Freshman 101: How To Shop And Pack For THON 2017

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Participating in your first THON can be stressful. Even though your older friends try to warn you, it’s almost impossible to remember to pack everything if you haven’t experienced THON yourself.

There is nothing more agonizing than being stuck in the sweaty BJC knowing your deoderant is a stone’s throw away in East Halls. This can be especially irritating when the BJC is at capacity and leaving isn’t an option if you want to attend the final four hours of THON.

No need to fear, though, because Onward State is here with a shopping and packing list that will guarantee smooth sailing in the BJC.

What To Buy

It’s very likely that you will not have everything you need to be comfortable at THON. If you’re missing anything on this list, hustle downtown to snag some supplies before other THON-goers clear everything out.

  • A Drawstring Bag or Fanny Pack  — Per THON’s rules, you can’t bring your school backpack into the BJC. Look on the bright side: You get the opportunity to customize a drawstring bag and fanny pack. As you will see, most THON goers use these items to express themselves or represent their THON child/organization.
  • Reuseable Water Bottle — If you don’t have one of these already, definitely make the purchase. Staying hydrated during THON is really important, and it will also give you an excuse to use the bathroom and rest your feet.
  • Small Snacks — Take a trip to the grocery store to buy some small snacks. Even though the food at the BJC is tasty, you’ll quickly realize it’s both expensive and probably unhealthy to only eat food from the concession stands for the entire weekend. Pack some light and healthy snacks to hold you over when you don’t feel like eating pizza or tacos.
  • Portable Phone Charger Time can move pretty slow in the BJC at certain times, so it’s only natural to distract yourself with your phone. You’ll also probably want to post an Instagram or two during THON weekend, and that will obviously be impossible if your phone is dead. If you want to stay charged during THON weekend, purchase a portable phone charger. Your standard charger just won’t cut it — all the available outlets in the hallway and in the bathrooms will be full, and trying to snag one of those spots is basically a fight to the death.

  • Tennis Balls — Since you can’t sit down, you won’t be able to give yourself a foot massage in the stands no matter how badly your feet hurt. In order to give your feet a rub without sitting, pick up some tennis balls so that you can roll them out at any time.
  • Socks (Of All Different Lengths) — Even though you obviously own socks, you might want to buy some colorful socks of all different lengths to help with circulation. THON dancers swear that wearing socks of different lengths helps move the blood around so that your feet won’t throb for hours on end. Also, standing for hours in damp socks is probably the worst thing ever, so having numerous pairs of socks will keep you feeling fresh.
  • Small Water Gun — Even if you’re not on the floor, it can be fun to bring a small water gun (no supersoakers, though). You can use it to mess with your friends and also give yourself and others a little refreshing squirt.
  • Colorful Tutus and Hot Loops — Even if you’re just a spectator, you will feel much more involved and at home if you adopt THON’s rainbow color scheme. Seeing everyone in bright and vibrant colors picks up the mood and makes everyone feel connected.

What To Pack

The tricky thing about packing for THON is you probably already have many of the supplies that you need, but you may not think to pack them. Be sure to throw these things into your fanny pack or draw-string bag:

  • Penn State ID — This seems simple, but some people tend to forget this in the name of packing light. Even though you may be able to enter the BJC, you won’t be able to use your meal points to buy food, which will take a toll on your savings.
  • Deodorant — This is really imperative. The BJC will be full of sweaty people who haven’t showered for days. Do your part by bringing and religiously using deodorant so that everyone in your immediate vicinity is happy.
  • Chapstick/Moisturizer — It can get really dry inside the BJC, so something simple like a tube of Chapstick could make your day. In order to avoid asking around for Chapstick (and possibly getting sick), bring your own and apply it often.
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste — If you’re planning on staying for 46 hours, you will absolutely need this. If you are eating the BJC’s food for an entire weekend and you’re going without a shower, please bring these essentials. Your neighbors (and everyone you talk to) will thank you.

  • Eye Drops/Glasses — Since caffeine isn’t recommended for staying awake, eye drops may save your life. Whenever your eyes get inevitably tired, consider taking out your contacts (if you wear them) and using some eye drops to brighten up.
  • Baby Powder/Cleansing Wipes — Even if you do pack a change of clothes and deodorant, things may still get sticky. Bring some baby powder or hygienic wipes to keep yourself feeling fresh, clean, and happy.
  • Extra Shorts/Shirts/Underwear/Shoes — Bringing a few extra sets of clothes will be the best decision you make. Even though you still can’t sit down or shower, simply changing your clothes will refresh you and make you more optimistic.

Did we forget anything? Let us know in the comments what you are bringing to THON 2017.

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About Author

Katie Klodowski

Katie is a senior from Pittsburgh, PA and a retired editor at Onward State. Currently, she works as a staff writer. True to her hometown, she is a fan of Steel City sports but also uses her ballet and music training to be a tough critic of all things artsy. The fastest ways to her heart are through pizza, sushi, and a solid taste in music (this means no Taylor Swift). To be constantly razzle-dazzled, follow her on all social media forms at @KatieKlodowski

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