Newbie noun, often attributive \ˈnü-bē, ˈnyü-\
: a person who has recently started a particular activity
: newcomer; especially: a newcomer to cyberspace (Merriam-Webster)
(For starters, let’s get one thing straight – a newb is not the same as a n00b. A newb is a novice who is just trying to figure out how to do something new. A n00b (or noob) is an airhead who does stupid things, doesn’t want to improve and is pretty much hopeless. I am writing about being a newb — not a n00b. Got it?)
I hate being a newb. It is probably deep-wired in my personality, but I cannot stand being a clueless beginner. This doesn’t mean that I don’t like to learn. I love to learn. I just don’t like being in that insecure, I-Don’t-Know-What-the-Hell-I’m-Doing phase for very long. Call me competitive. Call me a perfectionist. Call me whatever you like (just not a n00b). But if it were up to me, then I would skip lesson A of everything in life and fast-forward to the advanced level. Some of us were made to play hard ball, not tee-ball.
Unfortunately, we all have moments throughout our lives in which we have to suffer through the newb stage. Sometimes we get through that beginning stage quickly, and are soon happily coasting along without the training wheels. Other times, we feel as though we’ll never master the skills we need to advance out of Kindergarten. At the moment, I am a newb in far too many ways for my comfort.
Newb Techie: Such a newb, that I’m not even sure what to call myself when people ask. I’m a computer science student. I am an intern who works with computers (database and tech support stuff) in a cubicle jungle. I love what I’m learning, but I’m still at the bottom of the totem pole (or perhaps the lowest level of the OSI model?).
Newbie Single Person: Do you know that before a year ago, I was never a single adult? It’s true. I met my ex husband when I had just turned 19 years old. We were married soon after I turned 21. I have spent my entire adult life as a (very unhappily) married person. Now, I am learning how to be a happily single person, which is fun and liberating and cool in many ways, but scary in others (aka — the dating thing). It’s kind of like learning to be an adult all over again. I do not, however, feel like a newb as a single mom. That part’s pretty easy, as most of the parenting fell to me back when I was still married.
Newbie Jock: Heehee…okay, maybe not a jock. But I have been working on getting in good physical shape and honing my ahtletic skills for the past several years. The problem is, I am not very good at consistency, and my stamina is lousy. Maybe that is why people hire personal trainers? While that’s out of the question, I have been trying something new this summer — a series of outdoor soccer skills workshops for women. It has been so much fun, and I have learned so many great things that I did not know before, like how to kick a ball with your laces. (Ohhh, so that’s how people get the ball to travel more than a few yards!). Next, I’m really hoping to learn how to do things like step-overs and scissors (which I have done by accident during games, but still don’t know how I did it). I know, I know — what a newb!
As much as I detest being a newb, I know that everyone has to begin somewhere. You can’t just jump into a swimming pool without a few lessons, or all you’ll do is sink. It’s also not a good idea to avoid trying new activities simply because you don’t care for the newbie stage. To quote Ms. Frizzle (because Ms. Frizzle was awesome): Take chances! Get messy! Make mistakes! Sometimes, it is okay to be a newb (not a n00b). The newbie stage is like stepping onto the Golden Gate Bridge from the Sausalito side. It’s weird, and scary, and you’re up so high that you feel like you’ll fall. But you have to keep moving forward if you ever want to reach San Francisco. (Okay, sorry — that was such a newb analogy 🙂 )