Now That THON 2019 Is Over...

Now that THON 2019 Is Over...

For 46 hours my heart fluttered in excitement, my eyes filled with tears of both pride and joy and my brain pondered in disbelief of how amazing the weekend was and I was there, apart of it.

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From the first time, I saw the sea of people on the floor and throughout the stands of the BJC. Until the time I left on Sunday, I had goosebumps. I went through the weekend watching my school come together as one to fight against something that is so much bigger than us, and we did pretty dang good. For 46 hours my heart fluttered in excitement, my eyes filled with tears of both pride and joy and my brain pondered in disbelief of how amazing the weekend was and I was there, apart of it.

Now that THON 2019 is over:

1. I have learned to Shape the Moment.

The theme for THON this year was Shape the Moment, which encourages us to create our own experience in whatever situation we are handed. The weekend reminded me to find the light in whatever darkness I am facing.

2. My faith in college students is replenished.

THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Do me a favor, read that again. The largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Penn State students are responsible for all aspects of THON, they take care and plan all of the events. We, as college students, are able to come together and raise millions of dollars for childhood cancer, that's pretty spectacular.

3. My heart is full.

Listening to THON families speak at THON weekend and to hear how much this event means to them is the most heartwarming and rewarding thing about the weekend.

4. My soul has been lifted.

The energy and happiness in the BJC were able to completely lift my spirit and put me in the best mood despite the stressful and sleepless weekend.

5. I am humbled.

As a freshman experiencing my first THON, it is still hard to believe that I was apart of that. I did that along with my student body.

6. I am beaming with pride.

Penn State pride is always a thing and during THON weekend it is an overwhelming amount.

7. I have realized just how truly amazing it is.

I always knew what THON was and what it stood for, but you don't realize what you're apart of until you stand there and listen to the families that your time and fundraising have supported. It isn't until the final four hours that the meaning becomes so surreal.

8. I feel honored to have been apart of it.

I am so grateful that Penn State is responsible for THON and we are able to do this every single year.

9. Bring on THON 2020!

THON is one weekend, but students are constantly working every day leading up to it for the entire year. I can't wait to attend my second THON, but I don't think anything can beat the first. If you live in the surrounding areas or are a student not involved in THON I highly suggest attending, THON is open to the public and it is the most rewarding Penn State event you could attend.

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There is Not Enough Diabetes Awareness

I did not realize this until I went to a diabetes 5k, and saw how little of a turnout there was.

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Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes is a disease that affects more people than we realize. It is a serious matter that attacks the pancreas, which eliminates the production of insulin. This makes life difficult for anyone living with this disease.

With that being said, I have lived with this my entire life, so this is normal for me. I always thought people were aware of this diabetes and knew what it was. I have learned that I was wrong, and there is not enough awareness.

The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi, and JDRF both work hard to educate others on the effects of type one diabetes. They go into schools and provide diabetic supplies, snacks, and training courses for teachers all for FREE. They provide insulin for the elderly and pump information for children wanting to get off of shots. All of the things they do for the community they do without asking for a dime from the schools, and other people they help.

They run strictly off donation

Money is raised by having events such as a diabetes fun run/5k. I attended one over the weekend and was shocked at how little of a turnout there was. Maybe 40 people showed up, and that was a crowd for this event. Isn't it a shame that a disease as big as diabetes has such little support from the community?

I mean think about this: when you were in school growing up, how many diabetics were in your classes? There was at least a handful. So something that affects so many people should be getting more support.

Even if you are not affected personally by diabetes, someone you are friends with, or someone that is in your family is. Support your local diabetes foundations, please.

I know this isn't normal "content" for the Odyssey, but figured I'd use this platform for some awareness.

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It Was Better When I Didn't Know My Purpose And Was Unaware Of Dance Marathon At FSU

It was easier when I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

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Do you know how we all wanted to be something when we grew up? Whether you wanted to be a pop star, veterinarian, or a doctor, you knew what you wanted to do. Well, I never had that feeling until recently. Here is a question for you though. How many of you want to pursue the profession that was your dream when you were 5 years old? If we are being honest with ourselves, we have all most likely changed our minds.

About one year ago, my mom came home and told me, "I could really see you working at Shands Children's Hospital." That left me surprised. Up until then, I had wanted to either be an Athletic Trainer or a Chiropractor. Never once did I think I had the emotional stability to work somewhere like Shands. From that day forward, it was in the back of my head. Was this really what I wanted to do? Just a couple of weeks before, I had attended Dance Marathon at FSU. The most amazing experience of my life. I had/have such a passion for helping kids.

The most impactful miracle child in my life is Marshal Fisher. Marshal had to have his leg amputated due to osteosarcoma in his right leg. Marshal made the brave decision to have the procedure done because he wanted to live his life and do what he wanted to do. Because of Marshal and his legacy, I want to be the one that helps someone chase crabs on the beach.

So here I am now, applying for the Athletic Training program at FSU in hopes of going to Physical Therapy school so that I can be around the people that I have the most passion for. Because that is my purpose. And I am completely terrified? I spent so much time going back and forth from what I wanted to do with my life that I was never really motivated because I knew I had time. Well, I am almost halfway through college, and I am so scared that obstacles will get in the way of making my dreams a reality.

But was it really better when I did not know my purpose? In the long run, no. The time I have spent since knowing my purpose has been the greatest time. I capture moments more. Whenever I meet a miracle family, I internalize the fond memory of it because those are the moments that I will hold close to my heart forever. So no, it is better to know your purpose so you can make a difference now.

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