Every fandom is different and unique. I almost like to think of the fandom world as another Greek system.
So I guess it’s quite fitting that this here is Fandom University. I know how intimidating it can be to step into the world of fandom, especially when you’ve never really learned how before. What if you pick the wrong one? What if you step into one and then find out that it’s actually completely not what you wanted?
Hopefully, through this post, you’ll learn what to look for in fandoms and how to figure out which one best suite your personality, values, and interests. I’ll let you in on a secret though.
Most times, fandoms have a strange way of entering our lives when we least expect them to. So you can’t force it.
Ask the fangirls around you how they fell in love with the fandom that they did and I guarantee most of them will tell you that they a) grew up surrounded by it or b) felt this magnetic and magical pull towards it. hat, my friends, is one of the five ways to finding your fandom. Keep reading to learn about the other ways to finding your fandom.
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FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU VALUE
As mentioned earlier, every fandom is different and they all have different types of fangirls. In some fandoms, you’ll find your stereotypical teenybopper fangirls while others cater more to an older generation. The cool thing about fandoms in the times of social media is that you can really get an inside look into the fandom and decide whether it aligns with your value.
Certain fandoms are notorious for being very … catty and drama filled. Fans can behave selfishly and even a bit obsessively. Then you have other fandoms who consider themselves to be very caring and supportive. They strive to lift each other up rather than tearing other fans down. While it’s natural to feel jealous of other fan’s interactions with the stars of the fandom, the community is, on a whole, very supportive.
You need to decide what is most important to you. Because if you can’t stand drama or idiots and you wind up joining a fandom that thrives on those things, that’s a recipe for disaster.
REVISIT YOUR CHILDHOOD OR FORMER FANDOMS
Unlike exes, you should take the time to reconnect with old flames. Because this is a fantastic way to find new fandoms. Feeling uncomfortable ‘using’ your former loves? Don’t be. There was a reason you fell in love with those fandoms but there was also a reason why you’re no longer a part of it. Maybe the fandom’s run has ended and fans have moved on, or maybe the fandom got too draining because of the cattiness between fans.
Chances are if you figure out these reasons you’ll be able to find new fandoms to love. It’s almost like making friends through mutual friends or finding a job through a former supervisor. Networking 😉 who knew it works just as well in the fangirl lifestyle?
Be a stalker. It’s ok. In this specific situation, I give you permission and my full support to go full-on cyberstalker. Put your stalking skills to the test and see how many new fandoms you can discover. This tip is kind of similar to the whole ‘taking advantage of your network’ thing.
For example, if you know that your Facebook friends are highly opinionated and critical of new TV shows because of racial bias, but you see them all gushing about this new show, then maybe it’s a show worth checking out. You can take comfort in knowing that it will probably not carry any racial prejudice, if that’s important to you.
WATCH THE FANDOM
The previous tips have been more about how to find new fandoms. But how do you know when to actually take the plunge and join the fandom? You watch the fandom.
People watching is one of my favorite things to do because there’s so much you can learn from just watching. With a simple observation, you can tell whether someone is confident, outgoing, or stressed. The same goes for fandoms. Just by watching how fans tweet or interact with the stars can say a lot. Are they judgmental or supportive? Do they blindly idolize or can they maturely engage in a stimulating conversation?
I did an interview earlier this month with someone who loves being a fangirl, or a fanboy in his case, and he said something that really caused me to pause and think.
“If it’s the first thing on your mind when you wake up and the last thing you think about before you go to sleep, then it’s something worth pursuing.” – Sam Maher
So if you’re nervous about taking that final plunge where you fully become a part of a fandom, then take a day to unplug and distract yourself. See if you’re still thinking about the fandom and make sure it’s not the whole ironic process theory happening.
If you still are then why not dive in?
What’s the worst that can happen?
If anything, maybe it’ll change your life for the better.
Don’t question my love for all things Supernatural and Simple Plan!! I’m proud to be a fangirl. I hope to inspire discovery and passion through these fandoms and to showcase the magical power that comes with being a fangirl.