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Shiggitay

Adult Responsibilities vs Anime Cons

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So this post was inspired by someone in one of the ACen FaceBook groups. He said that due to adulthood and such responsibilities he feels he won't be able to attend any more cons this year. Can anyone relate to that? I'd totally like to attend more than what I already do, but given I only work at a convenience store in Boston and most of the cons I'd like to attend require a fair amount of travel, I don't have the money to pay for even that.. getting there. I'm 31 in a week....

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I totally feel that. I've been attending cons since 2006 and they've been wonderful and I've met some amazing people because of them. However, things in my life have changed a lot since then. Last year I got engaged and I started a new job that works me about 40-60 hours a week. Add to that that I'll be starting school this fall and cons just don't hold the same importance to me anymore. I still love them and my finace and I are planning on doing Ramencon as kind of a yearly get away but this year will mark my last going to cons. I had planned on going to ACen just for a day but after Scandal was announced as the musical guest. I'm considering going the whole weekend. Colossalcon will be my final con. It has been a long and amazing journey and I've made friends I hope to keep for the rest of my life but as it has been said. All good things must come to an end and so is this. I'm sad sure but I'm much more excited to see what's ahead of me

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This is my 9th year attending ACen. Granted, I'm only about to be 23 in a week and a half so I wouldn't count myself as old, but I have my share of adult responsibilities. (Like graduating college with 50k in debt, and buying a new car for another 25k...)

 

I think letting adult responsibilities stop you from attending conventions is all a matter of circumstance and what matters the most to you. Personally, cons and cosplay and anime are my FAVORITE things still. So any money I have left after all my bills (besides the set amount that funnels into a savings I don't allow myself to touch) goes to anime/manga/cosplay/cons. But if you have other things that are more important to you (like magishine said he's getting married), those things are obviously going to come first and suck away at money you previously would have saved for cons. I want to travel to more cons out of state, as I've only made it as far as Wisconsin, but that's something I can't do yet since I don't have the funds and getting days off of work is hard. Obviously, if your job isn't enough to cover your other expenses, anime cons and other sources of pleasure are cut out of your budget before things like food.

 

I think got off track a little so let me try to get back xD TL;DR: If you want to go to conventions, you'll find a way to do it. Whether it's not buying movies/games or going out to dinner to save up, or cramming yourself in a room with 20 people to cut costs. You'll find a way. If it's not your priority, I feel like "adult responsibilities" is a convenient excuse to fall back on.

Edited by Washu Takahashi

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Great responses so far guys. Even though I'm approaching 31 in a week's time I still like anime and to some extent manga. I own and "own" more anime than manga, but I still do enjoy both. I work in retail, as mentioned in the OP, and going to these cons helps me unwind and get away from the dbags that tend to come into the store I work at. lol. For me it's that I have bills up the @$$ and beyond. I average around $800 a month (rent/RCN, of which I know some of you probably have if you live in/around Chicago for cable/TV/my family's family plan with Sprint for our phones). I try and manage that each month, and it aint easy. I'm also trying to save up for a trip to Tokyo in March, for which I'm excited about to no end. AKIHABARA HERE I COME! Ahahah.

 

Anyway, keep the stories/relations etc coming. I like reading them, and it's a nice way to get to know each other a little. :)

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I know how it goes. I would like to go be able to go to more cons per year, but I know what I can and can't afford. I try to manage my money as best as I can, so I can keep going to the cons I currently go to without having to cut one out. So far, so good. Haven't been able to buy myself a new cosplay in a while, but no point in buying a new outfit if I can't go to the place I intend to wear it, right? Last year was rough because of some stupid family drama. This year, I'm contemplating doing one of two major things in my life (both of which cost a good bit of money), so I'm probably not gonna get a new cosplay this year. I've been trying to keep savings for a few different things, like getting a car and getting a certain operation I need to fix a certain birth defect (it's not life threatening, but it would make things better for me). I like to put some money aside to help other people go to cons, but with the way things have been going, this will likely be the last year I'll be able to do that, at least until I get other things taken care of. I don't seem myself not going to cons any time in the foreseeable future. As long as I have roughly the same income I have now, and I don't see any of my bills shoot up, I should be just fine. ACen would be a hard con for me to give up if things ever did go south, so don't worry about not seeing me. :3

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For me being an adult keeps me from doing more conventions + wanting to do conventions like an adult. What I mean is - not shoving 8 people in a room and barely eating anything, not having money to spend in dealers, etc. I'm not dissing anyone who does this. Many of my great convention friends do... just this isnt how I want to spend my convention time. This year I'm doing two big conventions - ACen and DragonCon - just like last year. DragonCon is going to be different - mainly because I'm planning on having my own room this time. ACen I've never really felt like I needed it - so Im rooming with 3 others in the Hyatt. I'll also being going to Des Moines Comic Con + accouple mini trips to various places.... :) I dont feel like I'm missing much.

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On the topic of money and whatnot I really hope I can make it to ACen this year... I'm trying to round up some people to pay for a $2k suite in the Hyatt I nabbed pretty much right after ACen 2014 (just to lock something in) and if I can't fill it by around March I think I'll dump it and just book something less expensive. No I'm not trying to recruit people here since I know this is the wrong forum for it, but that was just a thought I had. If you are interested of course you can PM me.

 

Also a concern of mine is that I need money for my Tokyo trip (3/22-4/7), and I dunno if I'll make it at this point... I have about half of my plane ticket, and that's about it. I don't want to borrow from anyone because I'm already in debt with my family.

 

Like Genichiro I'm totally trying to manage my money... so hopefully I can manage the overseas trip, as well as then delving into a trip to Chicago area for ACen. I'm already giving up my 6 year (would have been year 7 in a row this year) Anime Boston legacy (my home con) for the Tokyo trip...

 

Anyway, I don't see myself not going to cons in the near future. I'll go to as many as I can afford. Next year I want to finally check out MaGFest (Music and Gaming Festival). I've heard so many good things about it. I really don't consider myself a 'gamer' but since I was a kid I have enjoyed playing video games, so it'd be a fun experience to just game and listen to gaming concerts all 4 day weekend.

Edited by Shiggitay

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I don't want to borrow from anyone because I'm already in debt with my family.

In your position I certainly wouldn't be going abroad, let alone to ACen. Maybe it's just me, but I HATE owing people money. Owing for school/car is different since it's through a lender, not a friend or family member. Unless you're expecting a big income boost between now and when you want to go to Japan, I'd call it off...why struggle to scrap together the money needed to go, when you wouldn't have any money to DO or buy anything? And if I was one of the people you owed money to, I certainly wouldn't be happy you were doing fun, extra things instead of paying me back. (Assuming we're talking a few hundred bucks plus here, if it's just 20 bucks whatever)

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rondo   

You shouldn't be going into debt to go on vacation. That's silly and rather irresponsible. Japan isn't going anywhere. Save your money and go when you can afford it. I'm saving up for a South Korea trip myself but I won't be borrowing money to do it.

Edited by rondo

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Youmi   

I'd love to go to more cons, but money/distance/time off is an issue. Which, I guess I would have more time if it weren't for my job, but then less money. So, vicious cycle of not enough anime cons for me I guess.

 

But at least having a job and stuff is why I can splurge on cosplays/con stuff anyway. I never got to go to any when I was younger because I didn't quite have the freedoms, friends, or the spending cash, then going to college kind of sucked my soul and funds entirely dry, but now that all that's done with I can do fun things again, lmao. Especially since I just paid off my student loan and am working on getting a real, decent savings again, so maybe more cons are in my future. We will see! But I don't see myself entirely.. not going any time soon. I *just* started going to cons since I got a late start, aha, and will probably keep going to ACen especially for a good handful of years to come.

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It's a matter of priorities, IMO, and your con experience just evolves with the times as you grow up. I started going to cons in college, and the reason why I couldn't go to ACen or any out-of-state cons was either because I didn't have anyone to go with, the timing wasn't good (that and ACen managed to land itself on my finals week for 5 YEARS RUNNING), or the con was too far away (most of the locals here back then didn't go out of state for cons). So as I graduated college and grew up, I increased my abilities to actually be able to go to MORE cons (hope to fly to my first one this year), and I just integrated my life into it. Job? I get the time off, my weekly schedule is arranged so I take the least amount of vacation for cons and have the least catch-up work. Money? Mine pays enough and I was always the one who spent his money wisely and always made sure to never run low in case of an emergency. Car? Just bought one last year, it's made for road trips and is perfect for cons. I never went through a phase where I'd attend cons to party wildly/wear myself out/drink or just engage into activities that I'd "grow out of eventually" if you know what I mean. I was always the one who arranged everything for friends to attend cons, and it puts me on a good path towards a few more things I want to do soon, like go to Japan.

 

Some people evolve by exiting the fandom, or growing out of going to cons. No problem there, people just shift their interests. My motto right now with cosplays and cons for myself is "do it before you get too OLD to."

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I'm probably not attending ACen this year because graduation for my college falls on the same weekend as ACen. Our College has graduation spread out over all three days and I think the day for my department is Sunday. Also Friday night is a event called Manifest where Seniors showcase their work. I'm part of the Traditional Animation senior team and we have to show our short film the Friday of ACen and it's mandatory to attend. I'm not sure I want to just go to ACen on Saturday or not because I might honestly be terribly exhausted. My friend and I were thinking about just coming to cosplay for the day, no badges, just show up and go to our gatherings... but ehhhnnn... ehhhh ehhhhh

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In your position I certainly wouldn't be going abroad, let alone to ACen. Maybe it's just me, but I HATE owing people money. Owing for school/car is different since it's through a lender, not a friend or family member. Unless you're expecting a big income boost between now and when you want to go to Japan, I'd call it off...why struggle to scrap together the money needed to go, when you wouldn't have any money to DO or buy anything? And if I was one of the people you owed money to, I certainly wouldn't be happy you were doing fun, extra things instead of paying me back. (Assuming we're talking a few hundred bucks plus here, if it's just 20 bucks whatever)

 

That's a good point... Last year in order to go to ACen I had to borrow around $400 I think? With other things I had to borrow for I owed about $700 ($500 left now to pay back). As for paying them back? My mom said that I can hang onto whatever I earn until they're in trouble with rent etc. Also I'm shooting for the Japan trip as much as possible because I used up all my PTO money to go towards my plane ticket. I paid my February rent a few days ago, and I plan on paying March's rent ahead of schedule so then I can just concentrate on getting my ticket, as well as saving for spending money. So, while it'll be tight, I think I should be okay. ACen should be possible minimally as well.

 

Thanks for your concern! smile.gif

 

Anywho, keep them stores etc comin'. I didn't mean to go OT there. lol *glares at Washu*

Edited by Shiggitay

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Since '08 I only skipped one year due to emotional issues.

 

As it stands, when ACen falls it's my off season for the spring so I have no work. I go back home, rally some pals, and get it together and attend. I'm able to keep myself out of debt because I pay for my own rent, car, maintenance, but phone and student loans are on my parents which helps more than you can imagine.

 

Really the only things stopping me are if I don't feel like it, if I can't find anyone to go, if it gets cancelled, or if I die.

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vicemage   

For me being an adult keeps me from doing more conventions + wanting to do conventions like an adult. What I mean is - not shoving 8 people in a room and barely eating anything, not having money to spend in dealers, etc. I'm not dissing anyone who does this. Many of my great convention friends do... just this isnt how I want to spend my convention time. This year I'm doing two big conventions - ACen and DragonCon - just like last year. DragonCon is going to be different - mainly because I'm planning on having my own room this time. ACen I've never really felt like I needed it - so Im rooming with 3 others in the Hyatt. I'll also being going to Des Moines Comic Con + accouple mini trips to various places.... :)/> I dont feel like I'm missing much.

This is honestly how it is for me with "being an adult" and conventions, as well. We keep a reasonable number of people in the room (most of the time, anyway), we get good food and make sure there's enough for the weekend, we take time to relax, we don't overspend. It's an enjoyable way to spend the con, honestly, and in a different way from when I was younger and did do the "as many people as the room will hold let's all eat ramen all weekend" trips. I don't attend as many cons anymore, either, but to be fair, part of the reason I attended so many when I was younger was because I was doing Artist Alleys as a part-time revenue stream, and burned out after a couple of years of all the travel.

 

Now, my two cons every year are my vacation time. Other people can go off skiing or head to Vegas or whatever it is grownups are supposed to do on vacation, I'll stick with my conventions.

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Personally, I think it's all about maintaining balance. I haven't been able to do as many cons as I'd really since acquiring my son so ACen has become the only one for now. I might do more when my son's a bit older and can come too. But for right now it gives me a great way to hang with old friends and decompress for a weekend. We've been doing the yearly ACen trip since 2008 and it's like our own reunion.

 

It helps that work is pretty dead around May to August for me so I can take off as much time as I need.

 

I think that with any "adult" thing or responsibility as long as you properly plan and budget for it without it killing you financially, then go for it. Doing fun things is an important part of being an adult too.

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Valkyrie   

As a 31-year-old working a contractor position with no PTO...I get to be pretty creative when it comes to doing conventions. My bosses take delight in the knowledge that I work conventions, and encourage me to do it as a way to take a break from Day Job work. It may ding my paycheck a bit, but it's always worth it, and I can usually make up most of the hours anyway.

 

Last year, though. Last year was awful. I had lined myself up to work a handful of conventions, but out of all of them, I only ended up doing Kitsune Kon and ACen. My family was going through an incredibly rough patch - my grandma on a steep health decline before finally passing away in August, my mother transferring to California to help out with my grandma, then my parents trying to sell their house in order to move to Cali, and then my dad getting a torn tendon in his knee right after the house got put on the market. I wound up having to drop convention after convention because either a) I was starting to crack mentally/emotionally, or B) recent family developments demanded it. KK and ACen were the two I kept because I desperately needed the break away from home and work.

 

It's a tough balance to maintain, especially as we get older/get more responsibilities. (I've known people who couldn't seem to go a month or two without going to a con.) And well...sometimes putting it as "adulthood" is the best/only way for some folks to understand why you may not be at conventions.

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Being an adult hasn't kept me away from conventions, I've actually been upping my cons. I used to go to one a year, then 2, now it's 3 with this year's ACen (my first time here).

 

But then again I don't and won't have children, that's certainly one giant part that allows me to have extra money to attend cons, and that I don't buy anything outside of needs for the rest of the year.

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Time is the bigger issue for me. I work a service desk job with a 6 day, staggered 9 hr/day schedule. Our team normally should have 6 full time people, but store management refused to hire replacements as we lost people to reassignment or outside job offers (stress here is high for MANY reasons, without factoring in the marginally effective, verbally abusive manager wanting to micromanage things he has no training in, so turnover is also high). We lost 3 people this past week alone. It's down to myself and another person that started just before I did, to cover it all.

 

Even before this, I'd get home and be physically drained, so I haven't worked on cosplay or other hobbies like I did before this job, despite having enough money to buy nice materials. And we've recently gone to a traditional(?) PTO setup, where vacation is also sick time. As I work in close proximity to my coworkers (who avoided calling in sick even before the change), and frequently handle customers' property with mysterious growths or fluids (and can't decline to handle them with bare hands because management doesn't want to offend anyone), I come down with flu like symptoms every couple of months. I've already burnt half my days for this year, and am hoping to keep the week around ACen (because we have to take PTO-as-vacation days in a block? That's a thing.). I want out of this job but we're financially dependent on it right now, and I'd never finished college because of medical issues, so I probably won't find anyone who'd hire me for anything better.

 

tl;dr Service industry sucks. Get a STEM degree! :P

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Alxa   

It really comes down to what kind of job you have an as adult, and what your family responsibilities are - i.e. have kids etc.

 

I'm fortunate to have a job where I can take off almost any time I want, no black out periods.

 

But I know people who can't take any time off during months x- month y.

 

Re: Hoshigumo - Stem Degree - that's what I have - Masters in Computer Science. :)

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STEM degrees are pretty awesome...except for the fact that your first 3-4 (maybe longer) years out of school are spent paying your loans xD Can't wait to finally have my loans paid off and actually be saving up money...still have another 3ish years before that point though.

 

Like everyone else said though, you job depends a lot on if you can go. I used to work retail and getting weekends off was a special kind of hell, especially November-January due to the holidays. Even if you have the money to go to a convention saved up, doesn't mean your workplace will just give you the time off :/

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I budget myself every year. I normally only go to ACen all the way from NYC every year, so maybe saving $50/week will cover it. *insert chronic complaint about how ReedPOP killed NY Anime Festival here*

 

Next year my wife and I are going to Otakon's last year in Baltimore, so I'll really need to budget myself over the next year and change.

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I can relate to this, in the past i've been to my share of cons but now i can't

go to conventions like i used to. The biggest problem is $$$$ (like most of us)

 

Paying bills and trying to pay off others UGH <_<

 

There's only one con for me and my wife to attend and that's Wizard World

and the only reason were going is because of a certain superstar that will

be there Thur only.

 

Next year on our 5th wedding anniversary were hoping to save up and stay in Chichago

for 2-3 nights and stop by Anime Midwest on and off to check out the cosplayers..

 

Later B)

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