Just finished reading this excellent essay on Why Nerds are Unpopular by Paul Graham (YCombinator).
When in school, we’re cooped up together for 10 – 12 years in a self-enclosed bubble. The consequences of our actions don’t have real impact – they don’t immediately benefit or hurt you, make you homeless, or put food on your table. And so, very much prisons, children develop a brutal hierarchy based on things such as popularity that don’t have much consequence in the real world.
Most of the successful people in the real world today were nerds back in school. Nerds are good at getting things right, and doing them well. And in the real world, that matters.
Paul talks about how life was hardest for him between the ages of 11 – 17 in an American school. The message is clear to all nerds: it only gets better. If you’re in school right now, know that it is the hardest, most vicious period of time you’ll go through in life. So chill out, and take it in your stride.