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Your Last-Minute Checklist For THON 2017

We’ve officially entered single digits — students everywhere are preparing to take on the BJC for THON 2017 in just eight days. Before you know it, you’ll be joining thousands of Penn Staters for one of the largest events of the year.

Volunteers are busy working to ensure everything falls into place by the time THON weekend finally arrives. If you’re one of them, it can be tricky to keep track of all your responsibilities during these final days. Here are some important last-minute items to check off your to-do list in order to help you prepare as efficiently as possible.

Monitor your health 

You’ve heard it preached for months — one of the most crucial parts of preparing for those 46 hours is making sure to sleep, exercise, and begin cutting out alcohol and caffeine. If you haven’t already begun to do these things, now’s the time to start. It’s your responsibility to keep track of your health, and you’d be surprised how much of a difference it’ll make when it comes to how you feel during a shift.

If you know you’ll be in over your head with work next week, plan ahead. Think twice about going out this weekend if you already know you’re probably going to lose sleep next week because of studying or extra meetings. And while indulging in a glass of wine during Bachelor Monday won’t do any harm, it’s extremely important to monitor your levels of these substances from now until THON Weekend — your body will thank you later.

Plan for each shift 

With THON right around the corner, committees and other organizations around campus are beginning to send out official shifts for the weekend. Especially if it’s your first THON Weekend, wrapping your head around the idea of getting up for a 3 a.m. shift can be totally intimidating. As long as you stay organized and plan around your shifts ahead of time, you’ll have a much easier time navigating the weekend than you expect.

Most committee members will also have at least one or two additional shifts located in a different area of the BJC than they’ll usually be working, like a random 30-minute dancer storage shift. Make sure to write a note of each shift in your planner now, especially when it comes to those abnormal shifts — when you start to get in a groove, they be can easy to forget throughout the course of the weekend. You should also set aside some time to get acquainted with the basic layout of the BJC to avoid aimlessly running around trying to find out where to go for a shift. Check out the BJC website for maps and additional information about how to get around the venue.

Start thinking about your meal and nap breaks 

Especially if you’ll be taking various shifts throughout the weekend, chances are you won’t have much downtime to chill out or grab a meal. If possible, try to plan out when you’ll have breaks ahead of time to help you rest sufficiently before you go back to the BJC. It’s nearly impossible to predict how you’re going to feel at various points throughout the weekend, but creating a rough plan of action beforehand could play a major role in preserving your sanity during THON.

Finish up your pre-THON shopping 

Whether you’re planning to pick up rainbow socks, a neon fanny pack, or snacks to eat between shifts, consider grabbing all of these items now. Stores around State College may currently seem jam-packed with THON essentials, but these items will quickly run out as students begin to scramble.

To avoid any needless spending and to ensure you don’t forget any key items, make a list of what you need before you hit up any stores. Take note of any special circumstances you might need to account for during the weekend — for example, most THON veterans recommend buying socks of varying lengths in order to help your circulation as the weekend goes on. Some other miscellaneous items you might want to consider throwing in your bag are tennis balls for your feet, a clean shirt for when you’re feeling extra grimy, and a portable phone charger.

Deliver your dancer mail 

The postmark deadline for all dancer mail and packages was February 7, but volunteers still have the chance to bring any last minute dancer mail items to 324 HUB through 5 p.m. today. If you’re not able to make this deadline and you still want to deliver mail to a dancer, you’ll need to find a way to contact the dancer’s Dancer Relations committee member sometime during the weekend so they can drop it off for you in person.

Note: Start checking your email at least once a day for other important deadlines that pertain to your specific committee or organization. With everything going on during this final preparation period, it’s easy for important dates and tasks to get lost in the noise.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments how you’re preparing for THON 2017! 

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About the Author

Claire Fountas

Claire Fountas is the student life editor for Onward State, as well as a junior pursuing a double major in journalism and psychology. She lives in a suburb of Chicago and strongly disagrees with anyone who hates the Cubs or the Blackhawks (so, pretty much anyone at Penn State). You can follow her @ClaireFountas or email her at [email protected]

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