I’ve been a geek ever since I was young. A good amount of my childhood consisted of training Pokémon, wondering why Mario couldn’t reach the top of the "never-ending” stairs, and arcades at chuck-e-cheese’s. My family could always count on seeing my eyes glued to some sort of video game, cartoon or comic book. When I realized it was time to leave for college, I was skeptical if I’d meet people with similar interests there.
During my younger years, almost all of my friends were into those things like I was. When we started growing up, they found interest in other things, leaving their Gameboys to collect dust in a drawer. In middle school, I remember the other kids playing foursquare, picking teams for flag football, catching up on the latest hallway gossip, etc. Meanwhile, you’d find me blowing kisses to my nintendog.
High school came around and things stayed the same. During those years, my friends and I would play online Zombies with each other, everyday after school. As the years progressed and we started preparing for college, a good amount of them sat their controllers and comic books down. I completely understood that we were entering a challenging chapter in our life, filled with exams, community bathrooms, and figuring out our careers, so I didn’t blame them too much.
When I started getting college acceptance letters, I had that “wow, I’m on my way to being an adult now,” moment. During the packing phase, I remember questioning if I should bring my video games, books, comic books, etc. “What if my roommate thinks I’m weird for this,” and “..do people even do these things in college,” were all questions swarming my head. Despite my doubts, I threw everything in the suitcase.
When I first moved into my dorm, I remember walking in the hallway and hearing familiar gameplay sounds. I walked past a random guys room and saw he was in front of a big screen TV, with a controller in his hand, playing one of my best-loved games. In that moment, I took a sigh of relief and said to myself, “they’re here.” That same week I walked in the university’s cafeteria and ran into a girl that was wearing a t-shirt of one of my favorite cartoons. I introduced myself to both people and it wasn’t long before I found myself in a community of like-minded friends.
Currently, I’m a senior in college and things are still the same. My friends and I come together to play games, go to midnight launches, and argue Marvel vs. DC. I hold a position in a campus organization and for our first event I suggested a game night. Many people came out and had a great time.
To say that being a geek, alongside my friends, shaped my college experience would be a lie. I undoubtedly enjoy happy hour, 1-2 stepping at parties, and going crazy at the university football games. However, knowing that whenever a new game, book, or hero movie is announced, I have a community of people here to call, gives me a sense of security. For anyone that is doubting whether or not to bring their geek-like gear to college, relax and throw it all in the suitcase.