About the Manual

The Nerd Manual is meant to be both a useful resource for nerds and a guide for the people involved with nerds. If you're a nerd you can find information here that will help you improve your life and perhaps better understand yourself. If you're close friends with, dating, or married to a nerd, I want to give you insight into things nerds do that a lot of people have difficulty understanding.

I hope to avoid offending anyone--either nerd or non-nerd--but please understand that the manual will get into some sensitive topics, stray into contentious territories, and even use stereotypes to illustrate points. It's OK to disagree with something, but keep your comments civil.


Nerd Q&A: How do I Accomplish This?

Krystal Tubbs - Study
This isn't exactly a nerd-specific question, but I think it's worth answering if it helps someone meet their goals in life.

 I am 15 and I want to become a nerd and just focus on excelling at school, working out, and learning computer science. How can I accomplish this?

First off, the things you say you want to accomplish will not make you a nerd. You might consider them nerdy, but they are very good things to focus on that will help you do better in high school and later in college if you choose to go there.

You should also include making a few new friends and spending time with them. If you focus on computer science and working out, I think you might make some friends in the process, so that's sort of included in the plan, just remember that it should be one of your overall goals.

Here’s how you can make this happen:

1. Desire it. You’ve expressed your desire, so you can cross this off the list. Congratulations!

2. Make a 4 or 5 year goal list. (Make the goals real things such as making better grades, not becoming Batman.) In your case this might include specific things like:
  • raise my GPA to a 3.5, 
  • make one friend who is more physically fit than I am, 
  • make one friend who is better at computer science than I am, 
  • distance myself from Phil who always talks me into smoking with him, 
  • be able to program mobile apps, 
  • crush the 100 burpee challenge. 
Write it all down on paper and put it somewhere you can see it every day. For a multi-year goal you should have specific things to show you made it, and your list should have a lot of things on it. You will accomplish some of the things early. That’s great, cross them off the list so you’ll be able to see that you’re progressing.

3. Set objectives that you can meet in a shorter time frame and will get you closer to your goal. This is where you look at your list and figure out how to make each thing happen:
  • I want to raise my GPA, so I have to make 5 As and 1 B each term this year (or whatever your school curriculum works out to). 
  • I want to crush the 100 burpee challenge, so I need to take a body conditioning class. 
  • I want to make friends with one person who is more physically fit than I am…wait…I can do that in the body conditioning class, etc.
4. This is the hardest part. For each objective you must actually do the thing you decide will get you there. You will be sorely tempted to do one more day of stupid shit than start on your objective, or to give up at the first sign of difficulty or the first setback. You know what? It’s fine if you give in to temptation. That’s your choice. But you won’t accomplish what you want if you give in. Think of it as “present you” being a friend to “future you”. Present you can be a crappy friend who never shows up on time, lies, and steals crap. Or present you can be a great friend who gives future you things to make him stronger, smarter, and better prepared for a healthy life with a well-paying job.

5. As you complete objectives, cross them off your list and make new ones that are closer to your long-term goals. As you complete long-term goals, make new ones.

6. Evaluate your progress each year. Start now, not on January 1. See where you’ve accomplished a lot. See where you can work harder. Perhaps you will need to commit more time and energy to some objectives than others. Figure out where you’re not as strong so you can make yourself stronger there.

That’s it.

You might think that writing stuff down isn’t the same as accomplishing what you want, or that it’s lame, or that it won’t work, but what have you got to lose? Get some paper and a pen right now and start writing out some goals and figuring out how to reach them. Make sure to include one goal you can make a small start on right now, even if it’s reading an extra chapter for homework tonight or finding out how to sign up for Body Conditioning tomorrow.

What are you waiting for? Get started!

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