How I Survived My First Con

How I Survived My First Con

Getting the most out of your geek filled weekend.
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Recently my roommate and I attended NekoCon 20. It was my first time going and her second, and it was also my first time attending any kind of geek-oriented convention. Between her prior experience and my need to have some kind of structure in my life, we were able to plan enough to make the most of the weekend without feeling like we were constraining ourselves.

Below are things that you can do if you’re going to be breaking into the world of cons too.

1. Hydrate

Luckily for us, the convention center was big and able to accommodate a large number of people comfortably and we weren’t in huge stifling costumes so we were able to stay cool, but I did hear that one or two people passed out. You should always try to stay hydrated, especially when you’re going to be walking around all day in a crowd of people. Bring a reusable water bottle with you if you can otherwise take advantage of any water coolers or fountains. Trust me passing out is not fun.

2. Bring Food

Since we were staying for the weekend and didn’t want to eat out every night, we packed a cooler the night before and brought food with us. Most hotels will allow you to bring a cooler in with you however it never hurts to double check either by going online or calling ahead. Don’t just bring junk food either, I know that seem like a no brainer but it’s worth repeating. This is also helpful if your hotel doesn’t offer free breakfast, which you will want to eat before going off to do con stuff.

3. Budget Yourself

There’s a lot of really cool stuff at cons. There’s also a lot of really expensive stuff. Best thing to do is set a limit for how much you’re going to spend. This was easier for me to do since NekoCon wasn’t focused on my major interests. If you know there’s going to be a number of things that you might want, spend one day walking around the hall without money or a card. Get an idea of what you want to get and how much it’s going to cost. From there you can figure out what you want to buy and what you bear to pass on and go back the next day with a plan. If the con is only one day or you’re only going to be there one day, figure out ahead of time how much you can spend and only go in with that much cash.

4. Plan Your Schedule

The con website should have a schedule of events for you to look at. In general I think you should try to attend as many as you can since you’re paying to be there so why not. If you’ve planned out ahead of time which ones you want to go to then you won’t find yourself staring at the schedule every hour or so trying to figure out where to go next. Also, if you want to go to an event you think will have a long line then you can try to get there sooner so you don’t have a longer wait or risk the hall filling up and missing out. You don’t have to plan out your entire day, maybe pick three events that you definitely want to go to and wing it from there, just do whatever works best for you.

5. Wear Comfortable Shoes

You will probably be walking around a lot. If you’re planning to wear a costume, either pick shoes that you can wear for hours or prepare to suffer. If you decide you absolutely have to wear uncomfortable shoes that complete the outfit, bring a second pair. Get some pictures, show off the whole look, then take care of your feet.

Cover Image Credit: Zavia Willis

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3. “Darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.” - Taylor Swift, "Blank Space"

4. “I’m throwin' shade like it’s sunny.” - Nicki Minaj, "Want Some More"

5. “I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn't exist.” - Sia, "Chandelier"

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8. “Sweet like candy to my soul, sweet you rock and sweet you roll.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Crash Into Me"

9. “I swear this life is like the sweetest thing I’ve ever known.” - Drake, "Over"

10. “I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.” - Lee Ann Womack, "I Hope You Dance"

11. “But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing’s changed at all? - Bastille, "Pompeii"

12. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” - John Lennon, "Imagine"

13. “You can’t choose what stays and what fades away.” - Florence + The Machine, "No Light, No Light"

14. “She acts like summer and walks like rain.” - Train, "Drops of Jupiter

15. “She’s a good girl, loves her mama. Loves Jesus, and America too.” - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "Free Fallin’"

16. “Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones.” - Coldplay, "Fix You"

17. “Say you’ll remember me.” - Taylor Swift, "Wildest Dreams"

18. I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart.” - Sia, "Elastic Heart"

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22. “You are the piece of me I wish I didn’t need.” Zedd feat. The Foxes, "Clarity"

23. “Her mind is Tiffany twisted, she’s got the Mercedes bends.” - The Eagles, "Hotel California"

24. “Life imitates art.” - Lana Del Rey, "Gods And Monsters"

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26. “You’re gonna keep my soul, it was yours to have long ago.” - State Radio, "Keepsake"

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Cover Image Credit: https://pixabay.com

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Messing up is OK.

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Through the ups and downs of life, things normally turn out okay. But is that because life keeps going or because we choose to learn from our experiences? For many people like myself, there is the fear that we will never reach our goals. We go through our days until something unexpected happens and throws us out of our comfort zone. Failure for example, not only shocks us but it dampens our confidence. Messing up isn't something many of us enjoy doing but we still find a way around it. It all comes down to the choices we make after the chaos. If you let it beat you down, you'll stay down. If you want to give it another try, then get back up. And if neither of those options sound good, I'm sure there's a way to crawl around to look for a fresh start.

Take "Monsters University" for example (spoiler ahead!) Two best friends get expelled. The movie begins with all the excitement of college, stocked with studying and shenanigans. As the story progresses, Mike and Sulley get into a mess of things that ultimately destroys their college careers. They no longer have the option to live in their fraternity or finish their scaring degrees. Being forced out of the university probably stung like pink Glow Urchins, but the process gave them a fresh start; Mike and Sulley took their opportunity to jump into the workforce, becoming the strongest scaring team Monsters Inc. had ever seen. In many cases, people—or monsters—let failure get the best of them. It's never easy to get going again. Mike and Sulley made an example that sometimes failure is what puts you on the path you thought you were already on. Their setback didn't stop them, it was merely a redirection.

To live life is to prove to yourself that you're much bigger than the failures and mistakes that tell you otherwise. The brothers of Oozma Kappa were all told point-blank they weren't scary. They took their failures as scarers and let it become reality. It wasn't the right path, so Mike and Sulley taught them the importance of confidence and perseverance. As a group, the monsters worked to get the stench of failure pushed in the right direction. Instead of dragging it along, they learned to accept it for what it is and keep it close behind instead of tethered.

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Cover Image Credit:

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