True Life: I Attended My First Fraternity Formal At The Age Of 25

True Life I Attended My First Fraternity Formal At The Age Of 25

When I was an active member of Greek life in college, I attended a whopping number of zero fraternity date parties. Whether this was due to my preference for unaffiliated hipster men or my reputation of getting sent home from events is a topic we will dive into at a later date. However, I did get the chance to attend one of these events almost two years after I graduated. I felt like Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed. I envisioned this as a chance to come back as a cooler version of myself and bestow upon the younger girls all the expertise and wisdom I had gained in my two years of adulthood. I was positively thrilled by my new role of “mentor.”

But you know what they say: Old habits die hard, and my blackout-or-back-out drinking style was no exception. I arrived at the fraternity house for the pregame and, in the midst of scouting the room for impressionable young women in need of my mentoring, I made eye contact with a dear, old friend. Hello vodka! Why yes, I would love a shot — or two. As the bus pulled up, I quickly downed a few more for the road. I needed to ensure I was sufficiently drunk for when I arrived at the bar, despite the fact I was well past the legal drinking age. I slid onto the familiar rough leather of the school bus seat and glanced around again. So far, all the children seemed to be behaving themselves. “Good for them,” I thought. I relaxed into the seat and smiled like a proud mother. I took another swig of the vodka and passed it around. I savored this driving time to reflect on how far I had come since graduation. “I’m really a mature woman now,” I thought to myself with a satisfied chuckle. “If undergrad me could see me now…”

We arrived at the location, which was as lackluster as one would except a sports-themed date party to be, and I headed straight for the bar. A few shots later, I had my arm draped around a young man who I had deemed my “little brother” and began slurring to his date about the importance of cherishing your college days. Another shot down and I was sneaking up behind people, stealing chicken fingers off of their plates. Another shot down and I found myself throwing up on the curb outside of the bar while my friends tried to convince the cab driver to let me in the car. As I slumped down, face down in a plastic bag, I reflected again. Seriously, “If undergrad me could see me now…she’d be ashamed.”

Once I had recovered from my three-day hangover, I learned that not only was I the only person who had to leave, but I was also the oldest person in attendance that night…by, like, two years. So let this be a lesson to you all: Attend formals while you’re in college, not after you’ve graduated. No one recovers from that level of embarrassment — and I would know.

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