1. You were a founding figure in the “adorkable” movement.
2. You built inseparable bonds with your fellow not-cool-kids, bonds that did not rely on how they looked as your friend or what status they provided, but rather just mutual companionship because you were at the same level of un-cool-ness. We all have that one friend who we’ve had for years that means so much because they loved us even before we were deemed loving by a cruel society of 10-17 year-olds.
3. You were into obscure music and “weird” hobbies before that was a thing. In fact, I was mercilessly teased for not listening to top 40 music while I was in middle school, until, you know, listening to music nobody has ever heard of became the most legitimate thing to do.
4. Nobody finds a former popular kid as endearing as they do a former nerd who has fantastic stories of misguided awkwardness to regale at parties.
5. “Cool kids” were usually defined by how little they cared, but in the end, a little caring is actually what gets you somewhere. So ultimately, your general affinity for school work paid off in one way or another.
6. Everyone freaks out and admires you when you start to peak in your 20s, or maybe even before, unlike the kids who peaked at the ripe age of 14 and are still in their hometowns drinking in the woods.
7. That weird passion project/hobby thing that had you holed up maniacally in your parents’ basement for hours on end may have turned into a job, or more. Cue: the classic tale of the former video gamer who nows owns a development company… and employs you…
8. If we’re being honest here, the most awesomely stylish people in the world are the ones who don’t give a damn about cloning themselves to appease others, and that is a trait that goes unmatched, one that may or may not have begun with your genuine, prescription-laden oversized glasses or vintage t-shirts that were once only cool to you and your dad.
9. Out of necessity, you had to learn to garner the ability to not care what other people think. Though nobody does this flawlessly, you definitely had a leg up on the whole “people suck and will be mean to you no matter what so just don’t worry about it” concept.
10. We commandeered the internet as you know it. Behind every fantastic meme and shibe gif is a former nerd laughing their ass off.
11. You just develop more empathy. If you were bullied or struggled with being outcasted in any way, you just have this inner understanding for people, and you try to be inclusive and kind, once you get past the short but inevitable stage of bitterness.
12. If you could go back in time, you’d find the dorkiest, not-coolest of them all, place your hands on their shoulders and say, don’t worry. You’ll be internet famous one day.
13. You start to realize that you didn’t need to be “cool,” and in fact, all the ways in which you weren’t actually served you far, far more than they hindered you.
14. You get the genuine gratification that is knowing you proved someone wrong.
15. You don’t take for granted staples of your newfound adulthood coolness, like having nice skin or being liked at the office.
16. You can play up your former not-cool-ness in your success story of which is only made infinitely more interesting by how far you’ve come.
17. You started the whole “I only like to eat pizza and stay home and look at internet threads” trend because that has literally been your entire life.