Actor Wil Wheaton, who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, has a huge Twitter following, and is known for being one of the more gracious characters online. As Digby says, Wheaton is “a real mensch.” (Wheaton was also in “Stand by Me,” and has a recurring role as himself in “The Big Bang Theory,” and he has a successful blog, Wil Wheat Dot Net.)
Wheaton was at a recent Comic Con conference in Denver when a little girl asked him if he was ever called a nerd when he was a kid, and what he did about it?
Wheaton gave a wonderful answer, his own version of an “it gets better” speech that concluded: “There’s 50,000 people here who went through the exact same thing, and we’re all doing really well.”
It’s something I noticed when I went to my high school reunion. The biggest nerds ended up doing quite well in life. The biggest jocks, the popular people, less so. And the strangest part, the bullies were all suddenly REALLY NICE. I had one former-bully come up to me, so excited to see me, and all I could remember about the guy was “I don’t think I liked this guy, and I’m pretty sure he hated me.” It’s funny how the years changed things. (I still kind of avoided him.)
I also tell kids about the whole blooming flower thing. At least in my experience, the so-so looking kids got a lot hotter when they became adults. The hot kids peaked a bit too soon. Yeah, your looks shouldn’t matter, but you’re 15, they matter.
In the end, I’m not sure there’s much of anything a teenager will fully believe. It’s hard to image life as an adult when you’re only 15. But Wheaton’s answer really is good. It’s obvious why he has such a following.