#nerdlife.

Hello world.

My name is Asante, and I am a self-proclaimed certified nerd.

I often find myself researching for fun. I read ahead in text books. I know weird facts and words that normal people don’t care about. I’m going to graduate school to study MORE random facts that only I care about (as far as my friends are concerned, anyways). I read. A LOT.

BUT… I know when to turn it off.

You know, like that self-awareness kicks in at some point and I realize there is more to life than showing people how intelligent I am. I’m realizing now that in this regard, I am an anomaly.

I’ve spent the past 3 weeks getting to know quite a few nerds as I navigate the uncomfortable realm of grad school interviews, and let me tell you: in 3 weeks of these there have not been more that 4-5 “normal” applicants per pool. Seriously. The rest are charmingly, but blatantly socially awkward. To the point where I felt awkward for NOT being awkward. How twisted is that?

I mean I appreciate a person who can really delve into the significance of a single cell patch clamp response. Or the consummatory dopamine circuit. Or even the molecular significance of a missing post-synaptic transporter. (Getting away from you there? I know, fear not, I’m coming back. And yes, your eyes are supposed to be glazing over.) But for the love of everything that is good, approachable and non-awkward, give it a rest sometimes! I love my work and I love the brain and all that, but if you can’t find a balance between your academic motives and your personal life, I don’t know what to say for you.

Even the professors I’ve met, after I  ably describe/discuss the complex parameters of our study and what I do within it, have asked me “What else do you do? Like, when you’re NOT in the lab?” It would surprise me if some of these folks had an answer to that question. Like, seriously.

I love being a nerd, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy being in the company of such intelligent and driven people. But when the professors are gone and the grad students are offering you a beer, TAKE IT. And then relax. We all know you’re smart. Now show us that you can be a normal person. At least until the beer wears off.

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