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How To Prepare Yourself for THON 2015

THON 2015 is just around the corner. There’s less than a month left before one of the most anticipated Penn State events of the year. Before you know it, you’ll be in the BJC Empowering the Dreamers surrounded by dance organizations, water gun-toting Four Diamonds Families, and a few thousand of your fellow THON volunteers all dressed up in bright colors and tutus FTK.

But wait. Are you even ready?

Here are a few ways you should be preparing for THON weekend, if you haven’t started already. It’s not too late for you yet — but if you wait much longer, it could be.

Step One: Stop drinking caffeine. Trust me, when your shift starts at 3:45 a.m. on Saturday of THON weekend, you are not going to want to be dependent on that cup of Joe to get you out of bed. You want to be awake and alert without needing a constant jolt of caffeine, so now is the time to kick that nasty latte habit, at least until after you put your 46 hours in.

Step Two: Stop drinking alcohol. This one is arguably easier than quitting caffeine for most of us. Though alcohol won’t present any issues THON weekend, in the weeks leading up to THON it can lower your immune system and mess up your sleep schedule, which is not what you want when you’re resting up for 46 hours of fighting cancer.

Step Three: Get to the gym. You’re going to be on your feet any time you’re in the BJC, and chances are that you’ll be running around the whole time, so you certainly want to get in the best shape possible lest the weekend take even more of a toll on your body. Along the same lines, start eating healthier food and taking your vitamins. (And dear God, get a flu shot!)

Step Four: Sleep, then sleep some more. Though it’s typical for most of us to stay up into the wee hours of the morning completing homework assignments and hanging out with friends and roommates, now you need to start getting your butt to sleep way earlier than you’re used to. Buy a sleep mask and earplugs if you have to, but give yourself a bedtime that allows you at least eight hours of sleep between now and THON. You’ll thank yourself later.

Step Five: Round up your gear. Whether this means high socks, tutus, fanny packs, giant heads of your org’s dancer, new sneakers, or anything else, you know what you’re going to need THON weekend. If you wait too long to get it, chances are that it’s all going to be sold out downtown. Do yourself a favor and buy everything on your THON list before it’s too late.

There you go! Take these five (very basic) preparatory steps and you should at least be 85 percent prepared for whatever THON weekend has to throw at you. Get excited to be there for the kids, for the families, for the dancers, and for the cure!

Do you know of some other steps that THON volunteers (from Dancers to committee members to org members and beyond) should take to prepare themselves for THON weekend? Tell us in the comments! 

About the Author

Alicia Thomas

Alicia is a senior with majors in Print Journalism and Spanish and a minor in International Studies. Chances are that she's somewhere talking about her semester abroad or ranting about sexual assault prevention right now. She can be reached via Twitter (@aliciarthomas) or email ([email protected]).


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