There’s a lot of advice that can be flung about in the weeks leading up to San Diego Comic Con. And rightfully so, with the sheer number of events, people, and experiences available over the long weekend. Comic Con boasts a staggering–and rather overwhelming–presence of life and activity during its run, and attendees are left to sort through hundreds and hundreds of events and figure out where their priorities are. Calendars and planning apps attempt to help us organize our hectic runs, but there’s so much to do and only so much time. We all sift through the events and prioritize, make schedules and contingencies and routes of travel to ensure we make it to our destination. We plan. We plan because it gives us a modicum of control, and in this vast and constantly active world, we need some semblance of having a handle on things. We set ourselves up for the things we’d love to experience, the known events that have been handed to us and fit with our interests.

And then the Con starts. More events, opportunities, and experiences are thrown at you. And some of your carefully wrought plans fall to the wayside.

But seriously.

dont-panic

DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. And even some of the big stuff.

Really, that’s the absolute best advice we could possibly give you.

Because not everything is going to go as planned.

The schedule you’ve spent hours slaving over, perfecting, and planning down to the very last minute? It’s probably not going to happen. Unexpected crowds, a much-sought-after giveaway luring you off task, a celeb (or Pokemon) sighting just across the street but in the opposite direction of your next destination, a line that stretches down the hallway and throughout the day, an online friend you’ve been dying to meet….the list goes ever on, truly. Unaccountable factors constantly shape and reshape your Comic Con experience.

And here’s the thing: Most of the most memorable encounters are the unplanned ones. Comic Con offers a gazillion amazing scheduled options, but we’ve found that the unexpected moments are the ones that really shine, even years later. Stumbling into a tiny room and finding an awesome behind the scenes look at the Uncharted series (the cute as heck Nathan Drake t-shirt they gave us after the panel is still one of my favorites). Hi-tailing it down the street to snag a limited Jurassic World poster.

So, when you inevitably fail to make a panel you’ve been dreaming of seeing, or don’t draw that lucky ticket admitting you to the Game of Thrones signing, it’s upsetting! Of course it is. But it’s also not going to ruin your comic con experience. You’re still there, in the heart of it all. Surrounded on every side by incredible people, passionate fans, and untold stories. It just means that there’s something unexpected waiting for you to stumble into. If you’re too busy lamenting a missed panel or an unsuccessful signing lottery, you’ll miss out on the myriad of other experiences. And trust us. There are plenty.

Writer. Cosplayer. Binge Netflix Watcher. Anime Dweeb. Book Enthusiast. Harbours inappropriately strong feelings about Shakespeare and William Blake. Once lost a whole day theorizing about Game of Thrones. The most motivated procrastinator she knows. Sometimes it works out in her favor. Mostly just causes widespread panic. It's all good though, because she never forgets her towel.

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