Nerd vs Geek – Do Words Matter?


For the longest time, I have seen this picture above on various Facebook groups I’m in. Mostly it is meant for a term of endearment for gamers. You also get some type of empowerment from posters and pictures like these. As someone who identifies as a gamer, I like this. It makes me feel like a part of some group, apart of something bigger. This realization took a long time to figure out. As humans, we use labels to create shortcuts for our brains. It is an easier way to remember something or someone. When creating this blog, I was hesitant to name this Nerd or Geek because I did not want to discourage other people. That is exactly what the terms “Geek” and “Nerd” does. You expect certain content and words to be geared towards that audience. Like the title of this post states, do these words that we and others describe actually matter?

Before writing this post, I gathered two interviews to explain do words matter. I asked them a single question, How would you describe yourself in high school? This question gets to the point of what it means to be defined by a single word and also how to live your life. No matter if you were a jock or a nerd

Jade Luo is a senior at Purdue University and the Vice President of Purdue Animation, Comics and Games Association.  As a foreign exchange student, she has an interesting take stating “I came to the US [sic] as a sophomore. New country, did not know anyone. It was necessary to interact. Kinda nerdy, geeky – Trying to fit. Trying to find a place to fit. As a senior, I have friends. I know where I fit.” Jade knows who she is. Fitting in group or niche is something we all strive to get in life. I know I have constantly. Over the course of learning and growing, Jade has accomplished this hard task. She found the place where she fits in the world. She knows that being geeky is how she wants to live and that is where she fits.

The final person that I had the pleasure of interviewing was David Zuccarelli. An adventurous type student with a gift to see the beauty in everything. “I would say high school me was someone who thought they knew a lot of things but looking back really didn’t. I was in a big in-between stage in my life (and I still am I think). That was the point in my life where I was feeling the weight of the world and I didn’t many things figured out in the world.” David shows that in high school this is where your personally shines, You have that make it or break it moment. He goes on to state “Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to do what others want you to do. All of my decisions were influenced by my friends and family members especially. Just own up who you are. Focus on who you are and don’t worry about the pressures of somebody else.”

So, who am I? Am I a nerd or a geek? I don’t know. But, what I do know is words that others put on you do not define who you are. People see you how they want to see you, good or bad, nerd or geek. These are just words, the most convenience definition that people label. These words do not matter, you define yourself.


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