Road2Gold

Hit the road with me as I aim for gold

10 Things You Should Know Before Going to Your First Con

So, friend, you have decided to head to your first con. That means you listened to my advice. Good job.

What? You’re nervous? You’re not sure how to prepare? Fret not, amigo! You will be just fine.

Here are some things you should know before attending your first convention:

1. Know what kind of convention you’re going to.

Before anything else, you must understand what kind of convention you are about to head to. It’s important because every con is different. Check out a few pictures or forums from last year’s con to get an idea of the expectations. Don’t forget to ask friends. Friends are always there to tell you what to bring, what to wear, etc.

2. You don’t have to cosplay.

Seriously, no one is going to judge you if you don’t cosplay. Especially campanimeyear1at bigger cons, people dress comfortably because wearing a gown or holding a giant sword in large crowds is not only annoying, but you or someone else could get injured or stabbed or stepped on.

I didn’t cosplay to my first con and I loved it. Did I feel out of place-ish? Kind of. Did I have fun? YES. Were there others not in costume?Absolutely! It’s all good, fam! Dress however you’d like!

3. Know the weapons policy.

This is a really important one. If you are cosplaying, and your costume has a potentially

conbust11

Swords!

dangerous or fake prop, know the weapons policy of the convention before you show up with your lightsaber. The weapons policy is usually found in the FAQ or Cosplay section of the con’s website. If you can’t find it, ask a friend. You don’t want to get stuck in a 2-hour weapon’s check line because you brought your foam sword instead of leaving it in the car.

4. Bring food.

I cannot stress this enough. Bring snacks. You are going to miss them. Sometimes they prohibit outside food, but sometimes they don’t. When you want to get your first and only bite to eat at the con and it’s $4 for a water, $7.50 for gross empty mozzarella sticks, and $8 for a lousy tuna sandwich, you’re going to wish you packed a granola bar in your bag.

5. Bring cash.

This is also important, because if you do not have cash, you will be bored. At bigger cons, tshirt.jpgsome panels and tournaments require an entry fee. Also, when meeting guests or celebrities, getting an autograph or a picture with the star can usually cost anywhere from $30-$200 (depending on who it is)!

Plus, if you see a T-Shirt or any other piece of merch that you find cool, and you think, “I NEED THIS NOW!” and you blew all your cash on empty mozzarella sticks and parking, you are going to kick yourself.

Merch ain’t cheap. Bring yer dough.

6. Take pictures, but try to ask first.

I know you are an upstanding individual who won’t take creepy photos of random people in cosplay without their permission, but some people do and it’s awkward. So, whoever is reading this: My gosh, man, don’t take pictures of people without asking!

Also, you’re going to want to treasure these memories forever. So go on! If you see a really cool cosplay, ask your friend to take a pic with the two of you and put it in a photo album.

7. Bring a friend.

kelmeWhen you’re at a con, never go by yourself. If you do, try to make new friends while you are there. Why? Because meandering around a convention without anyone to talk to, play games with, go to panels with, take pictures with, or cosplay with just isn’t fun! Trust me. I went to PAX alone and I didn’t last ten minutes by myself.

If you are cosplaying, when someone asks for a photo, you do not want to leave your bag unattended on the ground. That’s what friends are for: Holding stuff. (Totally kidding, but it’s definitely a plus.)

8. Bring a backpack.

Not a purse, not a little wallet, not even your deep-dish man pockets that can carry everything under the sun. Bring a good-sized bag to carry all the wonderful stuff you need and want. You don’t want to be stuck holding all the wonderful merch you just bought, or a jacket, or a poster FOR THE WHOLE DAY!

9. Meet people. 

hugging_animals_08Con-friends are those people you will see again and again and again. Think of it this way: You have something in common with every single person at this convention. Whether it’s NYCC, or CampAnime. Everybody came here because they love being a geek, nerd, otaku, etc. We all love the same things, we’re all passionate about who we are. So why not introduce yourself and trade usernames?

And, of course —

10. Have fun!

I know this one’s a “duh”, but I’m totally serious. Some people mope around cons because they are tired or bored, when there’s so much to do. If you need rest, take a seat, head back to your hotel to take a cat nap, but don’t get all angry or upset. Go to a cool panel, buy something awesome, take pictures, go for a walk, meet people, and my gosh– GO HAVE FUN! YOU’RE AT A CON!

Seriously, go.

Now.

Peace out, fam. I’ll see you at the next convention.

~#1kid

 

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A Little Help for My Friend – The New England Con Experience

So, friend, you want to go to conventions? Not sure where to start? New York Comic Con is gigantic, PAX is breathtakingly huge, and San Diego Comic Con is a distant dream out west… Not to mention you aren’t about to break your piggy bank to go to a convention.

What if I told you that there are also tiny cons, happy little trees that dot the East Coast and the entire world with their judgement-free, Pocky-filled nerdiness?

What if I told you that there are cons held on college campuses, created by nerdy/geeky college students just like you?

What if I told you that conventions are everywhere, and you just didn’t know about them yet?

I’m going to share a few of my favorites (big and small), what I love about them, and how you can get involved too! Let me know your favorites, or any good ones that I should check out.

 

Anime Conventions!

I especially love anime cons because no matter what, hardly anyone judges you. Conventions like Comic Con or PAX are fairly popular and mainstream, where people may (or may not) point at your homemade cosplay and laugh. You hardly see this at anime cons because everyone is trying their hardest and is fairly comfortable. You meet new friends, take pictures, attend some pretty great panels, and have an all around fun time. Here are a few famous favorites:

Anime Boston, held at the Hynes convention center in Boston, MA, is one of New England’s most popular anime cons. I personally have not been yet, but I hear it’s awesome (and busy!). Also, 2017 will be my first year going and I am PUMPED!

“Seriously, it’s a thing.” This gem of a convention is a family-friendly, all-ages, most-epic, never before seen, summer camp convention. You don’t have to like anime to come to CampAnime, you just have to be okay with having fun. CampAnime is my all-time favorite anime convention, and was actually my very first con I went to. You can read all about it on Road2Gold’s past posts.

  • And many, many more!

Comic Cons!

Comic cons are known for their incredible size and popularity. Of course, the bigger, most famous conventions featuring well-loved guests are mentioned in the news or are seen in our news feeds all the time. But a few smaller cons have sprung up all over the place. Comic cons usually aim toward the older crowd, along with sci-fi cons, but every con is different.

It’s huge. I’m not allowed to go because I will get so lost and squished I won’t be able to find my mom ever again.

RICC isn’t that big when compared to NYCC, creating a fun atmosphere with enough
bustle to keRICCGroupep you on your feet. Also, there are no chairs, but that’s beside the point. The cosplayers are friendly, no matter how advanced. While pricey, it’s a great con to grab a friend and spend the day looking at merch and meeting some cool guests.

 

  • And many more that I don’t know enough about!

Campus cons!

College and university campuses have their own conventions too! If you don’t have one near you, and you’re a college student, create a club/event at your school. They’re super fun, and really bring the college’s community together for a great time.

Held at UConn in Storrs, U-Con @ UConn is wicked awesome. All ages are welco
med to
join the group in late Feb/Early March, students and non-students, etc. I’ve been twice, and I’ve always had a blast. If you’d like more info, head to their Facebook group.

  • ConBust – Northampton, MA – March

Conbust is a small campus convention at Smith College in Northampton, conbust20MA. I went in 2016, and met up with some New England convention friends for a day of cosplaying and fun. With many guests and panelists to keep you busy, Saturdat wraps up with “One Dance to Rule Them All” and it’s pretty awesome.

 

 

Gaming conventions!

Everyone in the gaming community has an idea of how incred20170312_184157ible PAX is, but no one
knows its true beauty until they have actually gone. It’s different than any con I have ever been to. (*tears up* So much money and technological advances in one place.)

Last but not least, that one con that I don’t know how to categorize:

So evagentcarterery convention is built for all types of people, it’s hard to categorize. Connecticon is one of those conventions. Anime, gaming, sci-fi, comics, books — whatever you’re into. Connecticon’s got it. It’s a good size, with a variety of dealer’s, artists, photoshoots, panels, and activities. Hartford is pretty cool, too.

 

Honorable mentions

  • Another Anime Convention – I’ve heard fantastic things. It’s in New Hampshire. Manchester, NH – October
  • Bakaretsu Con – One of the very few Vermont conventions. I hear is pretty epic. Colchester, VT – October
  • Katsucon – Not really anywhere near me, but it’s huge and very popular and everyone all around the East Coast goes to it. National Harbor, MD – February

There’s a con for everyone, and frankly, the only way to truly know what kind of cons you’re into is to GO TO ALL OF THEM! Seriously, go to maybe three a year, visit the small ones, meet some people, maybe try a big con once in a while. You’re going to have a blast. Trust me.

Have fun!

~#1kid

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Atmospheric Pressure – A Bad Season

Hey, people. Welcome back to the club.

 

This 2015-2016 Winter Season was quite strange, awkward, and, well, bad.

Every day, every practice, every meet – Something was missing. It all felt wrong. Even my mom noticed the atmosphere of the swim meets felt off, like we were just going through the motions.

We all have those seasons, the ones where you get home from a meet and ask “What the heck is wrong with me?” because you feel that you didn’t perform as well as you wanted to. It happens.

However, we can’t continue like this during the next season. We have to get down to the source of our problem. We do indeed have to ask what went wrong, what is affecting our performance, and how we can fix it.

Now starting the Summer season, I know I have to get back on my feet as soon as I can if I’m going to make any progress.

Until next time –

 

~#1kid

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It’s possible to Diet and be a Swimmer

Hey, welcome back!!

Since I’m older now, my mom and I have been looking at colleges. Now, I’m not very tall. 5’3” AND A HALF to be exact. (can’t forget that half) Most swimmers are about six feet, so that puts me at a disadvantage.

So this summer, I had to buckle down and lose some weight so I could drop the seconds off my time. There were times I had to say “NO EVEN THOUGH I REALLY WANT THAT COOKIE, I ALSO REALLY WANT TO BREAK 1:03 IN THE 100 FREE”. I had to think, “What do I want more? This cookie, or this victory?”

The victory made more sense.

Although, cookies ARE pretty good, they’re not a priority… 🙂

As a swimmer, I have to eat a lot of calories to burn during my workouts. 900 Calories a practice is a lot! That does not mean 900 calories of mac and cheese, but I’ve learned the magic food is this:

Chicken.

It makes the world go round.

If you’re on a diet, and you find yourself watching BuzzFeed Food pizza chip dip videos (like me), think about why you started the restriction in the first place. Are you trying to fit into a dress? Or are you like me, trying to perform well in something?

Whatever it is, don’t give up. 😉 I know, it’s hard. Pizza chip dip is pretty yummy. But wait. Feeling lighter in the water is way better than temporary yumminess.

Something that really helped me was drinking water. If I got full on drinking water, I didn’t want to eat. So it’s a win win. I’ve also heard it’s good for your skin.

Stay thirsty, my friends. I do not own this cat or this meme franchise

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The Road to Nationals

Hey, Goldies! I’m back with one of my most exciting tales yet!

SO, as you can see from the title, this blog has got some weight. And I mean it.

Last summer, I won the State Games in my state in my favorite and competitive sport: Swimming. This also means that I qualified for the State Games of America being held in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2015. But there was one complication: To compete, I had to become a USA Swimming member.

That was a problem for me, since I wasn’t able to do that.

I approached my coaches, asking if it would even be possible to join USA Swimming as a stand-alone athlete. They said no. I, bummed, figured that I was not going to attend the SGA in the summer.

Then, I looked into it a bit more. The moment I got an email, I used my new form of messaging to contact some people associated with my state’s division of USA Swimming. Soon enough, I received a call.

Nice lady on the phone: “Yeah, you can absolutely join USA Swimming! You just have to jump through a few hoops, is all!”

Me: Yay

After being connected with other coaches, directors, and other people, I was a USA Swimming member, all set for my first meet.

I don’t know about you, but I saw that there were just doors opening and opening to new experiences. When I went to my coaches to tell them the good news, they didn’t seem to excited.

BUT WHO CARES? God’s giving me a baton in this relay of my life, and it’s exhilarating! 😀

So now I have the motivation and the preparations to race in a real USA Swimming meet, and I’m now capable of going to the SGA this summer!

Now what?

I have to swim.

Has anyone ever told you that you COULDN’T do something, then rise above the statement and accomplish it? How so?

See you soon!

~#1kid

(Credit to Christine Caine’s book Unstoppable for the reference of a divine relay. Reading it now, and looooving it!)

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My Review of The Manual to Manhood

Hi! I was recently asked to write a review of the book, The Manual to Manhood by Jonathan Catherman. So, if you don’t want to read this, that’s fine. It’s just a book review about a book that tells the responsibilities that teen boys need to grow into before they become men.

 

The Manual to Manhood was an amazing book. It’s a guide for young men to learn how to live in the adult world. MAN
I seriously appreciate the simple instructions that the book gives on pretty complex issues. It goes from simple “How to Do Laundry” or “How to to Cook an Egg” to “How to Write a Resume” and “How to Get a Date.” It deals with everything a guy needs to know and to do his part as the male role model of his future family.
All in all, this book was extremely helpful and I hope that every guy can read it while he is still a teen. I know this book will be a good resource as I become a man.

 

Thank you for reading this. I hope I can write again soon. Look for more book reviews on Rd2Gold!

~FantasyFan101

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Get in the Hole!

Helloooooo! Welcome to Road2Gold!!!

The day after the Games, I went to golf camp. Now, I don’t always golf like I do swimming, but I still very much enjoy the game.

It was nice to finally find a sport this summer that didn’t involve much noise and physical activity. Therefore, my head barely hurt! Just the sun bothered my eyes which occasionally disturbed my head.

I am not amazing at golf, but I know how to play. So, going to camp is definitely a challenge when I see all the other teens driving them onto the green like a boss. 😀 No, never

Young Rory McIlroy

Young Rory McIlroy

am I intimidated when I stupidly drive ten yards. Those kids play golf like I swim. Say the teen golfer was to challenge me to a 9-hole match, I would lose with dull thunderclouds. But say I challenged him to a swimming race, I would win with flying colorful rainbows. I’m not as awesome as Rory McIlroy, but he was young once too.

On the last day of camp, we played our own ball instead of scramble tournaments. I was VERY nervous. I was like “Oh no! All the others are gonna be like wow, she hit right into the woods… AGAIN!” but it turned out a bit differently. On hole 3, it started sprinkling a little bit. We were like “Well, it’s okay.” Then, on the green of hole 4, it started down pouring, it became windy and very cold (my visor blew off my head!), and our friend couldn’t find her ball! Luckily, one of my group mates brought a giant umbrella that fit all four of us.

It was a crazy day. I lost count of how many times the group behind us yelled “FORE!!!!!” If you didn’t know, fore means that the golf ball is coming your way so take cover. We all ducked under our bags in the rain and hoped that it didn’t hit anyone else in the group. One time, it wasn’t three feet away!

I broke my favorite club, my 7 iron. I used it like I used swim goggles. It worked for almost any distance and it was one of the only clubs I was good at. On hole 6, I drove the ball out of bounds and into the woods, then took a three club length provisional, then took a swing with the 7, and crack! the head of the club sailed at least 10 yards behind me! Apparently, the pull-cart was behind me and I broke the club on the follow through!

Of course, every time we do something, we improve. And that’s exactly what I did. I had recorded last year’s scores in my phone for some reason. This year, they came in handy. Last year, I scored a 67 playing on the orange tees. This year, I scored a 73 with a concussion, in the down pouring rain, on the red tees, and with a broken 7 Iron. The circumstances weren’t very bright, just like the state championships.

Ever golfed? Ever felt intimidated because you “weren’t as good” as the others?

#1KID

THANK YOU, UNCLE MIKE, FOR THE AWESOME NEW 7 IRON! I CAN NOW SLEEP AT NIGHT. 😀

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Hello world!

Welcome to Road2Gold! This is a blog about my road to success. I’ll be talking about my goals in sports like swimming, tennis, golf, and karate. I’ll be posting about my hobbies and other activities as well. I hope you enjoy my future posts. #1kid
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