Am I a geek?

This Saturday was Sept. 22, and at 4 p.m. about two dozen friends of mine gathered with me beneath a tree in the Oval to celebrate the joint birthday of two people very near and dear to our hearts. There was delicious food, colorful streamers, merriment, costumes, bagpipes… It was really nothing too special, just a regular old Hobbit Party thrown in honor of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins.

Yes. I host birthday parties for fictional characters. And I do indeed own a hobbit costume.

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Of course, the surprisingly difficult part here wasn’t the effort that goes into hosting a party, but figuring out if I could both throw a hobbit party and attend the shindig my friend was having that same night in honor of the 10th Anniversary of Firefly.

I love being a nerd. Chances are if you 1. Attend college and 2. Read the newspaper — you do, too.

Just in case you are unsure of your nerd status, here’s a quick questionnaire:

Is your favorite part of fall weather getting to curl up inside with a great book? Have your most recent heated arguments been regarding the legitimacy of John Cage’s musicality? Do you spend your Friday nights building blanket forts to inside which you have Doctor Who marathons? Did you dress up as the Golden Snitch when attending the Midnight premier for the final Harry Potter movie, in which you waited in line for nine hours?

If you’ve said yes to any of these things, congratulations — you may be a nerd! If (like me) you have said yes to all of these things, hooray — you are definitely geeky!

And unlike when you were president of your middle school chess club, a college campus is the perfect place to be unashamed of this fact. You won’t get bullied by the popular kids when you express pride in being in marching band. Strangers may even compliment you when you wear a shirt that says “The Cake Is a Lie.”

I like to think that many people attend college because they are passionate about learning and get excited by the prospect of being surrounded by the great minds of their professors and peers. This passion and drive for knowledge is not found in everyone, of course, but having passion for anything is already so rare.

I pity people who lack passion in life, because passion is an amazing, beautiful, glorious thing. Passion motivates. Passion makes the world enjoyable. And I sincerely hope that you never let bad run-ins with insecure bullies from the past deter you from spending today enjoying the things you love.

I think young adult author and internet personality John Green worded it best when he said, “When people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is, ‘You like stuff!’”
“Nerd” is not an insult. It is merely pointing out a fact, like saying someone is tall or has nice handwriting.

There are endless kinds of nerdisms. Maybe you’re a math nerd, or a 1980s video game nerd, or an internet webcomics nerd, or a classic science philosophy nerd.

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In fact, you could even be a sports nerd.

But no matter what type of geeky things you enjoy, CSU has opportunities to embrace it. We have an Anime Club, a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club, an improvisational theatre troupe called Improvaholics Anonymous that branches off of the student theatre Young Producers Organization, the Muggle Quidditch team the CSU Boggarts (yes –— the Harry Potter sport is a real thing!), CSU Swing Society, an amazing marching band, a pre-vet club, a semester of video game themed Humans Versus Zombie games (the next game being on Oct. 4), et cetera, ad infinitum, ad astra.

No matter your passion, you can find a group that loves it as much as you do. And if you can’t find one already in existence, you can go to the SLiCE office and create that club.

Whatever it is that you are unabashedly enthusiastic about, embrace it! College is the place to let your geek flag fly.

Anna Mitchell is a junior liberal arts major. Her columns appear Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.