OPINION: A Freshman’s First THON

Photo courtesy of Caitlyn Garrity

As a freshman, THON seems like a secret known only to those who have experienced it. Whenever I’d ask what THON is like, I would get the same answer every time, “You don’t know how amazing it is until you’re there.” Well, I decided to put that answer to the test, and I went to THON 2020

I recently joined Greek life, so that is who I went to THON with, and it was quite the experience. Something I did learn along the way is that vlogging is not my strong suit, and I should stick to writing. However, I did attempt to film a little bit of a THON weekend in my life, through Snapchat, of course. We are not pro yet.

THON is a lot more than I imagined it would be. If I am going to be completely transparent with you, I imagined a lot of standing around with nothing to do. In reality, the THON committees do an extraordinary job of keeping the stands — and the dancers — entertained.

While I know a lot of people were hoping for Post Malone to pop up to perform at the mystery concert, I was not let down that I was able to see a mini Daya concert here at Penn State. The crowd was singing along to her hits and the dancers were too. As well as Daya, Cash Cash came to rowdy us up in the wee hours of the morning. No, I had no idea who that was, but now that I saw him, I can definitely say that I am a fan. His DJ set was sick, and it really livened everyone in a time when the dancers needed it most.

Another thing that was unknown to me was how much food is at THON. I had a fantastic time eating my way through the BJC, and I do not regret a single bit. My favorite thing they had for us was the Dippin’ Dots. It may have gotten me super hype then made me crash, but I didn’t care, I enjoyed every single dot.

Hands down, my favorite part of THON is the people. Seeing college kids get together and unite against a cause, especially for kids, is something unique to Penn State. There is nothing like this anywhere else, and it almost feels like you’re a part of something sacred. People are hugging, playing and talking everywhere you go. I can honestly say that it was the most wholesome experience I’ve ever gotten to see. Everyone is genuinely happy to be there, regardless of how much feeling they have left in their legs.

While THON can be painful and tiring for some, it has no bearing on what these kids have to go through in their daily lives. I had such a fantastic time at THON, and it held to every expectation that I set. Hopefully next year I will make it to the Final Four and maybe become a far better vlogger.


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