Nerd is Not the Word

Nick Cariani is currently the fourth ranked student in the senior class of 2014. He has a 4.4 grade point average and scored over a 2000 on his SATs. His top five college choices, including schools like the University of Pennsylvania, Duke, and Notre Dame, have an average acceptance rate of just 23%.

If you asked 10 teenagers that don’t know Nick well, at least seven of them would likely label him a “nerd.” Little would they know, the easy-going student-athlete is far from the typical stereotype.

Throughout his four years at H.B Whitehorne, Nick played basketball, soccer, and baseball, all while maintaining nearly perfect grades. Now, Nick walks the halls rocking a varsity jacket, Timberlands, and his “Bieber-licious” haircut.

In his freshman year, Nick decided to play hockey, something he had never really done before.

“The winter before, I played pond hockey with my friends, and I loved it. I knew school was still the most important thing, but I told myself I would work hard enough to manage both.”

Nick is now entering his fourth season on the VGR hockey team, and his second straight year as the varsity second-line center.

“Coming into high school, I knew the school work would be a lot more challenging. I wanted to focus on school, but I was also eager to accept new challenges.” Nick did just that. Along with hockey, Nick has participated in two years of lacrosse, one year of DECA, four years in the Spanish and Math Clubs, and has spent the last year in the Spanish and Math National Honor Societies.

High school stereotypes tell us “nerds” are those kids who get straight A’s, high academic accolades, and a daily dose of “wedgies.” Nick defies the common label, proving himself to simply be a kid who understands what needs to be done in order to achieve his goals.

“I’m not sure what I’ll major in, or what occupation I’ll have when I’m older. But I know that in order to set myself up for a successful life, I need to work hard now.”