Let me start out by saying that I'm kind of a huge geek. I have a heavy obsession with Star Wars, I love watching anime, and I work at Gamestop so that should expose my love of video games. However, I had never been to a cosplay convention before. I have a friend that was gracious enough to allow me to tag along with her at Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA) and experience it for free. I experienced a lot at this convention that makes me want to go to another where I can actually dress up.

1. It's always crowded

Crowd at Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA).

Ari Lentini

I personally came on the very last day of the convention and was told it had really cleared out. However, it was still pretty full to me. It seems as though it's a constant flow of energy and people, no matter what day you attend.

2. You get to geek out over people cosplaying as characters your love


I think my second favorite part of attending was trying to figure out who everyone was and freaking out over characters I adored.

3. Everyone is incredibly supportive

My friend cosplaying as Mercy with her friend that cosplayed as Genji.

Ari Lentini

I didn't dress up, as it was last minute and I'm not creative or rich. My friend that I tagged along with cosplayed as Mercy from Overwatch and was repeatedly stopped by other cosplayers who complimented her and wanted photos of and with her. This kind of support from people from all walks of life was really cool to watch.

4. The shopping booths will test your strength


From drawings to books to figurines, you'll need a lot of self restraint in a convention.

5. It's truly a place to be yourself without judgement


Chances are that if you're at a convention, you're surrounded by people who are just as passionate as you. No one is going to judge you based on how "poorly made" your costume is. You made a costume with your own creativity and budget and that's an achievement in itself.