We are in the midst of con season and as per usual people are passing out and being the smelly kid. No one likes the smelly kid; and no one wants to be known as “that girl that fainted”. So let’s talk about what it takes to survive a con.
You need to pack anything you would for a normal weekend away. Pack yourself comfortable clothing not just cosplays. You need to pack pyjamas or at least a pair of yoga pants or gym shorts so you can run to the vending machine at night. You need to pack some snacks, vending machines are expensive and limited and finding a restaurant that is open at 1 AM especially if you are under 21 is going to be impossible. Pack real clothes that are not cosplays. You will at some point have to leave the con and at midnight you don’t want to be wearing a wig and an uncomfortable 12 piece suit of armor. Bring toiletries, bring makeup wipes. Use common sense when you pack, you need everything to take off your costumes just as much as you need everything to put them on.
You all need to sleep. I’m not saying you need to get 8 hours, but I think 6 is a reasonable expectation. Don’t try to do a con and not sleep you have to prioritize. If you have a panel at 10 AM you can not stay out until 3 AM and expect to be a reasonable person in the morning. Decide if you are going to do late night or early morning at a con and stick to it. I like to give myself one late night because I am a vendor and have to be at the dealers room on time. I have other friends who do late night panels and I have never seen them before 11. There is no way to take in everything that happens at a con. You have to prioritize what you want to do or you will run yourself ragged.
You need to do the food thing twice a day. Meaning you have to eat two real meals each day or you are going to pass out. You need to drink a minimum of 2 liters of water a day. You are moving around often in areas that are very warm. Water is available at the back of most panel rooms or from fountains and you need to take advantage of that. Basic self care is the secret to con survival.
Shower. Just shower once a day with soap. Wear deodorant. I shouldn’t even have to write this paragraph. No one wants to be friends with the smelly kid, guys. Ax body spray is not a replacement for showering and neither is rolling around in a gallon of bath and body works body spray. Less is more with the fragrances folks. Less. Is. More.
At a convention you are inflicting yourself on others. You are not at home in your room where no one cares what you smell like or how grouchy you are. You need to be fit for human consumption. Shower once a day, wear deodorant, eat two meals, drink enough water, sleep for 6 hours, and pack everything you need not just your costumes and we can all make it through this con season.