This was my first BiCon and it definitely had its ups and downs. Although now I have come away from it definitely wanting to go back next year I must admit that after the first night I was thinking that I probably wouldn't, and at one point I was even considering going home before the weekend was over.
My main problem was probably my ears. They were blocked and I found hearing what people were saying difficult a lot of the time. It was quite upsetting because I feel anxious talking to people anyway and this just made it so much harder. Not only did I have trouble hearing them, I also couldn't hear my own voice properly so I avoided talking because whenever I did I felt really weird and self conscious not knowing how loud my voice was.
The other problem with having blocked ears is that it feels like the inside of your head is creaking whenever you move it, which is not a nice experience.
Another issue was the bar. I really don't like crowds and loud noise. The first night I was at the newcomers drinks I felt close to crying a lot of the time because I really didn't feel comfortable there, but at the same time I didn't want to leave because I wanted to get to know people. I did retreat to the railings by the water a few times, which was lovely and calming, before making myself head back in.
It got better after that first night though. It didn't rain the second night so I sat on the outside tables with some people playing cards, and the night after that was the Ceilidh, which I loved. I really like that kind of dancing where you have steps and someone tells you what to do. I was in the bar for the disco the next night and two of the people I'd made friends with kept telling me to dance. I tried it for less than a minute before feeling so intensely uncomfortable I had to escape.
The campus itself was located across the water from London City Airport, which I actually really liked. You could stand outside and watch the planes talking off and landing. I love flying and watching them reminded me of it, which gave me warm and fuzzy feelings inside. Having said that, I liked them a lot less at 7am when I'd much rather be sleeping!
The sessions were a bit of a mixed bunch. Some pushed me out of my comfort zone quite a bit by having more audience participation than I had been expecting. Some were fun. And one was a complete train wreck, but had the fortunate side effect of bringing those of us who suffered through it together afterwards!
There were lots of amazing outfits, especially in the evenings, that I was extremely jealous of. Next year I'm definitely going to have to pack more awesome clothes. I have so many things in my wardrobe that I never wear and now I have the opportunity! Of course this could work out badly for my bank balance. Often I will see a gorgeous dress or skirt or corset somewhere that I want to buy but tell myself to be sensible and not waste my money on something I'm never going to actually wear!
Also, there were lots of people knitting around the place. A lot of the stuff they were making looked lovely and it made me want to learn to knit. I didn't go to any of the craft sessions but I might look into talking it up in the near future. Who knows, maybe next year I'll be one of those people with knitting needles and wool everywhere I go!
I met a lot of lovely people over the weekend who I'm really looking forward to seeing again next year. I tried very hard to be sociable and I know I failed a few times due to a combination of my ear problems and my natural shyness, but I was still quite proud of myself for what I did manage. I got the impression that a few people were annoyed with me for reasons I'm not quite sure of but that might just have been my lack of self confidence rearing its ugly head again. I did have my usual "Oh god, I thought I'd been doing well but I bet everyone else thought I was a complete moron and hates me now" moment earlier today that always seems to follow any time I achieve something socially but it's fading now.
There are other thoughts and feelings I have about the weekend that I'm finding it hard to put into coherent sentences so I'll just leave it at this. Overall I had a good time and I'd very much like to go again, assuming I can find my way around Leicester!