I Had The Time Of My Life With My Best Friend At Anime Weekend Atlanta

I Had The Time Of My Life With My Best Friend At Anime Weekend Atlanta

We ate Pocky, met new people and wore really weird costumes among other activities.

When most people think of conventions, they picture huge events with all sorts of people in strange anime costumes running around. Or maybe they think of VidCon or ComicCon, way over in California. While those ideas are all good summaries of cons, very few think of a somewhat smaller convention many call "Anime Weekend Atlanta," or AWA for short. (On a side note: "AWA" kind of looks like a strange anime emoticon.)

I was a lucky attender, since my best friend Katy invited me to go this year with her magical four-day passes. Katy was dressed as Sapphire from "Steven Universe," having spent over six months making her own dress. I, on the other hand, simply threw on an old color guard costume and called myself Turquoise, a character that did not technically exist on the show. Finally, we were ready to go!

While we couldn't attend on that Thursday and Friday – being good students and all – we both got up at 4:30 a.m. to make the drive the next day and be the first ones in line. Even though we had to wait a few hours, this strategy worked well because we ended up sixteenth in the line. Many people have the misconception that this convention is strictly about anime, but there are all kinds of fandoms there – from "Harry Potter" to "Gravity Falls," shows and movies of all types were everywhere.

After wandering and making a few friends (including a rather amazing Omega Flowey cosplayer from "Undertale"), we were finally able to get into the trading room. The trading room was a fancy name for the place where people sold different items. Because this was most of the vendors' one chance to sell, everything was expensive. This was bad news for me since I only had $22. Katy, the responsible mom friend, had $67 plus her debit card. At least she took pity on me and got me a lovely watercolor painting of Lapis Lazuli from "Steven Universe".

We even became friends with a vendor! She was selling some beaded jewelry and pixel art, and after a discussion on "Undertale," she offered to sell me Napstablook for a cut price. I had two dollars, so even this kind offer was out of my cheap price range. But in the end, it was still nice to meet her.

Lunch was an adventure; because there weren't many restaurants at the galleria where we were, we went across the street to the mall to find food. This was rather brave for two introverts since we were in full cosplay, and this mall wasn't affiliated with AWA. We got quite a few stares, and one guy even asked if we could go on his Snapchat.

Overall, we didn't go to many panels, but the ones we did go to were quite interesting. The one on creative writer was led by two Japanese manga and anime creators. Through a translator, they informed us that creating something is like running naked into a room of 100 people and screaming. Most people will hate it, but five will think it's amazing. They then apply those five people to the world.

Our last major activity was going to Nerd Church. Both of us are Christians, and though we're not particularly extremely religious, we went to see what it was. Imagine our shock when it was an actual sermon comparing "The Walking Dead" to our spiritual life, and it was led by (drumroll please) Andy Field. To put this in perspective, he's not only a psychology professor, but he's also a famous voice actor who did the voice of HandUnit, the guide in "Five Nights At Freddy's: Sister Location." Katy is a big fan of the "Five Nights At Freddy's" franchise, so she was excited to get a picture and talk to him.

We blew the rest of our money on Pocky, Japanese soft serve ice cream, bean cakes and other Japanese sweets, and we settled down to watch a horror animation and some Bill Wurtz videos. To Katy's delight, Andy Field came up to us, chatted with us a bit, thanked us for coming and then asked where we got our food, so I guess we're basically best friends with him now.

While many talk down about conventions, I love them. I don't like being around people much with it being rather stressful, but being surrounded by people who not only love the same things as you but will also discuss them with you is really therapeutic. I got to spend a weekend with my best friend, dress up and act half my age and best of all, made new friends. I really want to thank everyone I met along the way. I had the time of my life.

Cover Image Credit: Emma Buoni

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The 10 Best Things About Rhode Island

Who said RI is not Awesome!

With Rhode Island being such a small state people wonder what is so great about it. There are so many attractions that lead people to "Little Rhody" from the Newport Mansions to the RISD Art Museum. RI's beautiful beaches are also a plus for the locals who live here year round. But what is the best things about Rhode Island? With so many great things to choose from here is what I thought was the best things Rhode Island has to offer.

1. Del's Lemonade

With its numerous flavors and iconic cup imagery Del's is a Rhode Island staple. My personal favorite is mixing watermelon and lemon together!

2. Caserta's Pizzeria

Located on Providence's historic Federal Hill. If you are looking for a good slice of pizza Caserta's is the place to go.

3. Providence

It is basically the smaller version of Boston! No really, and that is where the city gets all its charms from.

4. Scarborough Beach

Forget Newport, this is the prime place to catch some waves. Personally, I think the water is better and Narragansett tends to be a litttle less touristy.

5. PPAC (Providence Performing Arts Center)

When you are too poor to catch a Broadway show so you go see the national tour instead. PPAC has become an awesome venue in recent years with lots of different plays, musicals and dance troupes coming to perform.

6. The Cliff Walk

Preferably after the tourist season because then you can actually walk on it. The Cliff Walk offers some breathtaking views and a little adventure.

7. Waterfire

There are a lot of Waterfire's during the summer and early fall so you can always catch one. Plus, it is free and provides great pictures.

8. Party Pizza

Some make think it is a disgrace to pizza everywhere, but it is still good. Nobody really understands why party pizza exists, but we never question it. Especially, after you stuff five pieces into your mouth.

9. Crook Point Bascule Bridge

It has become somewhat of a local monument for the locals. My friend and I always do a bit of site seeing around here.

10. Allie's Donuts

Home of the Donut Cake! Allie's makes probably the best donuts around here and that is not an understatement.

And there you have it! While, I think these are 10 best things about Rhode Island there is obviously so much more. If anything RI's quirky local eateries, beautiful landscape, as well as up and coming attractions are what make it special. Rhode Island has so many things to offer it is hard to choose. Personally, I think the food is the best, but my New York/New Jersey friends beg to differ.

Cover Image Credit: wwp.greenwichmeantime.com

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7 Places To Visit Within Walking Distance Of SCU

Brunch and markets and museums, oh my!



1. Santa Clara Farmers' Market

This is one of my favorite things to do on Saturdays! From 9 am to 1 pm, head on over to Franklin Square for live music, good food, and tons of organic fruits and veggies. Pro Tip: The breakfast burritos are to die for!

2. De Saisset Museum

Love art? Well, we have a wonderful gallery right on campus! The museum holds tons of exhibits, from photography to painting to sculpture. Plus, they have a California History exhibit that is permanent, so you can always go see it!

3. Beat the Lock Escape Room

Ever been to an escape room? Now's your chance! Franklin Square has an awesome escape room that you and your friends can do. Can you beat the lock?

4. Carmelite Monastery and Garden

If you're looking for somewhere to study, read a book, or just lay down and enjoy the weather, this is one of the most beautiful gardens in Santa Clara. It is encased in a big pink wall, so you don't have to worry about street noise! Perfect for a day in the sun.

5. Sara's Kitchen

Brunch is my favorite meal, which is why I have spent a lot of time trying to find the best brunch spot in Santa Clara. Well, I am pleased to tell you that I've found it. Sara's Kitchen has good service, and even better food! (S/O to Sara's omelets, I dream about those things)

6. Jasmine Fine Thai Cuisine

Honestly, Franklin Square has some overlooked gems. If you're looking for the best Thai food in Santa Clara, look no further! Jasmine has awesome food and service, and it isn't too hard on the wallet. The best combination for a college student!

7. City Plaza Park

If you want a place off-campus to play frisbee or lay in the grass, this is the place! It's a small park a couple blocks away (that also has a library!). The perfect place to get away from the SCU bubble.

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