7. He’s smarter than people give him credit for
Two in one because a lot of Nate’s quotes apply to both his intelligence and his determination to prove himself beyond his family name. No one on this show or in this fandom gives Nate due credit for his intelligence. He’s constantly teased about being the sweet and pretty, but dumb one. He’s not dumb at all though. When the rest of the characters were busy stressing over the SATs he was fine because he’d already taken them and gotten a good enough score for USC, which is not the easiest school to get into. Not only that, but he got into Columbia, an ivy league school, all on his own without his family helping him out with it. Now he’s running the spectator all on his own and doing a damn good job of it, enough to earn his grandfather’s respect. Maybe he’s not as obsessed with books and art and intellectual snobbery as Dan, or as street-smart and scheme-y as Chuck, but he is intelligent and he deserves a hell of a lot more credit than he gets.
8. He doesn’t think he’s entitled to things just because of his status
He also doesn’t expect things to just be handed to him just because he’s wealthy and related to the Vanderbilts. He wants to earn whatever he gets and he works hard in order to earn these things. He lets Dan take over at the Ivy mixer because he knows that Dan is the one who probably deserved it anyway and he doesn’t want to take it away from Dan when it’s not even something he wants. He applied to Columbia just to see his own worth without his family involved and ended up actually getting in.