The Truth About Your First THON | THON 2017

Becoming an official Penn Stater freshman year, we’ve all been asked at one point or another whether or not we’ll be participating in THON. The answer to this question–that we’ve all encountered plenty of times–seems to usually be a yes. Before seeing THON for ourselves we’ve all been told about the amazing, colorful crowd, about the emotional experience, and most importantly about how it’s all for the kids.

Hearing about THON is one thing while experiencing it takes everything to a whole new level. No matter how many stories you’ve heard or videos you’ve watched, nothing can truly capture what it feels like to be a part of THON until you’re right there in the middle of all of it. All expectations are immediately exceeded the minute that you walk through the doors of the Bryce Jordan Center. By the time you reach the stands, you will never be more proud to say that you are Penn State. Seeing the smiles of the kids while laughing and dancing at something so huge and so important is something that our peers and friends and selves are responsible for. It is an irreplaceable feeling.

Valley took to the crowd today to talk with a few students about their expectations and actual experiences at THON 2017.

Natalie Landi and Ally Walsh are both seniors at PSU and independent dancers this THON 2017. Fours years later, they have exceeded their own expectations of their roles in THON.

“We’ve been trying to dance together at THON since our freshman year and this year we finally are,” said Landi. “So yeah, this all lived up to what we hoped it would.” When Valley asked the two in their matching #TeamNatAlly t-shirts how they were feeling so far, Landi commented,  “I mean we’re feeling good… I don’t know how long we’ve been at it, but we’re fine, we’re doing fine.”

Valley also got to talk to a Penn State freshman, who found out in these past two days, what it’s like to experience THON.

Haley Iapicca, a member of SNAP, got to talking about her first-time THON experience.

“So I’m a part of SNAP, which is the Student Nursing Association of Pennsylvania, so already we’re into helping people out around the area, but when it came to THON it was like helping out on steroids!” said Iapicca. “Seeing all of the organizations, frats, sororities and the student body coming together to raise money for such an important cause was something absolutely amazing to witness. Words truly can’t describe how much thought, effort and work goes into THON, and seeing it all come together was breathtaking.”

In Iapicca’s closing comment of what her experience meant to her, she truly summed up the entirety of what THON is out to accomplish, “Hopefully one day people won’t need to hear that their kids have cancer, and it’s amazing to know that THON had a big part in that.”