The Stages of Formal Preparation


Oh it’s the most wonderful time of the semester! Formal season is finally upon us. Which means that formal preparation is as well! Who doesn’t love getting dressed up and having an excuse to look your best in a hot, new dress? Believe me when I say the only thing getting me through all these papers, tests, and homework assignments is being able to look forward to an evening of dancing, laughing, and making some of the most amazing memories with my friends. Because thinking about what color to paint my nails no matter how far in advance is significantly more interesting than writing twelve pages of peer reviews.

It’s like the world has suddenly become obsessed with what dress you’re going to wear, who you’re going to bring, and every other pretty much trivial factor that could somehow possibly relate to the big event. Keep reading for the stages of formal preparation to be sure you are ready for whatever prom, evening gala, cocktail, or formal event you are attending in the future!

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The “Did Someone Say Formal?!” Stage

This is when you first hear what day formal is going to be, and where it’s going to be held. You like to play it cool like you’re not really thinking about it too much since it’s so far away. However, in reality you’re already sizing up the potential date options, and whom you could possibly ask to go with you even though you know you have to wait a good month at the least before you ask them. If you’re like me, you like to keep your possible date options, which are usually extremely minimal, in complete secrecy to avoid looking stupid if they end up saying no or someone else asks them first. Regardless, this is when the formal frenzy officially begins and slowly starts to take over your thoughts, conversations, and life.

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The “I’m Hopelessly Single Will Someone Please Be My Date” Stage

After the initial excitement of learning when formal is going to be, the enthusiasm subsides because you realize a few things.

One: It is still some time away…

Two: You most likely still have to finish what feels like a billion papers, tests, quizzes, and assignments before formal is even a week away.

Time Flies By Quicker Than You’d Think

So naturally you decide to actually deal with it when it gets closer, although all along deep down the excitement is slowly bubbling up like a volcano waiting to erupt. Well, as is usually the case, time flies by way faster than planned and next thing you know it’s about a week until you need to have you and your date’s paperwork passed in. And as the case is, you still don’t have a date.

Panic Begins To Set In

Remember all those guys you were scoping out as potential dates over a month ago? Well, your plan to progress your friendship with them and maybe even strike up a conversation or two has simply put, not happened. Whatever the reason, you are now at high risk of going dateless. Should you ask a friend to set you up? Or maybe you should bring along your roommate cause you know you two always have a great time together.

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The “If The Ice Cream Is Fat-Free It Still Counts As Diet Food Right?” Stage

Finally, after two excruciating months the week of formal has arrived and it’s socially acceptable to let it take over every conversation and thought because after all it only happens once a semester.

You Realize You Never Stuck To The Diet You Intended On

Of course that diet you planned to start a few weeks ago in order to look your best in that almost too tight dress you bought online never happened. At this point you decide to forget about that attempt and just ensure your skin is the perfect shade of brown and your nails aren’t in their usual half-painted mostly chipped state. The frenzy is in full force, and every day leading up to it has some sort of plan for what needs to be done so that you can look your very best that night, and take a smoking hot Instagram picture.

The “I Should Probably Bring Another Pair of Shoes Tonight” Stage

Well, the night has arrived or should I say day. Whatever the case, you can now hibernate with your girls all day prepping for the big night out. Your dress has been tried on countless times before tonight just to be sure it’s exactly the look you’re going for, but now it’s finally time to show the world how hot you look in it. Formal has officially begun, and it’s time to dance away the stress of the semester and enjoy another highly anticipated evening of fun with your close friends and whoever has agreed to accompany you as your date this time.

Now, You Just Wait For The Fun To Begin

All you can do now is hope they’re a good time. When you’re finally ready and that last strap is buckled securing your heels for the night, it’s time to hit the dance floor. Be ready to take a ridiculous amount of pictures and hopefully make some of the best memories of the semester. You’re only young once and these days are going to fly by faster than you’d like. So be sure to enjoy every moment of formal because I can guarantee that you’re going to look back at these nights and wish they’d lasted forever.

Try Not To Take Everything About Formals So Seriously

I always took prom very seriously in every way possible. Let’s just say that my date’s tux had to match my dress impeccably even if that meant calling three different tux shops and sitting in four hours of traffic the day before to rent a new vest and tie. There was simply no time to waste the moment January arrived in solidifying all the details for my high school’s late May prom. Now I’d like to say this ended after senior year, but lucky for me I get to relive this once every semester with formal. It’s like the one thing I miss most about high school gets to follow me right through college.

However, thankfully my days of obsessing over making every little detail perfect are over. But just because it’s no longer necessary to begin planning five months in advance, doesn’t mean that the anticipatory steps leading up to formal are completely cast aside. They’ve just solidified, so I guess you can say they’ve matured slightly like myself.

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What are some other stages of formal preparation? Comment below and share this article with friends!
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