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Our Freshman (And Transfer) Staffers Reflect On Their First THON

Whether your first THON was last year or last century, I think we can all remember what it’s like to be surrounded by your fellow Penn Staters #FTK for the first time…unless you don’t. No matter what your feelings on THON are, it’s something special to see so many people unite to support the same cause. After experiencing parts of this year’s 46 hours, here’s what our freshman (and transfer student) staffers thought about their first THON.

Matt Sniegowski

The atmosphere of THON was so much more incredible than I could have imagined. Walking out to the floor for the first time and seeing the pure joy and emotion on everyone’s faces is unforgettable. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of something so big and life-changing.

Calvin Ho

At first I didn’t even want to attend Penn State, but after experiencing my first THON, I am so humbled to know exactly what “We Are” stands for. It’s indescribable to see that we can make an amazing difference when our community comes together.

Trevor Hayes

I will never forget the magical experience I had at my first THON. I thought I had a good grasp as to what THON is all about, but it turns out I was wrong. Once I stepped into the building, I could immediately feel the positivity and sense of community. I was completely stunned when I went on the floor, especially when the BJC reached capacity. You truly don’t know what THON is until you experience it for yourself.

Anthony Colucci

In the days leading up to THON, there was so much that I didn’t understand about the event. There were just certain things that I couldn’t wrap my head around. When I got my shift assignment for THON weekend and saw that I would be working in the middle of the night on Friday, I was thinking about how easy and even boring covering the event because I thought that the BJC would be empty and that there wouldn’t be anything too exciting happening, but the live music, entertainment, energy, and compassion made even a graveyard shift feel like a football game with a 3:30 p.m. kick off. While THON is a marquee talking point on campus and a selling point to prospective students, you can’t get a good understanding of it from word of mouth alone — you need to see for yourself.

Allison Wulfhorst

Seeing all the work these THON orgs do is truly amazing, but so was the sense of community that grows throughout weekend. Penn State is already a prideful school but this event brings everyone even closer.

Emma Dieter

Since my junior year of high school, I had heard a lot about how amazing THON was — and don’t get me wrong, I was extremely impressed with Penn State’s fundraising efforts — but I never really got the hype. Once I took one step into the BJC, my whole entire attitude changed. It’s an event you have to experience in person to fully appreciate; there’s certainly nothing quite like it.

Alison Swiggard

THON wasn’t all that appealing to me at first. Of course it’s a great cause, and I definitely stood behind everything THON stands for. But there’s something about being at THON and experiencing the emotion inside the BJC. It’s unlike anything else, and it definitely changed my outlook on THON.

Janelle Rothacker

My first THON was a lot more intense than I expected. I knew it was going to be a really awesome experience, but the amount of emotion that overcame the entire BJC at different points in the weekend was incredibly powerful and unlike anything else I’ve experienced.

Jim Davidson

THON was the most purposeful party I’ve ever been to, and I was amazed by the emotion and passion of everyone involved. Seeing thousands of my peers working toward a common goal reminded me of the power of a shared mission and gave me a greater sense of confidence in my school and all that it can achieve.

About the Author


Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.


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