Saying Goodbye to THON
By Chelsea Bauer
Well, this is it, my last THON ever as a Penn State student. As surreal as this journey felt, it also had me thinking, “Wow, I wish I got involved sooner.” Unfortunately for me, I joined my first committee during junior year. Looking back as a senior, I wish I could go back in time and become a part of THON sooner. The happiness and joy THON brought me my last two years at Penn State is indescribable — every memory, laugh and smile a unique moment I’ll cherish forever.
My first time walking into the Bryce Jordan Center was mind-blowing. I could not believe how many students volunteered for such an incredible cause, all to help kids battling pediatric cancer. Throughout the weekend, there was never a time when a student was sitting down; everyone was dancing, laughing and just having a good time. Even some of the student’s parents were dancing. There was so much love and spirit in the air, it was amazing. This experience showed me the true reason Penn State was the school for me, and I don’t regret one minute of my time spent with this organization. It also showed me what family means. I always knew my captain, fellow committee members and everyone in the THON community was there for me and each other. They were strong leaders, with high energy which made me love this experience even more. Once a week leading up to THON we came together as a team and brainstormed ideas for THON Weekend. All of us were there because we wanted to be, not because we had to be. This created such a strong bond and I am confident I will always have my committee members and captain to lean on. Being involved with THON has been one monumental stepping stone in my life and helped shape me into the person I am today. I am forever grateful for my captains, committee members, and everyone who made an impact on this beautiful cause.
If I could suggest one thing for an incoming freshman, it’s to get involved as much as you can from the first day you step foot on campus. Don’t look back senior year and have regrets because once it’s gone, you’ll wish you could relive it again. Create opportunities with the THON Community, build relationships (they will last forever, I promise), and always be present and a part of every event. Take my advice, a senior about to graduate, that this experience is something you cannot pass up. Be a voice, and help put an end to pediatric cancer, one day at a time.