12/29/2013 05:25 pm ET

Here's To The Nerds: Celebrating A New Definition

I’ve noticed quite recently that I only surround myself with extraordinarily nerdy people.

Perhaps this conjures up an image of a circle of poorly-dressed, skinny dudes staying up late to play Settlers. But that’s not the case.

(Erm, not always the case. But I’ll get to that.)

First, lets backtrack to the mid-2000s - when our young protagonist was first entering middle school. The term “nerd” absolutely terrified me. As an Asian female in a Bostonian high school that was 95% Italian and Irish, I stuck out like a sore thumb. While it was never a true pain point, I was extremely conscious of anything that made me different from my peers - perceived or real.