9/14/20: Sean "Spice" O'Connell

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Hello my fellow Fotonians. It is me Seán O’Connell, aka seany o aka @sean_eat_o_  aka the one they call spice aka the best foto chef there ever was and ever will be. I first want to say “what it do?” to all the returning members and I hope you’re all enjoying yourselves up at school and would also like to welcome all of the new members to FOTO. 

 

I hail from Upper Darby, PA (Delcooooooo) and graduated in December 2019. I did one of those five year program things and was able to get an extra year of being in FOTO which not too many other people are lucky enough to have. FOTO was by far the most important org/experience for me during college and it all kinda happened by chance. I didn’t do any college visits during high school so orientation day was my first day on Penn State’s campus and it turned out it was good enough for me so I stayed. I knew I wanted to join a club, but didn’t know where to start so I went to as many random club meetings as possible. The only reason I went to a FOTO meeting was because a few of my friends were going and told me to tag along. I ended up joining FOTO, a few business clubs, and playing rugby. After freshman year FOTO was the only one that I was still actively involved in and actually cared about. I met tons of great people who I still talk to today (s/o to the soup) and will probably keep in touch with for many years to come until I disappear and move to a cabin in the mountains. 

 

If I were to give one piece of advice to the new people I’m gonna go ahead and give the same piece of advice everyone else probably gives you. Get involved with FOTO and don’t just go to the meetings. Take advantage of every bake sale, SI olympics, family visits, and the whole shebang. I don’t know what your year will look like with covid and what you can and can’t do, but try to go to every FOTO event possible. That’s where you’ll meet new people and make new friends and eventually you’ll even start hanging out together outside of FOTO. Sometimes it can be hard to see how you’re making a difference in a child’s life when you’re just doing fundraisers and raising money nonstop (which is good, I’m not saying stop), but it’ll really hit you when you get to meet our families and see how much FOTO means to them. You have to think about it from their viewpoint. To them FOTO helped get them through the toughest time of their life and they actually see us as part of their family. That’s what makes everything worth it. All the long drives, all the organizing and fundraising, having to deal with Ryan Kerrigan challenging your cooking abilities, and having to block Paxton on instagram for a few months until he learned his lesson is all worth it. It’s ass that THON isn’t happening this year, but that doesn’t mean all the money you guys raise isn’t helping all the kids fight their battles so stay strong and raise that bread

 

Sorry if I rambled a little bit there, but I got into the zone and couldn’t stop. I hope you guys have a great year and hopefully I’ll get to make a visit up there (Salmon Party 2020???) and meet all the new people. Hasta luego

PS I did both of those carpet jobs myself

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