There are 3 groups in American high school:
- The cool kids and the spiritual kids: they are both too cool to care–the spiritual kids have confidence, and the cool kids are popular.
- The successful kids: they are either smart or dorky, and have self-discipline.
- The dweebs and the nerds: these kids care so much about competition and are so perfectionistic that they fail at the things they care about and get called ‘losers.’ Nerds succeed at being smart (unlike dweebs), but it doesn’t lead to much success because they fail at social skills, life-planning, and sometimes decision-making. The dweebs often fail at these too.
Gen X ‘slackers’ are in the cool group. They refuse to be pushed around by companies or be oppressed, are somewhat pro-union, and use efficiency to achieve success even though they are ‘slacking off.’
‘Geek’ used to be an affectionate term that referred to smart kids, that only cool kids were allowed to use. It implied confidence that the ‘geek’ was going to succeed, was intelligent, and was on the right track–while establishing that the cool kid was in charge.
All 3 groups try sports, because Physical Education class is a requirement to graduate, and athleticism is required for normal activities in American life, like mowing the lawn or putting together furniture in your house. So–contrary to what TV would make you think–there usually isn’t an actual group of ‘jocks’ in American high school.
Hope this answers your curiosity.
Lilly Lekhan, Poet and Founder of The Sweetest Art List