The Formal

Twice a year on college, even the shyest and most unsocial of us rear our heads and ready ourselves for the most popular events. The first of which is our Semi-Formal, which is really just a glorified costume party. However, even the most enjoyable of costume parties doesn’t compare with the excitement that twists its way through college at this time of year.

The Formal is coming.

It’s not quite the same as your school formal, since dates aren’t expected, sure you can have them, but for the most part you appear at the dining hall in all your refinery with the friends you’ve made in your block and all the work you’ve put in is because you’re trying hard to look fantastic for the cameras.

For the boys, it’s easy, they have a shower, shave, and if they’re really dedicated, spray on a bit of cologne. Then, they don their suits. The theme for Steele Rudd last year was masquerade, and so the boys put on their batman masks, or in one case – a brown paper bag with eyeholes, throw the finishing touches into their block video and then they make their way to the party for a meal that fills their stomachs.

For the girls however, especially H Block, there is far more time involved. For weeks beforehand, we are leaping in cars and making expeditions to the shops for many various odds and ends that we may feel we require and each part is generally a different shopping trip.

First the dresses, then the shoes and the accessories, then the masks – I was lucky, I bought mine off eBay – but you’re not finished here. There is still hair and make-up to do. Generally the most fashion-inclined of the group will whip out their hair curlers and straighteners and set to work on everyone else’s hair, trying to find the most glamorous and photogenic way to place every strand to hair. Once that has been done, it’s onto the make-up.

“What mask are you wearing and what colour is your dress? Oh, is that so? Well then, I think this colour will suit you best.” At that point, another girl will walk past and say, “I think that colour is better, and you should really do something about that foundation, it makes her skin look orange”


But that still isn’t everything. There are block videos to create. Each block creates a video about the members, at the Semi Formal it’s to introduce everyone, at the Formal its five minutes of frivolities. The prize for the best block video is a free movie ticket, one for each member of the block. Not bad really.

Once all these steps have been completed, you are ready for the formal.

It’s certainly worth all the effort.

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About Laura

I was born in the hustle and bustle of Brisbane, mid winter, some 19 years ago. Since that day, I've had the pleasure of a pretty enjoyable life. I've done a fair bit of travelling, and no-where near enough snow skiing as I would like. My name is Laura, and despite my intense desire for a nickname since grade 8, I have always been known as such. As you may have guessed, I spent my youth in Brisbane. When I graduated school, I wanted a change, and so I left the comforts of home and headed into the perceived wilderness of a rural setting. Of course, when I arrived I realized it was nothing like what my friends had made me believe. However, I was just about the only Brisbanite living in my college so it made for a vast change in conversation topics. As I alluded to earlier, I am a passionate skier. A good skier however, well, that can be debated. I’m rather uncoordinated, much to my eternal disgrace. I enjoy bushwalking, and reading and very occasionally, cooking – so long as its something sweet and I can lick the spoons. At University, I study Nursing full-time, and am nearly finished my second year of the three-year course. I hope you like my rambles of college life, and perhaps I will see you around.

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