Finding a Formal Date

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The best part of the second semester, formal, is quickly approaching, and I’m feeling the pressure to find a date. While spring semester is usually full of classes that assign so much homework you can hardly think straight and the weather is almost enough to inspire me to purchase a one-way ticket to a tropical island, for me the light at the end of the tunnel is always formal. For the past two years, my sorority’s formal dance has been a favorite experience of mine. It’s a chance to dress up, dance all night long, and spend time with friends who are graduating in a few weeks. One thing that can make or break the experience, though, is who you choose to bring as a date.

Formal can be compared to prom because there is a lot of time you spend one-on-one with your date. My first year, I brought a boy I didn’t know too well and he and I were both uncomfortable. My second year, I decided to bring one of my best guy friends. We had a great time together, we always do, but I just felt like there was something missing. Maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic, but sometimes I just wish I were Cinderella at the ball with her Prince Charming… you know?

This year, I was determined to find a date who could be my prince charming. To begin my search, I created an application for my potential dates. In order to have the best experience, I needed to pick the best candidate. Qualifications on the application included:




-What is your favorite dance move or song to dance to?

-Will you post one of the many photos we take on your Instagram?

With the application completed and ready to distribute, it was time to find the guys.

When picking a formal date, it is best to bring someone who is either a) friends with you/your friends/someone else’s date, or b) not totally awkward. If you bring a date who isn’t comfortable in social settings or doesn’t know anyone else there, it can end up feeling more like a babysitting gig than a dance. I scrolled through my contact list and found all the guys who I knew would have a great time! I started reaching out, but everyone was either busy, or they had girlfriends now.

I tried thinking of friends who could set me up. During my freshman year, I was set up by a friend to go on my date party in the fall, and we ended up having a great time together! But this was a bust too.

At this point, I was running out of options. I could download tinder or bumble, and risk bringing someone I’ve never met, but I did not want my date to turn out being a serial killer. I consulted my contact list again and wondered if I should ask the guy I took to my hayride last fall, but haven’t talked to since.

I’d finally exhausted all of my ideas and thrown away the applications. It wasn’t worth it to bring some guy I’ve never met before, and the idea of going by myself was mortifying. I decided on bringing my best gal pal. She’s no prince charming, but we always have a fun time together tearing up the dance floor and she never judges me for needing to take at least 200 photos in order to pick the one I truly like. I had just pulled up my favorite online boutique to search for a new dress, clicking on an overly sequined pink option when I got a notification from my social chair that made me want to slam my head against a wall:

“Formal has been canceled. Sorry.”


Maggie Morgan is a junior majoring in Professional Writing with a concentration in Creative Writing. Hobbies include: spending all of her money on concert tickets, trying to convince Green Day to let her be their friend, geeking out about music history, dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone. You can follow her on Instagram at @swaggie_.maggie.

Tags: college formal, formal, frat formal, greek life, Michigan State University, MSU, sorority formal