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How To Stay Awake, Alert, And Active At THON

With THON weekend quickly approaching, it’s time to ask yourself “how the heck am I going to do this?” in regards to staying awake for hours on end. With a few tips and tricks and healthy mind and body, surviving THON weekend becomes both possible and far beyond worth it.

Prepare. Being well-rested leading up to the excitement that is THON is vital to having an extra push when you need. Sleeping for anything less than eight hours a night during the week prior to THON week could be detrimental in your quest of the world’s greatest all-nighter. Not only will you begin to feel drained from your consecutive hours awake, but the lack of sleep you could have gotten will catch up to you when you least want or expect it to.

Keep Moving. Standing still, first and foremost, isn’t fun and it definitely won’t make your feet feel too great. Always do the line dance, bring tennis balls to roll your foot on, jump around, and keep your blood flowing.

Utilize the BJC. You don’t have to stay in your section the entire time. The BJC is equipped with numerous food stands and kiosks, and even if you’re not hungry you can manipulate the concourse. “Window shop” concessions, check out everyone’s outfits, and use the concourse as a track. Your constant movement will keep not only your body active, but your mind as well.

Socialize. You will be surrounded by 15,000 students who share the same passion as you. Though you may be with your organization or committee, talking to strangers isn’t off-limits. Everyone is there for the same reason: for the kids, and you’re all feeling the same emotions and almost everyone in the Bryce Jordan Center will be able to relate to something you’re thinking or feeling. Talking to people will not only keep your mind active, but it’ll also help you stay positive and realize we’re all in this together.

Stay Hydrated. Water, water, water. Caffeine should be off-limits because with chemically-induced energy comes a crash. Cutting out coffee, soda, Red Bulls, or whatever else it is you typically use during long nights in the library is essential. You’re not staying up until 3 a.m. before an exam you can take a nap after, you’re celebrating with the kids and I promise you don’t want to crash during something like that.

Eat Snacks. Protein filled snacks and foods filled with nutrients will be your best friend this weekend. Cut out the junk foods and munchies that will make you feel bloated and lethargic. The key here is food that will provide you with the energy you need. Take some granola bars, load up on a steak or some chicken before entering the BJC, and take advantage of the options around the concourse. By the end of the weekend, you will have probably eaten more hot dogs and Dippin’ Dots than you’re proud to admit, so try to stick to the healthier options when you can.

Stay Cool. There is such thing as being too comfortable. Being nice and cozy and warm in the BJC will make you sleepy, just as being wrapped in a blanket on your couch does. The Bryce Jordan will inevitably get warm, so dress appropriately; despite it being February, shorts and tank tops are totally appropriate. They’ll keep you at a comfortable temperature and occasionally, you might even catch a draft that will send shivers down your spine and give you that extra rush you need.

Most importantly: Stay Positive. The coming weekend is nothing more than a mind game. Remembering why you’re there and who you’re celebrating is the key to not letting your exhaustion get the best of you. You are THONing for those who can’t and that is a blessing in itself; if you tell yourself you can do it, you can. THON is a 46 hour mental marathon and if it’s something your head and heart want to do, you’ll not only survive it, but you will thrive with ease.

Need some more tips on how to THON? We’ve got you covered.

About the Author

Emma Curtis

Emma is a staff writer for Onward State. She is a sophomore in the College of Communications and a first generation Penn Stater. Emma comes from a diverse military family and has moved around a lot; however, she has recently found her favorite home in Happy Valley. Contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @cinemmatiic.

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