Every group of friends is diverse and its members each hold a unique role. While every clique is different, there are common roles in which members tend to fall into, e.g. the funny one, the eccentric one, the introverted one, the superficial one, the list goes on.
Perhaps the most underrated (but what I believe to be the best) role you can have in a group, or in life for that matter, is the low-key nerd.
What is the low-key nerd? Well, I'm glad you asked. The low-key nerd is the person who embodies all the best qualities of a nerd, without being like one of the cast members in "The Big Bang Theory."
This person is equal parts smart and sass. Low-key nerds aren’t geeks or dorks, they genuinely have their sh*t together, and are by most definitions “cool,” but they probably have the highest IQ's in the group.
The low-key nerd can vary. If your group of friends are not the brightest bulbs, then the low-key nerd might not be very smart at all, but in comparison to everyone else they’ll take the cake.
If you are friends with very smart people, then the low-key nerd might be like, Bill Gates…who knows. The point is there is always that one person in the group who’s cool enough to keep it trill (only nerds can say that without being serious/embarrassing) but also can add up all the change in your purse, very fast.
If you exhibit any of the following you may, like myself, be the low-key nerd:
You’re known as the Human Encyclopedia
Your friends are always wondering how you know that random fact that you decided to blurt out, and you simply do not know. Your brain is like a sponge and you somehow remember all those random things that you learned throughout school. I mean who doesn’t know the first piano was the harpsichord?
You can ignore petty/bullsh*t conversations by reverting into your own brain
While everyone else is talking about how Jason didn’t answer a text or how Emily is being a huge c*nt this week, you can just sit there, pretend to listen, and ponder things like tectonic plates or gravity.
You’re like a reverse mullet (party in the front, business in the back)
You look like a good time, and you probably are, but for the most part, deep down you’re on a more serious level. You could be the girl that’s drunk, out at 3 am, dancing on a bench, but still probably hold a conversation with someone sober about something normal.
In school, you bridged the gap between the popular and unpopular kids
You definitely were the low-key nerd if you found yourself somewhere in-between being cool and not cool. You were friends with the geeky kids, but also friends with the popular kids… which made for a really awkward social life.
The good part was, if you worked it right, you could kind of be like a translator for both, and bridge the awful high school hierarchy for some of the un-cool kids.
You like to consider yourself like Clark Kent or Batman
You probably also are interested in the comics because, you are still, a nerd. But just like these superheroes, you consider yourself to have a bit of an altar ego. While everyone thinks you’re the “coolest” you know deep down that the loser resides in you… and you're perfectly fine with that.
You can flawlessly transition from "Real Housewives" (or insert another brainless TV show) to "Through The Wormhole"
This is a nightly occurrence for me and I presume other low-key nerds out there. TV is so diverse now a days and my thirst for entertainment and intellectual stimulation so great, that I often find myself bouncing from Ramona & Aviva’s catfight in St. Barts to Morgan Freeman exploring the idea of dark matter.
You probably have an eclectic taste in music
Because you are constantly seeking new and interesting things to excite your brain, you probably have a wide array of music you're into. You have an appreciation to all types of music: Classical, Alternative, EDM… just maybe not Country.
When someone you think is cool or attractive makes an obvious error, you know better than to correct him or her
This is one of the prime factors that separates total nerds from low-key ones. A really nerdy nerd is going to miss the social queues and despite wanting that person to like them, will belittle and demean the person by correcting them.
Guys like smart girls, but they also don’t like to feel stupid. Low-key nerds know when to keep their mouths shut and to smile along as their dates tell them why Benjamin Franklin is their favorite president…
You know the implications of Fukushima but choose to ignore it
You know that after the 2011 Japanese Tsunami, the Fukushima Nuclear power plant leaked hundreds of thousands of tons of radioactive matter into the ocean, effectively polluting much of the Pacific ocean where the Yellowtail Scallion roll you are now staring down originated from… but you eat it anyway (#yolo... low-key nerds can also say #yolo).
You actually enjoy movies like "Inception" & "Donnie Darko"
While the rest of your friends are asking…"Wait, what? What is going on? Why is he doing that?,” you can just enjoy and let the intricate plot details work their way into your brain. These movies are highly complex, which is exactly what a low-key nerd is looking for, but equally entertaining.
…and "Star Trek"
While many of your friends probably wouldn’t ever watch movies like "Star Trek" or shows like "Fringe," you secretly love them and will always favor watching something sci-fi over the 12th rotation of "The Notebook" on this month.
Your stoned conversations become famous amongst your peers
When you're high, your nerd side is only escalated and you are the best person to have around to spark a great high conversation. Before they know it, your friends will be ass deep in reasons why aliens exist. Just don’t take it too far, because when you’re stoned you’re likely to get them, and maybe yourself, really bugged out about it.
You actually know what you’re talking about and you don’t have to flaunt it
The greatest of all the low-key nerd traits! Real nerds will constantly make it known that they are intelligent, and wannabe intellectuals will embarrassingly attempt to make themselves look smart despite the fact that they paid more attention to their sorority fundraisers than any class in college.
You on the other hand, can quietly relish in your intelligence without throwing it in everyone’s face.
All in all, being a low-key nerd rocks. See Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Joe Rogan, or Chirssy Tiegen for further references.
Photo credit: The Breakfast Club