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46 Things To Look Forward To During Your First 46 Hours

There are a lot of things you can prepare for before your first THON begins. You can pick your outfit, pack a fanny pack, and learn some THON lingo… but how will you actually feel once you get inside the BJC?

What does water taste like when your throat is coated with baby powder? At what point do you finally perfect the line dance? What the hell happens at the Pep Rally besides pep?

We gathered up 46 things you can look forward to so you know what to expect from your emotions and THON events alike.

1. The anticipation you feel before you get into the Bryce Jordan Center, followed by…

2. …your first THON sensory overload,…

3. …your first line dance, and…

4. …your first all-nighter in the BJC.

5. Chanting with your org (if that’s your kind of thing).

6. Actually getting a chance to learn the line dance with some Dancer Relations captains.

7. The potential of a surprise performance from a big-name musical act on Friday night.

8. In fact, dancing and singing with your friends or org-mates to any of the musical performances, cover band or not, will keep spirits high.

9. Getting to see happy kids’ faces will do that, too.

10. Trying to think of new anagrams for popular org TETRA’s giant, light-up letters to spell out.

11. Texting THON’s entertainment committee with a song request and actually hearing it.

12. The food. We know you’re supposed to eat ~healthy~ if you want to stay up for two consecutive days, but there are some delicious treats at THON, including 2017’s banana Nutella-stuffed pretzel and 2018’s Gold Ribbon Ripple Creamery flavor.

13. Exploring the concourse and subsequently getting lost in the concourse. You’ll get used to it.

14. The sweet, sweet feeling of sitting down on the toilet after standing for so long. It’s like sitting in the lap of luxury.

15. Adjusting your tutu, tie-dye socks, or fanny pack in the mirror and realizing you still look pretty acceptable.

16. The return of Ned Bigby to the THON stage. We’re waiting, Ned. Any day now.

17. The ever-engaging, surprisingly competitive “car” race around the BJC and other crowd-wide games.

18. Any of the BJC “cam” moments. Think dab cam, flex cam… what will we see people doing on the big screen this year?

19. The sudden feeling of powdery freshness during Slides of Strength.

20. Running into everyone you’ve ever met at Penn State at some point during THON (this could be construed as good or bad).

21. Any chance to enjoy some early 2000s classics on the loud speakers.

22. Your first THON Pep Rally!

23. The emotions that come with watching dancers open their dancer mail.

24. Zombie Nation done football season-style.

25. Water. You’ll never crave water again like you crave water at THON.

26. Any time the entire BJC is captivated by one small thing. In past years, OPP’s new mopping style on the floor and a small baby have garnered the attention of arguably too many people at once.

27. The Bucks *clap* County *clap* Bungee *clap* Jumpers.

28. More smiles from kids and families on the floor. There’s so many, we had to include it twice.

Uh oh, you’ve been caught! A kid soaks one of our photographers.

29. Having so much fun you forget you can’t sit down.

30. Realizing you’re inside at a giant party instead of outside in the harsh February weather. You’ll definitely lose your voice, but you won’t care.

31. You may catch a glimpse of everyone you’ve ever known (see No. 20 if you skipped ahead), but THON is also a chance to meet someone new. Everyone’s there for the same cause — what a conversation starter!

32. Making it onto the the floor to see your dancer friends. It’ll be more of a journey to get there for some people, but any attempt to get on the floor and show some love is appreciated.

33. Putting your diamonds up for your first photo. We recommend doing this early before the delirium sets in.

34. Discovering that “oh, yes, I did bring an extra pair of socks!” You’ll thank yourself later for packing the necessities.

35. Hearing some really weird things on the concourse and in the bathroom.

36. Being in the BJC when it hits capacity for the final hours of THON.

37. Finally nailing the line dance on your 40-something-th try.

38. The feeling of reaching your first Final Four. It’s exhausting, it’s exhilarating, and it’s about to get a lot more emotional.

39. Performing the line dances from the past four years of THON. If it’s your first THON, you won’t know anything about them, but it’s still fun to try.

40. Watching THON families and cancer survivors being honored in front of everyone in the BJC.

41. Listening to stories and letting yourself have a good cry during Family Hour, The Celebration of Life video, and “Angels Among Us.” You may not look forward to it now, but after 46 hours of little to no sleep, you may need it. It’s a cathartic and humbling experience for everyone in the house.

42. Wiping your tears and getting that second wind. There’s still a total to reveal FTK.

43. Four words: Go Go friggin’ Gadjet.

44. The deafening sound in the BJC as the dancers sit for the first time in 46 hours.

45. The even more deafening sound in the BJC as the THON total is revealed.

46. Remembering you did all your homework for Monday (you’ve been warned now) so you can go home and sleep for at least 14 hours.

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About the Author

Gabriela Stevenson

Gabriela is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism and Onward State's former student life editor. She is from Norristown, PA, which she normally refers to as "30 minutes outside of Philadelphia" (she looked up the exact driving time). She enjoys really enjoys eating cereal at night, in case you were wondering. To contact Gabriela, e-mail her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @GabiStevenson if you want to feel young again.

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