Formal is one of the best nights of the year, but the weeks leading up to it are almost as stressful as finals, if not more. The time of the year, commonly known as "formal szn," is full of emotional distress and drama like no other. There will be tears shed, lots of money spent and multiple freak-outs all for one night.
The initial stress hits when the date of formal is decided, usually months in advance. This doesn't really affect you too much because "four months is plenty of time!" At this point, all you do is set a bunch of goals for yourself like finding a boyfriend or losing five pounds. This is just the beginning though because four months fly by, and before you know it, it's actually time to stress out.
The semester progresses, and you realize you haven't achieved any of the goals you set for yourself. You thought you had more time until you actually calculated the days left to sort your life out and said, "Sh*t that's really soon." The slight panic attack, nothing major though because you can figure this out!
Start shopping for a dress because you know how long this process takes. Guys have it easy; they buy a jacket or two, and they're set. Girls are not that lucky, and it usually takes a million different options before finding a dress we even remotely like. This usually leads to buying 12 different ones in hopes that one of them is the perfect dress. If you're like me, even if you adore the dress now there's a 100 percent chance you'll hate it the night of formal.
Building off of the dress issue is the whole concept of formal diets. Not even necessary, but we convince ourselves if we don't eat a salad or go to the gym every day, the world will end as we know it. Mostly you just think about doing those things, but never actually follow through, always claiming that "formal diet officially starts tomorrow!" Everyone that's actually sticking to the plan just makes you feel bad about how much you're slacking.
When the location is finally decided, you're left with the daunting task of checking your bank account to see if you can even afford to go at all. You never actually realized how much this whole endeavor was going to cost in the end, and now your finances are seriously suffering.
The absolute worse part of the formal season, though, without a doubt, is finding a date. If you're not exclusive with or dating anyone a month before formal, you enter full-on panic mode. It should not be as hard as it is to find a formal date, considering you're paying for them to have a good time! Sure you could take a guy friend, but everyone wants a real date. You go through lists of guys with your friends only to decide after multiple meltdowns that you're going alone. In reality, you'll just end up taking your backup date who's going to be way more fun anyway.
All the stresses and freak-outs are worth it in the end, though, because formal is one of those nights you have fun no matter what. You're surrounded by all your best friends, everyone is all dressed up and it's impossible not to have a great time when the atmosphere is so happy. At the end of the day, all the worries disappear and the only thing you'll remember about formal was how amazing the night was.