Being an Advanced Nerd and Being Happy

In my room, I have the following Venn diagram on my wall:

I love it so much because it’s so true. In theory, we all try to be Jedis. But I personally find it hard to focus on more than two of these at once.

So during my freshmen and sophomore years, I would have proudly proclaimed myself as being a nerd. I did well in my classes (which didn’t start until 11:00 AM every day. Score!), and I was able to sleep in every morning to get the rest I needed. My junior year, I was more of a bum. I decided, “Hey, people are out there mingling, and I’m in here studying. This is stupid. I want to mingle too.” So I did. I still did well in my classes, but maybe not as well as I could have done, but who cares, I was now a mingler (made up word of the day, which is to be defined as “one who mingles”).

Now I’m heading toward the second half of my senior year, which in my opinion should be all about fun. What does that mean? Easy classes. No tests. Lots of mingling with fun people. Twelve hours of sleep every night.

But in reality, the classes are harder and much more boring. I barely find time to mingle with fun people (most of whom are also participants on this blog). I’m lucky if I get eight hours of sleep. I have tests every week.

But what am I actually spending all my time on?


Just kidding. Actually, I’m doing a variety of things. I’m focusing on my internship, reading (what feels like) dozens of manuscripts at a time, I’m doing NaNoWriMo (which on most days leaves me feeling like there is a little man inside my head beating against my skull with a hammer), I’m trying to go to more author events (like signings and conventions). I guess basically what I’m doing is focusing on what I actually want my future career to be like. The problem is that I have to do these things while also going to school full time, and when school already drains you for the day, doing adult stuff nearly kills you.

So this extra stuff that I’m working on doesn’t really classify under any of the three main categories: study, social life, or sleep. It’s more like work and sleep. So I guess that makes me an advanced nerd. Is there a word for that? Pause while I go do a little research. (Interruption—I just looked up nerd on and it gave me two definitions: 1) a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person; 2) an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit. Um, aren’t those opposites? Whatever. Back to my research.) Okay I’ve decided to just go with advanced nerd; it has a nice ring to it (when you look at definition number 2, that is).

So through all of this, I often have to remind myself to just BE HAPPY. Don’t get caught up in what you have to do. Focus on why you are doing it. Most days it’s the end goal that keeps me going. Why am I going to school? So I can graduate and get a job. Why am I doing NaNoWriMo? So I can finish another book and try to get it published so I don’t have to get said job.

These thoughts make me happy. The little moments are what make me happy right now. Like when I could laugh at myself the other day. The little man was pounding away at my skull, and I had been writing for over two hours, trying to reach my daily word count. Then I tried to make “swimmed” a word. Yeah, it took my brain a whole ten seconds to figure out why Microsoft Word had a problem with that. The word is “swam,” Tricia. Yesterday I also tried to make “payed” a word (paid). The little man is starting to drive me insane. But I will be happy, dang it!

In other news, I have finally updated my about page. Go check it out.

2 thoughts on “Being an Advanced Nerd and Being Happy

  1. I’m pretty sure keeping up on your favorite television shows and new books should be added to that diagram.

  2. sarahtalley says:

    Can we get degrees in advanced nerd? Because that sounds delightful.

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