Being A Nerd Never Has To Be A Lonely Experience For Anyone
Find other people who love what you love. Online, in person, at cons, wherever, and start building connections. They have every chance of being one of the most important connections you ever make.
I say this because I imagine you’re a massive nerd like me. And, as massive nerds, we can sometimes fall into the problem of being isolated. People who fall in love with reading, movies, media of any kind really, often find it a respite from a chaotic world—and often, it’s hard for those who haven’t found those worlds to understand the appeal. The world is changing in this regard. Nerdy things are increasingly cool, of mega-cultural importance, and more likely to spark a conversation. And you’re missing out on the true appeal of fandom if you don’t take that growing opportunity and seek others that are a part of the culture.
I know you might be shy. I’m not great at talking to strangers, either. But find those connections anyway. Find your nearest comic shop. Book club. Art class. Look for smaller conventions or marketplaces where you aren’t bound to the whims of a moving crowd and talk to the people there. Look for people who seem like they know this environment inside and out—and say hi each time you’re in their neck of the woods. People are social, and people will be friendlier than you expect most of the time.
And if someone ever tries to gatekeep you, if some jerk even tries to tell you that you’re not a “real” fan, ignore them utterly. Don’t even talk to them. Not even in comments on social media. Some people like to use fandom as an exclusionary arena, and they are just being exclusionary bullies, no matter how well they know a book series or fantasy show you love. Breeze past them and find a community.
And, if you still need convincing, let me leave you with a thought. I know you’ve gotten great joy from your fandom. You wouldn’t have read this far otherwise. I know you’ve experienced moments and storylines that sent a surge of happiness through you almost impossible to contain. And I am telling you—and I hope you’ll believe me—that the same experience in a group will stick with you for the rest of your life.