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Do Stand, Don’t Sleep: Your THON Etiquette Guide

We’re just hours away from THON 2020, and although you’re probably excited, you’re also probably nervous. Whether it’s your first THON as a freshman, or your Lord-knows-how-many’th as an alum, emotions will be running high heading into the weekend. Whether or not you’re a seasoned THON veteran, planning logistics for 46 hours of blissful mayhem is no easy task.

The worst thing you can do THON weekend is hinder someone else’s experience, so we decided to put together an etiquette guide with some do’s and don’ts for the weekend.


Pay Attention To Hygiene Although you might be going through a life-changing experience emotionally, your body doesn’t exactly know that and will keep doing its thing. Do your best to stay clean, whether that means packing deodorant, bringing extra pairs of socks, tossing some baby powder in your fanny pack, or (God forbid) showering in the BJC. Just be mindful!

Be Nice To R&R And Other Committees – Although R&R might seem like some evil entity trying to cancel fun at the BJC, they’re probably just as stressed and tired as you are. They’re doing their job and trying to keep everyone safe, so be as nice and respectful to them as possible. It will work out for everyone in the long run!

Bring Distractions When it’s 3 a.m. on Sunday and the gravity of the situation you found yourself in really hits, things start to get weird. Bring some headphones, a portable charger, a tennis ball (doubles as a foot massager), or maybe even something dumb like Sudoku to get in the zone for a couples minutes.

Dress Like An Idiot – Have fun! Wear rainbow! Wear a headband and a shooting sleeve! It doesn’t matter. THON is basically one giant party so don’t show up looking like that person that no one wants to invite to parties. If you’re going to be in the stands for an extended period of time, also bring changes of clothes to keep yourself #fresh.

Dance! – Again, HAVE FUN! Don’t be that person who just sits on their phone scrolling through Twitter while Old Town Road plays for the 87 time, just dance. THON is a judgement free zone and one of the few times you can look ridiculous while singing and dancing, but for a good cause.


Come To THON If You’re Sick – Not only will it not be a fun time for you if you show up to the BJC with an illness, but you will also be putting others in danger. Many THON kids are undergoing treatments that compromise their immune systems, making them more likely to catch whatever you have. Plus, the 16,000 others in the BJC don’t want to get sick either.

Tell Dancers The TimeInteracting with dancers is hard. For those dancing in THON, time is simply a societal construct for the 46 hours on the floor. If you’re visiting a friend on the floor, or talking to a dancer, don’t tell them what time it is. They almost definitely don’t want to know. Also avoid saying things like “I just woke up” or “Wow those pancakes at Waffle Shop were great!,” as that also hints at what time it is.

Bring A JUUL – Or a STIG or any type of vape pen into the BJC. You will get caught by R&R, and you will be asked to leave. It’s not worth it, nor is getting caught a pleasant experience for anyone involved. This might sound like common knowledge, but you’d be surprised how many people try to pull it off. Don’t be that guy.

Sit Down! – DON’T SIT DOWN! This should go without saying, but even if you’re not dancing, it’s proper THON etiquette to stand for the time you’re in the stands as an act of solidarity with the dancers and THON kids. Plus, it makes sitting down afterwards feel that much better.

Drink Caffeine – This one is tough, like really tough to do. But, if you can make it through your time in the stands without relying on that sweet, sweet cold brew or Red Bull, everything will work out better for you. Especially if you’ve been avoiding caffeine all week, a quick-fix at THON is only going to make the crash harder and cause you a world of problems.

Sneak Food In – Okay now that this is in the Don’t section and R&R isn’t looking, do sneak food into the BJC. The concessions are absurdly expensive and leave you sending a 5 a.m. text to your mom asking for more LionCash. Small things like protein bars or fruit snacks can usually get the job done.

Drink Alcohol Or Be Drunk – Just don’t.

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a senior business and journalism major from "Philadelphia" and is Onward State's social media manager. He writes about a lot of things, including football and hoops. If you want to gain absolutely nothing, you can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9. Say hi via email at [email protected]


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