Cosplay Culture

Cosplay Culture

Becoming your favorite character can be very satisfying.
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Have you ever wanted to dress up as your favorite superhero or movie character? Have you ever wanted to walk in the shoes of a video game protagonist or a television star? There is a whole subculture you are missing if you want any of this. Costume roleplay, or cosplay, is a huge subculture that I, personally, am a part of. I love the ability to walk in the shoes of characters that I love and enjoy. Cosplayers mainly show off their skills at conventions or cons such as Comic Con or other conventions like Pop Con and Wizard World. All of these conventions draw a slew of cosplayers varying in skill and interests. Many are there to have fun and celebrate the geek culture.

The geek culture is full of dedicated fans who would love to experience the same worlds they crave and love. I personally have been to Indy Comic Con and Indy Pop Con. I loved both and really enjoyed attending. Being surrounded by other "Doctor Who" and "Star Wars" fans was great because you know what they are there for rather than asking everyone in a regular setting "What are your thoughts on Kylo Ren's force abilities?" In that sort of setting you would get some weird looks, but at a Comic Con you know there are people who are into the same geeky stuff. It's a great way to make friends with the wonderful cosplayers who will wow you every time.

Not everyone cosplays. Out of the people who go to these conventions, only about 20% of people cosplay. It's a popular hobby, but it is also not super common either. I myself have cosplayed, and I loved it. I finished my first cosplay over the summer and showed it off at Indy Pop Con. It was a blast. When someone would ask me if they could take a picture with me, it gave me a great feeling inside. They saw what I was dressed as and really appreciated it. It also gave me the feeling of accomplishment and made me feel happy. I loved it. I had cosplayed as a Titanfall Pilot from the first person shooter "Titanfall," which you can see below. I worked on the cosplay for a year, and it cost me a good sum of money. Cosplay is definitely expensive, but if you're interested, I have some tips and suggestions for you.

For your first cosplay, I would recommend something that doesn't require too much armor, such as a Stormtrooper or a COG Soldier from "Gears of War." That will make your first cosplay very difficult and very expensive. Now for my first cosplay, I had a helmet, knee pads, and shoulder pads. The knee and shoulder pads were not expensive at all. They ran me around $30 without the paint and stenciling. Adding that stuff was not hard and not expensive. Now the helmet was a different story. My ability to make a helmet was zero to none, so I had purchased it from an online cosplay store that took a big chunk out of my wallet. The helmet did turn out great and the cosplay came out just the way I wanted.

There are many ways of saving money. The first is going to second-hand stores or thrift shops. They are plentiful of clothing and shoes that are very cheap, so if your cosplay includes a lot of clothing rather than armor, these stores could be very beneficial. The ability to sew or knowing someone who can is very beneficial. You can then craft the article of clothing you wish to wear. Being hands-on is crucial for cosplaying. For my first cosplay, I did not craft many things, which I was okay with, but it caused me to spend so much money. For my next cosplay that I have already started on, I have already crafted the majority of my outfit without purchasing much. This makes me feel better about being a cosplayer because I can say I made this from scratch. This gives me a greater sense of accomplishment.

Cosplay is one of my biggest hobbies, and it gives me a great sense of satisfaction. Cosplaying at conventions brings out the best in people. When I see some of my favorite characters come to life, I get excited, and I appreciate that person for loving that character so much. It's a great experience, and I can't wait for my next con.
Cover Image Credit: Bryson Hile

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The Negative Effects Of Working As A CNA

You know you are a CNA if you are undermined, understaffed, and emotionally and physically drained.
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I write this not as a way to deter people from wanting to be a CNA or to demean the job, but in order to outline the negatives, since some only outline the positives. With a job comes responsibility, and it is like that in any area or field. We have the good and we also have the bad. I am in a field where not many people like their job and they don't care who knows it. Others enjoy it and make the best of it. It is like that with any career. There are always both sides.

I write this after coming home from a meeting that we have to attend every week for 13 weeks straight. These meetings are preparing us for a new unit in our building, and they offer education so that we have the knowledge to communicate and take care of our residents. I like these meetings because I enjoy learning more in my field, however, others see it as a burden and a waste of their time. There are people who will bring in workplace drama, those that will do the bare minimum, and those that just don't care and will call in when they know their shift is short.

As a Certified Nurse Assistant, you help your residents, and you try to give them the best care that you can provide. That is the number one rule. If anything, that is the golden rule in nursing. When you step in on that floor, you are expected to give your full effort in giving the residents the care they need. Meanwhile, others step in and couldn't give a damn.

What upset me the most after the meeting was that we had to talk about abuse. We had to discuss what abuse was and why we need to treat our patients with dignity, respect, and kindness. As a CNA that is my work. I was saddened that something like this occurred, and that someone would demean a resident in a way that no one should be treated.

I'm furious, upset, and confused. The people that work in this field are there because they care, and they want to help those that cannot help themselves. So, why would they do such a thing?

It made me think of all the other negatives that I encounter in my field. The lack of appreciation from other staff and the constant undermining is tough. Nurses telling you that you are not doing your job right, or management becoming picky when you cannot chart between your residents is difficult. There is always something that you are doing wrong in someone else's eyes, and there is never a thank you when you leave your shift and everyone is clean and taken care of. There is no one to pat your back other than yourself, and you have to be your own cheerleader for a place that only looks at you as the lowest of the totem pole.

There are never enough of you. I say that because there is always a demand for CNAs, and no matter how many you have in a facility, there will never be enough. You will be short one shift or another, and you will have to scramble to reach everyone to make sure they are taken care of properly.

You come home and you have to go right back to bed because you took extra shifts. You are exhausted, and yet you still come in and put all your energy into work because you think of the residents. You consider what it would be like to not have anyone to care for you. You put them before yourself.

No one tells you any negatives as you are getting trained and go through clinicals. They only tell you that you are going into a profession that will help those that cannot help themselves, and that you should be proud of your job. It is not incorrect, but it is not fully true.

You will get called names, cursed at, abused, and you will get over-worked. No one will tell you thank you, and no one will baby you through your shift. You are a CNA. You take care of those that cannot take care of themselves. You are there to help and give care. Yes, there are negatives and you will want to quit like I've wanted to do multiple times. I will admit it. You will get upset and frustrated. This is not an easy job, and it was not intended to be, but you will get through it if you keep your heart open and honest. Do your work diligently, and do what you can to make others' lives better. That is the only reward you need to overcome the negatives.

Cover Image Credit: TravelNursesSource.com

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5 Reasons I'd Rather Stay In On A Friday Night

It's okay to not want to party over the weekend.

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In college, so many people look forward to the weekend all week long. And by so many people, I mean probably almost everyone. The weekend is a time to catch up on some much-needed rest, relaxation, homework, and you time. The weekend in college also means going out for a lot of people. While yes, going out can be a really good time, I also think that it's important to note that you don't have to go out if you don't want to. There are a ton of good reasons why you should stay home for the weekend instead of partying all night long. I have compiled a list of five solid reasons why staying in is so much better than going out, especially in the middle of winter.

1. My room is so much warmer than it is outside 

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Let's face it, in the dead of winter, no one wants to go outside in a mini skirt and crop top. I'll take my pillow and blanket any day over freezing outside.

2. I can go to sleep at a reasonable hour 

Stitch Sleeping Gif

After a long week of class, the last thing I want to do is stay up until 2 am partying. I would so much rather be wrapped up reading a book at 10 pm.

3. I'm always available if a friend needs saving 

Wonder Woman Gif

Staying home, sober, I'm always available to rescue a friend in need if they drink a little too much. This is so important to me to be keeping my friends safe and getting them back home at the end of the night.

4. It's the perfect time to binge watch Netflix 

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Staying home on a Friday night gives me uninterrupted hours of binge-watching my favorite shows. There's no better feeling than finally catching up on a new season of Netflix.

5. Self-care is more important than getting drunk 

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Staying home, relaxing, doing a face mask or even reading a book allows for much needed relaxation. No one wants to stress about their hair and makeup on a Friday after you've finished 5 days of classes.

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