^We learn at an unfortunately young age that it is more important to be "cool" than to follow your interests (being a 'nerd'). You have to look bored and disinterested. Don't make eye contact. Don't give complements – never say Thank You or Good Job or I Love You. YET: (click more for more):
We all have our nerd sides. "Nerd? Nobody wants to be a nerd!" – well, yeah, that's important in 3rd grade, but you should grow past that.
What do I mean by 'nerd side'? it's not about wearing glasses and ill-fitting pants or other questionable fashion choices. it's about following what's interesting to you. It's usually a subject you could talk about all day long – if you could stop worrying about not appearing 'cool' or being judged. look how many kinds of nerds there are:
Like fashion? Fashion Nerd. You follow a band? You're a [insert-band-name here] Nerd. Like science? Science nerd. Know everything about cars? Car nerd, GM nerd, Ford nerd. Love everything about boating? Boat nerd. Know lots of details about, say, Twilight? Twilight nerd. Lord of the Rings? LOTR nerd. Love shopping? Shopping nerd. Know the 'right price' for something when shopping? Cost nerd. Need everything in your house to be spotless? Clean nerd. (usually referred to as "clean freak, but that's usually more extreme). Know everything about, say, the Giants? Giants nerd. Always trying to figure people out? Psychology nerd / people nerd. Obsessed with your iPad? Apple nerd. Have more than 300 songs in your MP3 library? Music nerd.
My point? Follow your interests. Don't be afraid to let whatever drives you show. BE interested. BE engaging. Bore strangers with your subject of interest – you might not be boring them at all. And if you are, so what? Let THEM be bored – YOU are interested in what you're talking about. You are NOT bored.
Don't be afraid – your friends and family already know your nerd side, and are probably greatly amused when you try to hide it. Just let it out. You'll be much happier if you do.^