Your chapter’s bi-annual formal could easily be considered the Christmas morning of Greek life. Though you probably behave like a total lunatic all weekends of the semester already, your formal weekend gives you ever more reason to drink and party like an escaped mental ward patient.
Fraternity formals are truly gifts from God. However, unless you are totally socially inept, you have likely also attended a sorority formal and probably agree when I say that 99 percent of the time they are complete dumpster fires. As good as a night out with a hot date may sound on paper, the truth is a sorority formal may as well not even earn the title of a formal when compared to a fraternity formal.
In order to save readers from being completely blindsided at their next sorority formal, I have broken down the timeline of your own formal vs. the sorority next door’s formal.
The timeline has been labeled with S for sorority formal and F for fraternity.
S: You arrive at your date’s big’s house only to confirm empty promises that you won’t get too drunk because your date will get sent to standards when that inevitably happens. If you’re lucky, you have some other brothers alongside you, or if you really got screwed you’re stuck drinking with those boners from down the row who your date insists are “super fun if you give them a chance.” 240 photos and 36 Boomerangs later and you’re finally on your way to catch the buses. At this point, you are either far too sober or far too drunk to be getting on the chartered buses. There is no middle ground.
F: The location of your formal can have a major impact on your pregame. If your chapter keeps it local you probably carried last night’s buzz into the next day and all the way through finally meeting up with your date. If you travel, you’re likely finding yourself completely gassed in the back seat of your wifed-up pledge brother’s car since his girlfriend made him drive in order to not let him get drunk too early. Regardless of where your formal may take you your pregame is relatively standard. Your date will either be wary of you getting too drunk or will be totally on board with your despicable ways. Either way you’ll still find yourself heavily inebriated long before formal begins. After all, it would practically take a war crime to actually have your brothers send you to a standards board, especially during formal.
S: To add to the long list of strange sorority rules, many will not tell sisters where they are even going to hold their formal due to the liability or something. At best you will find yourself at a local country club or other esteemed location. At worst the buses will release your drunk ass into the three star hotel you hadn’t been to since you stayed there in high school while touring your college with Mom and Dad. While the country club is clearly a more desirable option, it also exponentially boosts the chances of your drunken antics landing you in some hot water, while the beater hotel could not care less about what happens. Each choice of location is frankly a win-lose option.
F: As stated earlier, the location can take many directions based on your chapter’s finances, etc. Whether it’s Vegas or a bar downtown, the location will not stop you from getting fully heinous. Armed with a good date, your brothers, and a life-threatening supply of hard liquor, the location of your own formal really does not matter so long as you stay out of the ER or the clink.
S: Even with a girlfriend or the best possible date, chances are you will still be let down by the night itself. After being forced into an establishment with what seems like every other fraternity member besides the ones you actually like you finally settle in for a drunk meal while the standards chair makes her rounds kicking ass and taking names. Your date will also start crying at some point for unknown reasons.
F: You’ve waited all semester and the day has finally arrived. With no true plans besides a meal and at least one picture your date asks you to take with her, the world is your oyster. As your drunk autopilot kicks in, bad decisions become your lifeblood. See that nice wall in the hotel? Certainly would look better with a hole punched in it. Hotel manager is threatening to kick you out for doing detonators in the elevator? Who cares, you leave tomorrow anyway. Anything goes during formal weekend and as the ring leader of your circus of fuckery, nobody is getting in your way.
The Morning After
S: Depending on where you finally end up sleeping that night, the morning after will see one of two conversations: either face to face with your date or over text. The first and more common outcome is a lecture that resembles middle school Health class about you getting too drunk and making an ass of yourself. The second and perhaps scarier outcome is something along the lines of “Last night was great! But what are we?”
F: As your debilitating hangover kicks in, you are met with a wave of grief and disappointment. These feelings do not come by way of something you regret doing or saying, but instead when the realization that you have at least five months until your next formal sinks in..