As many sorority girls know, the best time of the year comes at the end of the semester. Classes come to a close, pumpkin spice is everywhere, and the night all freshmen dream of arrives: fraternity formal.
If your school is anything like mine, the entire university shuts down for a night as strapping young men dress to the nines in order to show their dates the time of their lives. Or something along those lines. It may just be that a fraternity brother puts on his preppiest bow tie and picks you up in his Volvo to take you to a dinner much better than the mysterious fish you’re eating in the dining hall before taking you to the rowdiest party you have ever been to. There will be the best alcohol you will receive at a frat house, and that, my dear, is a guarantee. Either way, frat formal is essentially the prom of your college experience. And it is even more glorious than that.
However, looking back on my freshman experience at a fraternity formal, I wish my sisters had warned me about all I would experience that night–the dos and don’ts of frat formal. So, being the humanitarian that I am, I would like to inform you of what to expect at your first frat formal.
1. There may be a point in the evening where your date becomes overly intoxicated with the urge to wander, leaving you alone with people you may not know.
Do: Befriend the date of your date’s pledge brother. Chances are, at some point in the evening, both of them will run off together shouting about how their pledge class will always be the greatest of all time. She will become your best friend for the night to bond with as all the chaos takes place.
Don’t: Sit in the corner and text your friends. You do not want to be remembered as the girl who got pouty when her date left her for five minutes. Enjoy your time alone and dance on a table or take another shot. Remember, he invited you to have a good time. So do it.
2. Some girls cannot hold their alcohol. As a freshman, you might underestimate how much you can drink, especially when all the liquor there tastes much better than warm beer.
Do: Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the night and actually eat at the dinner before the formal. I know you may want to appear like you’re watching your figure or you’re afraid to eat more than a salad in front of your date, but order that fettuccini or salmon. Besides, it’s his treat.
Don’t: Push yourself to the limit. Just because everyone else is taking that seventh shot, it doesn’t mean you should.
3. Again, some girls cannot hold their alcohol. You will most likely come across a girl in serious need of H2O and TLC.
Do: Help her get hydrated, to the bathroom, or simply up off the floor. Locate her date and make sure she receives proper attention. If you were in her place, you know you’d want the same.
Don’t: Throw shade her way. Girls deal with enough without turning on each other. Besides, it makes you seem snobby.
4. Your date may or may not want to hook up, but let’s be real, he’ll want to hook up (unless you went as “strictly friends” or you’re filling in for a long-distance girlfriend).
Do: Kiss him if you want to. It’s your ballgame, and if you want to, go for it! If not, politely decline his efforts and take him to dance the night away on the dance floor. He can never turn down singing “Sweet Caroline” at the top of his lungs.
Don’t: Feel obligated to hook up with him. It’s your body, and no one should ever tell you what to do with it (unless it’s your gyno).
At the end of the day, formal is a tradition loved by all. Those memories will last you a lifetime–unless you can’t remember it at all.