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In February, the How to Adult team went to NerdCon Nerdfighteria. There, we collected a few interviews about community from one of our favorite communities.

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Special Thanks to:
Anna, Siena, Rebecca, Laura, Alanna, Chloe, Serena, Andre, Andrew, Dev, Jessica, Johnny, Matias, Katie, Melissa, Stan, Surya, and Tori for letting us talk to you, and Katherine for sending us footage from the Meetup!
I basically watch a lot of John Green's and Hank's videos.

But I never knew that it was such a big community of people of this you got... it's huge. Of course Nerdfighteria, the Executive Teen Advisory Board, Footlighters, which is our school's theater program.

I love to dance so I have a dancing community. Locally we also create communities. I have a couple of maker spaces that I'm involved with in the state of New Hampshire.

I would say I'm involved in the Nerdfighter community for sure. Nerdfighteria, obviously. I'm part of the Jewish community, I'm part of the queer community, part of the- a community of female-identifying people, there are a lot!

I make a lot of YouTube videos about various pop culture properties, you know- things- indie culture, like movies, television shows, cartoons, and nostalgia. It seems like everything that I talk about in some form there's sort of a community for that. First and foremost definitely the Nerdfighter community, I'm part of a Unitarian Universalist.

Church, and then the other big one for me is the Hamilton community. We're engineers, we're also Latinos, we're also immigrants, so that's another community,. I'm also queer so that's another community, many of which I'm not aware of, too, so...

Probably. I think it's really hard to find community. For me personally it was really easy when I was in school, and then when I left school.

I think it got really hard to make completely new friends. Right now I'm still trying to figure that out. I just noticed all of these pictures of a guy with sharpie on his face on Tumblr, and.

I decided to investigate. Yeah, I see Tumblr things on Instagram. Exactly.

Yeah that's where you get them. If you love something, if you're truly passionate about something, and you talk with somebody about what you do, that is infectious, and people are going to really want to jump in. Check online for any Meetup groups.

I recently got into computer coding so I kind of looked up where could I meet some people that might help me learn coding, and I was able to find some groups that would meet at a local coffee shop. Game shops that might be doing board games. Follow what you love, like, wherever, if you're really interested in something, there are bound to be other people that are really really interested in it too so just, like, follow the people who are yelling about that certain thing and you'll find a community about it.

Search out groups on Facebook. There is a Nerdfighter group for almost every state, you know, I'm part of the Boston Nerdfighter group. There's a group for adult Nerdfighters...

If you have trouble talking to people in person you can kind of just, you know, lurk and, like, you know, see what other people are posting and maybe one day you'll go and you'll post a comment, and then you'll make a post... I'm hosting the Boston Nerdfighter Meetup at the convention. It started with me just joining- joining that group.

If there are some people that you really enjoy hanging out with ask them what communities they're a part of. See if you can join them. The internet is really really good with that.

There's like, if you can search for something you're interested in, and you can't find a group, then that either means that's something really out of the ordinary, or maybe that means you're the one that's about to start that community. A lot of it, at least what I've found, is just kind of being open and honest about what you're interested in. I can't tell you how many times where I've liked something and someone has liked something and we didn't know it until one of us finally said 'I like this thing'- 'What!?

I like it too!'. So you never know. I feel many communities in North America are very isolated from each other.

I feel like, you know, among the immigrants we're very divided for instance. Yeah. And Latinos as well.

The queer communities- there is a lot of polarization in points of view. I think we need a more holistic approach to how we tackle people, how we go and bring them to the communities they're supposed to belong to. I'll say, like, for example, in the Latino community I have experienced, like working in Latino association at school and you can see all the divisions between, like, Columbian people and Peruvian people.

Even though we hang out together, they'll still tend to just... stay with them. Because, you know, they can share, like, very original slang words or something like that. Even if you speak Spanish sometimes it's, like, really hard to understand someone from.

El Salvador or I don't know, Chile. Even in, like, Engineering community, I've noticed, like, if someone wants to, like, get into that or do, like, geeky stuff, or, like, as a hobby just really just as a career there's sometimes you can see people setting a high barrier, like, 'oh, you need these skills'. Yeah, you're not in my program, you cannot participate in my hobbies.

You don't know how to, like, code in this particular way. Oh sorry, like, first learn this. Which sometimes, it's like, it's horrible.

It's discouraging. Yeah, and we just want the more the merrier. We want people to get involved in this project and create more awesome stuff, but sometimes that happens, and it really sucks.

I mean, being a woman right now is like, really hard. It's like, I didn't sign up for this. But then also it's like, you feel a sense of responsibility to sort of uplift yourself and do better.

I feel kind of... blessed in a way that I've, I guess, been given a kind of responsibility. But also I don't feel like you need to feel obligated to totally own it, and wear it, and fight for it. But I think it can be comforting to seek out people who are in a similar situation.

I guess, like, communities don't have to be unified- they're just- they exist, right? Yeah. Everything goes through phases.

You have a beginning, you have an end, you have transitions. And people's priorities change over time. I'm perhaps one of the older Nerdfighters here today, but I have gone through periods of my life of where I go for seven years doing something I'm desperately passionate about and then all of a sudden one day I go 'I'm going to try something different' and that's great!

It's really great to be able to migrate and do different things and to explore different options, because it makes you a more well-rounded person, and it makes you a more valuable member to your community. The more skills you have, the more knowledge you have the more capabilities you have, the stronger your community is and the more people are going to come around you.