about all those people who aren’t nerds? All those kids in school who are always “borderline failing” and think that it is cool to do so? All those kids who think that they are on the top of the social hierarchy by bunking school every chance they get? They never understand us, nerds.
A few months back, I reached the last straw in a series of incidents where people part of this “cool kid gang” acted like vultures. I would generally not have an issue with helping out people who may not be doing well in certain subjects, but when “helping” becomes more like, “doing all the work and letting others eat the fruits of my labor”, it’s time to draw the line. It took me a while to come to that realization.
When you have someone crying on the phone, begging you to give them your perfectly organized notes, a day before an important exam, you don’t think twice. You don’t wonder why they didn’t pay attention when the chapter in question was taught in class, or why they didn’t make notes of their own. They talk in such convincing tones, which manipulate you to do as they say – or else, they’ll fail the exam. You are too polite to refuse. Your empathy gets the better of you. You give them your effort of two weeks, those few hand-written pages of your hard work. After all, it made the cute boy who never notices you, flirt with you.
Did you realize that you were just emotionally blackmailed? No.
You were used to make someone else’s work easier. You helped out someone who would never understand what it’s like, being in your shoes – someone who would find another girl to flirt with, if you refused.
Now, I’ve learnt to judge people better – understand who is by my side because they really care, and who is here just to prey. I haven’t stopped believing in helping out the not-so-nerdy-people, but I’ve also realized the importance of letting them be, at times. We all need to be a little more self-dependent.