Residence hall formals, Greek Life formals, Black Formal, multicultural student organization formals, south campus formal, sports teams formals, semi-formals; these are just a few of the many formals that take place here at Northwestern.

When I first came to college, I certainly wasn’t prepared to wear something nicer than my gigantic winter coat and clunky snow boots. Though, unexpected, these elegant events brought about some of my favorite first-year memories. However, if you get overwhelmed or stressed out like I do, prepping for formals can sometimes feel more like a hassle than a fun experience. To avoid these conflicting feelings, read on for some of my tips and tricks to having a great experience at Northwestern formals!

#1) Plan to do all you school work ahead of time.

One of the joys of college and being a young adult is just living in the moment. However, it’s going to be almost impossible to do that if you’re worrying about that paper or worksheet that’s due the day after the formal. If you can’t get all work done in time, that is 100% okay because there are so many opportunities to attend a formal at Northwestern.

#2) Don’t worry if you don’t have a date

Please don’t freak out if you can’t find a date to a formal. Northwestern students are busy with extracurriculars, sports, and school work and everything in between; sometimes the person you’d like to go with will just be busy, and that’s okay! Go with a group of friends, maybe go with the people that live on your floor of your res hall. Formals are also a great way to meet new people. I actually met one of my best friends for the first time at the 560 Lincoln formal last year!

#3) The way you look isn’t the most important part about formal

You don’t need to buy a brand new dress or button down to have a great time or feel your best. Bring formal clothes from home that you have from high school or even swap outfits with your friends. You’ll be out of cash if you try to buy brand new outfits for every single formal you attend. At the end of the day, the point of the formal isn’t the fashion, but rather just having a good time and enjoying your college experience. It’s a chance to unwind from all your school work and to just spend time getting to have fun with people who are at this university with you.

Remember formals are suppose to be fun! Don’t ruin the night by stressing and panicking over the little things. Your studies are important here at Northwestern, but so is taking advantage of all the opportunities provided by Northwestern.

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