I don’t think I consciously made a choice to go to my first Swancon. I think a cute boy asked if I wanted to go with him and of course, I said yes! (A pattern from which I have never recovered!)
It was kind of terrifying.
There were a lot of people. A LOT of people. And so much going on. I remember roleplaying Dana Scully from X Files, sitting on the floor in a circle in a corridor. I remember in-jokes that I seemed to just get. It was also known as Goth-Con, so a lot of my gothy little friends were there but they just sort of… disappeared into the crowd.
I dislike walking into social situations, and not having something to say planned. I used to script my conversations in my head all the time in high school, mentally going over potential avenues of discussion and working out the best ways to get people to talk to me, or for me to get my point across, or just to communicate effectively.
Social conversations is a series of patterns, of give and take. it’s endlessly fascinating and endlessly changeable. You can only surf the possibilities and hope you look graceful while doing so!
If this describes something you’re worried about, I wrote an e-book just for you. Surviving at Conventions is designed for someone new to fan-run conventions. There’s some simple breakdowns of conversation mechanics but the best bits (if I do say so myself) is the roleplaying game! Grab yourself a six sided dice, and see if you survive your first day at a convention! navigate conversations and panels and try to retain enough Conversation Points to last to midnight.