Why is it culturally accepted for people to paint their faces and bare chests for a sporting event, while people dressed as Gandalf the White and wood elves get stared and laughed at for their costumes?
Too often people apologize for their extensive and zealous knowledge of a particular series, game, band, show or book. People should embrace the things they love even if they can seem geeky or nerdy.
According to the Indianapolis Star, ten fan conventions will be held in Indiana this year. These conventions often bring in thousands of dollars to the local economy, from hotel rooms to restaurants to transportation and parking. Imagine how much more money could be made if all the people who are interested but intimidated also attended.
One prime example is Gen Con. It has been hosted ever year in Indianapolis since 2013. The summer convention is projected to generate $56.2 million this year, according to a spokesman from Visit Indy in an interview with the Indy Star. The event draws people from all over the world. And do you know what the convention is about? Tabletop gaming. This means board games, card games, and the like. Think Dungeons and Dragons or Magic: The Gathering. People who attend these conventions pay a lot of money to go to a place where they can enjoy something they love with people who enjoy the same things.
Hopefully we all know how great it is to talk with people who understand our favorite things, be it sports or anime. It creates a great feeling of belonging.
At Franklin, it is likely that we have all seen and heard people apologize for talking about the things they enjoy. This should not be the case. Apologizing for having certain hobbies or interests that may be deemed “uncool” by some because they are outside of the realm of popular culture implies that there is something wrong with what you like. Unless it is in someway harmful or dangerous to others, there’s no reason why it would be “wrong” for you to like something. Be proud of what you do, regardless of how nerdy or geeky or “uncool” it may be – it’s part of what makes you who you are. Does that sound cheesy? Yes. But it’s true, and it matters.
Students on this campus should feel confident talking and debating about whether or not Batman is truly a superhero, or if V for Vendetta is better as a comic or a movie.
We are at a time in our lives where we are supposed to go out and enjoy what we love unapologetically. We are even given a spring break that allows us this time. We can choose to do with it whatever we want, be it traveling somewhere warm or sitting at home and playing computer games.
Being close to Indianapolis is a perk of going to Franklin. The city offers a wide variety of events and attractions, from Comic Con to Colts football to the Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis. If you are not sure you would enjoy something, try it. You are close to a city that offers opportunities for you to learn.
When it comes down to it, it’s all about being comfortable with who you are.
Students of Franklin College, do not ever be embarrassed about what you love. If painting your chest blue and gold for homecoming is your thing, do it. If you love baking cupcakes and watching Doctor Who on a Friday night, do it. Don’t let others stop you from enjoying the shows, sports, games, books or anything else that you love.