5 Nerdy Hobbies That Are Oddly Rewarding

5 Nerdy Hobbies That Are Oddly Rewarding

The inspiration and time devoted is exponentially related to the level of enjoyment.
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I am of the belief that nerds are the best people currently walking the earth. Seriously, get a whiff of the information age and you know it is their time to rule. As Spock would say, "It's only logical." Nerds are passionate, diverse creatures. The inspiration and time they devote to often intricate endeavors is exponentially related to the enjoyment they get out of these pastimes. So, maybe it's time to take a page from their book and explore some nerdy hobbies. (The author would like to disclose that she has personally enjoyed every one of the following hobbies at some point in her life and recommends them wholeheartedly.)

1. Rock Licking

OK, so this one may have a bit of a back story. My grandfather was at one point the sponsor of a high school club for rock enthusiasts, who called themselves the Rock Lickers Club. You see, out in the field the only way to tell the true color of a rock is to lick it, so the club was named for this phenomenon. Unfortunately, this was censored by the yearbook to become the Rock Likers Club. Whether you prefer to identify as a rock licker or a rock liker, rock and mineral collecting can be a very rewarding pastime.

As a child, my grandfather taught me about rocks. It honestly is a wonderful introduction to science. Whenever either of us went on a trip we would bring back a rock – might I add, a very economical souvenir. I learned a lot about earth science and geology. After squeezing all of the information we could out of a specimen, I would add it to my little collection of gems. I have to admit this is an all or nothing kind of hobby. Grandfather, myself and the rest of my cousins love it. My friends, they don't really get it. There is something about having a little piece of earth, though. It's like I have my own mini version of the planet, all in a shoebox.

2. Herb Gardening

(Ahem, keep it legal kids.) Are you a foodie turned chef? Always flustered by those finicky orchids? Here's some good news for you, herbs are hearty little plants. They love the sun and heat, so they are a great start to a greener thumb. Not to mention the wonders it will work for your kitchen. The flavors of fresh herbs make any dish feel a little more professional. There are also many more varieties than what is available at the store. Sweet basil is good for chicken Caprese sandwiches and salads, but just wait until you throw some fresh lime basil in a stir fry. It is marvelous! Summer basil crop anyone? Not to mention that you'll probably have way more than you can use. I was constantly sending little bundles home with my friends and family for their kitchens. Leftovers were dried, a super simple process, and have lasted us quite a while. The savings at the supermarket aren't too bad either. The ladies at my local nursery were super excited to help me start my little herb garden and answered all my questions. (For even more fun, check out all the types of mint. I might be obsessed.)

3. "D&D"

When I first started playing "Dungeons & Dragons," people were a bit surprised. I kept hearing, "You're really going over there to do that?" Yes. Yes, I was. The truth is, tabletop role-playing games are a blast. Consider them the great-grandfather of countless questing video games and LARPing. The game depends a lot on the DM, or dungeon master, who leads the experience along. This means the experience can be as involved, featuring elaborate costumes and character accents, or uninvolved and casual as desired. It also leaves a ton of room for adventure. Battle dragons, visit taverns, captain a flying pirate ship, instigate a mutiny and / or weave magical spells. The experience can be as fantastical as can be imagined. If you can't wait for the next episode of "Game of Thrones," then give it a try. Just don't end up like Ned Stark.

4. Coin Collecting

Before you say anything, this does not have to get expensive. Rare coins can be worth a lot of money, but for many collectors, it is more about being part of history than it is making the biggest sale in history. Truly, this is one of the most lackadaisical hobbies there ever was. I recommend starting out with the state or state park quarters. Imagine getting a surprise every time someone hands you change. It's especially rewarding when you finally get one that has been strangely eluding you for weeks. Looking at my quarter book, I can feel accomplished when I say, "Hey, I've been there."

5. Thrifting

Thrifting is a wildly diverse nerd hobby. Sculptors may look for materials or components for a found object sculpture. The fashion-forward can look for unique pieces to wear or re-purpose. Bookworms may even find rare copies of their favorite classics. The enjoyment of thrifting lies in the surprise of it. There are no guarantees, and you never know what is going to pop-up. Did I mention it happens to be exceedingly wallet friendly? I recommend making a day of it and hitting every shop in town. Take a friend and try out a new, crazy look. Have fun interacting with the past. After all, memory lane has some great views.

Whether your exploration comes from a place of boredom or curiosity, a nerdy hobby can definitely add some joy to your life. So give it a try. You might find a new passion and you might make some new friends.

Cover Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1WsK2gY

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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I Know I'm Late, But I'm Now Obsessed With David Dobrik

"If you liked this article, please give it thumbs up and subscribe!"

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After coming home from the end of my first year of college, instead of unpacking like my parents would've loved for me to do, I turned to YouTube. I've always watched YouTube but I was never one of those teens that watched it so avidly that I would want to go to Playlist Live or VidCon.

Throughout the year, I received many recommendations to watch David Dobrik. Like most people I know, the recommendation went through one ear and out the other. Was he really worth the hype? Well, if you take a look back at the title of this article, you know the answer to that question.

One day, I decided to subscribe to David Dobrik's YouTube channel because I knew that if I saw a video created by him pop up with the rest of subscriptions, one of these days I would end up clicking on a video. That is exactly what happened. I ended up watching maybe two or three videos in total, but I didn't really become a fan. It's not like I didn't enjoy the videos I watched- because I did. I just didn't keep up with them. It wasn't until I came home from school and decided to go all in that I truly hopped on the David Dobrik-bandwagon.

Now, I truly understand what everyone was talking about. Not only is he hilarious, but his vlogs are super short (four minutes and 20 seconds to be exact). In a competition, I'd probably be named the "World's Worst Watcher" of TV shows and movies because I'm so impatient that I skip through the bad or boring parts that I don't want to watch. Contrary to this statement, I can safely say that I have only skipped through a video once only because someone was about to puke. He and his friends are always on the go, which is much more fun to watch than someone just sitting in front of the camera explaining what they are about to do instead of footage of them in action.

Most of the YouTubers I watch create lifestyle videos, like makeup tutorials, clothing hauls, vlogs of college students, etc. David Dobrik's videos are completely different from any of the others that I subscribe to. All of his videos are vlogs that show him doing the most ridiculous, yet entertaining things, whether it be buying his best friends expensive cars, paying them $100 so he can shoot them with a paintball gun, or going on spontaneous trips to Las Vegas. There's not a single moment through any of his videos that don't leave me with a smile on my face.

It's not just that his videos are short and entertaining. It's also that he seems like the sweetest and most down-to-earth human being. He cares so much about his friends so much that the focus isn't entirely on him but on them, which is something that you don't see very often.

I highly recommend that everyone watch at least one of his videos. It may be four minutes of your life that you will never get back but after watching it, you won't want them back.

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