How To Survive A Lecture-Based Conference

You open up the obligatory “Schedule of Events”  A quick scan reveals that all you were hoping against will be your reality for the next few days.  Hours of lectures.  A break-out discussion.  More speakers.  If they’re feeling crazy, maybe even a panel discussion or two.

I’m very confident that we weren’t designed to thrive in these settings.  Yet it is a necessary part of the Summer of Growing Up and so I have compiled a survival guide in case you find yourself in such a predicament.

How To Survive a Lecture-Based Conference

  1. Pretend that you have stumbled upon this odd gathering of two-legged creatures by accident.  Take detailed notes on their habitat, diet, behaviors.  Compile into a log journal–including the peculiar sounds they keep making.
  2. Make friends.
  3. Develop your doodling.  I had to graduate past my trusty triad–the heart, the balloon,  and the square house–in order to not appear completely disinterested.  Instead, trying organizing your notes in creatively graphic ways and transform interesting soundbites into typography.
  4. Eat as much of the delicious food they provide as possible.  No portion control, no regrets.
  5. Explore!  If given the time, do some adventuring wherever the conference is.  My favorite way to do this is to do a few investigative  morning runs.  You get your bearings, find neat things, and don’t feel so sluggish during the 23rd keynote speaker.

Riding Solo

In this Summer of Growing Up, I have officially accomplished one of my many goals.  You’ll be hearing about the rest later.

I successfully completed my first road trip by myself!  This may not sound that impressive, but given my affinity for getting lost, the mere fact that I made it to my destination within a five hour window of my intended arrival time is something that I gleefully celebrated.

Even though I wasn’t able to indulge in my favorite activity of car sleeping, it went by quickly.  I became proficient in radio channel changing, food sign scanning, and meaningless merging.

Next Growing Up Goal: Surviving the Wild Topography of Lecture-Based Conferences

Stay tuned for more adventures!