When I first discovered formal was a part of sorority life, I gasped, I shrieked, I panicked. All I could think was, oh dear lord, not another prom. I thought I had left prom in the past with all my other juvenile high school events and behaviors. Prom was one of the most stressful nights of my life. Between making sure the limo was on time, my date was suitable (spoiler alert: he was not), and my dress made me look like a princess, I went through panic attack after panic attack. However, formal is nothing like prom. Yes, the date and the dresses might fool you into thinking it’s a prom repeat, but trust me. Formal blows prom out of the water. Formal is basically an alcohol-fueled, hormonal-driven frenzy of bad decisions and questionable picture taking. And without a doubt, you’ll love every second of it.
Yes, of course, there were some rebels who drank at prom and faced suspension or expulsion. But the rest of us just counted down the seconds until the end of the night for the highly anticipated after-prom parties. We suffered through the awful drawn out dances and the awkward small talk for a party that any frat could and will put to shame. We had yet to discover just how magical alcohol could truly make a black tie event and we now know to never question its ability again. Forgive me tequila, for I have sinned. Seriously how did we manage to get through an entire evening while being 100 percent sober?
In high school, you had to patiently wait for a guy to ask you. You hinted to a couple of your friends about your choice and prayed that word got spread around. Maybe you had a boyfriend if you were lucky, maybe you got set up if you were cursed with incredible misfortune. Regardless, in college you have the power to choose who gets to accompany you. Whether you like the mystery of being set up, you want to see where things lead with your crush, you want to bring that hot guy you’ve been boning, or just want to invite your closest friend from another sorority — you get to make the moves. No more waiting for Prince Charming to arrive with a lame invite. Plus, there’s a hundred percent chance you’ll get laid after if that’s what your heart desires. Dreams do come true and penises are in abundance.
You either hate to love them or love to hate them. But they are all anyone could talk about when prom season rolled around in high school. In my opinion, they were tacky and gag worthy. Maybe the first couple were fun to gossip about, but by the forty-seventh I wanted to personally cancel prom, burn any banner, pop any balloon, and poison all roses. Oh em gee Jenny? Phil spelled out prom on balloons HOW FUCKING ORIGINAL.
You may think your risk manager and standards chair are acting like complete buzzkills to your night. Maybe the bouncer gives you a dirty look when you stumble in your heels as you walk through the door. But there’s no denying they are so much better than having Mrs. Weber, your heavyset English teacher, and your creepy principal staring you down with their beady eyes as you attempt to awkwardly grind with your date. And let’s not forget the breath check. The only real rules for formal night is don’t be so drunk you embarrass yourself and don’t throw up your cheap water bottle of alcohol. You can manage that. Hopefully.
Your Fashion Choices
Whoever invented the prom updo needs to be sued. Don’t get me wrong, some are beautiful. But I’m talking about the one where it literally looks like a beehive of hair was upchucked on your head. In college, you have years of wisdom to make better choices about your clothes and your hair. You will not choose a dress with an ugly print or rainbow sparkles. You have basically mastered the art of looking hot and you hone in your gift for formal night. Plus you don’t have to worry about your parents seeing just how revealing your dress is and your grandma wondering what happened to her sweet angel. Even a slight nip slip won’t get you down.
You imagined prom to be one of the most magical nights of your life. Boy, were you wrong. Now for formal, you set your expectations much lower. You are happy with the night if you manage to not vomit before you get to the venue, actually make it the entire night without getting thrown out, and make it home — hopefully without a standards case waiting for you the next morning. You’re not hoping your date will sweep you off your feet and carry you into the sunset. Because at formal, you’re basically aiming to survive. Oh, and have at least one pic that’s Instagram worthy.
Because every college girl knows, prom is just the pregame for formal..
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