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THON Do’s and Don’ts

As THON is peeping its way around the corner, and as you’ve probably spent so many of your nights these past few days wide-awake like a kid on Christmas Eve, you might have wondered once or twice how to prepare for the long, crazy weekend. Maybe this is your first THON and you have no idea what to expect whatsoever. Maybe this is your fifth and you’ve kind of got the hang of it now…or at least we’d hope so if you’ve been to five. Whatever the weather, this weekend coming up is going to be life changing in the utmost of ways. It’s about time you be prepared for it.

By the end of THON, you’ll have laughed thousands of times with your friends, danced hundreds of times to the best mix of music, and cried a few too many times from a lack of sleep and listening to heart-breaking cancer stories. Before you get to all of that, though, you should take a look at what to do and not do:


  • Bring the necessities – Without having your very own personal morale like the dancers do to massage you on command, stocking up on things like tennis balls, bubble wrap, and baby powder for your feet wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. Even a second pair of shoes would do the trick! Also, make sure you remember to eat. You may not know what time or day it is, but you probably haven’t eaten in 10 hours and that’s a problem.
  • Pack some extras – As much as you love your favorite shirt and pair of knee-high socks, bringing an extra change or two of clothes is extremely necessary no matter how long you plan on staying. It only takes 6 seconds to get soaked in a water gun fight! Also, bringing some things like face wash and baby wipes could come in handy for that “shower” you’ll be craving.
  • Take a sleep shift – Even though they say leaving a party at 9:30 p.m. is like missing out on the entire celebration, it might not be a bad idea to take that sleep shift then if it’s 9:30 p.m. on Saturday and you haven’t left the BJC yet.
  • Wear crazy clothes – It’s a party! Take the one opportunity in the year to be a kid and bring out your old tutus, bows, and neon clothes. The kids will laugh, and nothing is better than getting them to smile.
  • Take TONS of pictures – There are going to be plenty of hours during the weekend you just won’t remember inevitably. That being said, take pictures as much as you can! You’ll thank your sleep-deprived self later when you look back and all of those forgotten memories start to come together.


  • Sit – Everyone should know by now that there is a strict “NO SITTING” policy all throughout the BJC THON Weekend. That includes the bathroom floors, concourse levels, and squirming in between the stands. If you need a break, just head on home for a power nap.
  • Stay all 46 – If you’re not dancing, you’re not required to stay at THON the entire weekend. More power to you if you can do it, but it’s certainly not encouraged. Your job in the stands is to keep our dancers pumped up and motivated, and it’ll be pretty difficult to do without all of the perks that dancers have to stay up and at ‘em all weekend long. Just remember, it’s perfectly fine to take a break!
  • Be under the influence – This should go without saying that showing up at the gates of the BJC under any sort of influence is completely unacceptable. There will be some serious consequences if anyone catches you drunk or high. Keep in mind the kind of party you’ll be going to, and that you’re there FTK.
  • Drain your phone battery – Charging your phone in the BJC is going to be nearly impossible during the weekend. Aside from turning your cellular data off to try and save some battery, investing in a portable charger or charging case could totally be worth it. Maybe, if you come to press row and ask nicely, we’ll charge it for you!
  • Drink caffeine – You’ve already made it this far with no caffeine; don’t throw it all away THON Weekend! That one cup of coffee may keep you going for a few hours, but the crash will hit you and it’ll hit you hard. Just as well, stay away from 5-hour Energies. They’re extremely dangerous when you’re as exhausted as you’ll be. If you need a pick-me-up, grab some Gatorade and a snack and keep on keepin’ on!

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About the Author

Amber Kloper

Amber is a first-generation Penn Stater--class of 2016--studying broadcast journalism and business. She likes THON and traveling and reading and writing and music and words and rambling.

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