Formal Survival Guide

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18)

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18)

Formal weekends, a popular tradition amongst southern schools, entail spending a weekend with a fraternity on a cheap hotel beach such as Destin, PCB or Hilton Head. Though it’s often one of the best weekends of the year, it's also filled with little to no sleep, cheap alcohol and late night Dominoes. Here’s a quick guide to killing your formal weekend, while minimizing the damage on your health.

1. HYDRATE. with water.

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18)

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18)

Girls are expected to paint coolers for their dates, which they fill with liquor, beer, chasers, and other necessities for the weekend. Use your extra space to squeeze in as many water and coconut waters as possible. The combination of hot weather and excessive alcohol often leads to dehydration, and you’re not going to want to have to leave the party to scrounge for water at the hotel store. Pack coconut waters (or Vitamin Water) to sip on throughout the day to keep your electrolytes up. Also bring an extra empty water bottle that you can take to the beach and refill at the hotel bar during the day. 

2. pack Snacks.

If you’re someone who needs more sustenance than cranberry vodkas for breakfast and a mid-day Dominos-binge, PACK SNACKS. Packaged nuts, protein bars (Quest, RX, ONE, Kind, ThinkThin) and single-serving nut-butters are great for traveling and eating on-the-go.

3. SNEAK IN Sneakers.

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18), Brittany Silver (Vanderbilt '18)

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18), Brittany Silver (Vanderbilt '18)

Plan ahead on your workouts and know that you probably won’t get much exercise this weekend. However, there are a few ways that you can get moving during formal without missing out on any fun. If you’re an early riser, take advantage of the extra couple hours in the morning when your date is still sleeping and head to the hotel gym. Squeezing in a 30 minute walk on incline and 15 minutes of ab work is fairly easy and will make you feel much better about your day of carefree fun. Another option is to gather a couple friends before the day starts and take a walk on the beach. It's the perfect time to update one another, appreciate the beach and get moving.

 

 

4. wear Sunscreen.

There is no place for sunburn at formal. Make sure to pack a sunscreen stick for your face and aerosol can for your body. Apply one quick layer before leaving your hotel room for the day, and another when you inevitably sneak back to pee and grab snacks. Not only will being sunburnt make you red, uncomfortable, and unhappy, it also will make you more dehydrated. 

5. Bring a blanket.

The ride down to formal is an exciting, and often hilarious start to the party. Fraternities usually drive through the night on a Thursday, to arrive at their destination Friday morning. The ride home, however, is not quite as fun. Everyone’s exhausted, hungover and ruminating their mistakes from the weekend. For this reason bring the essentials so that you can comfortably pass out on the way home. A travel neck pillow and small blanket will do wonders for you on the overly air-conditioned bus. Pop a Melatonin, create a blanket- cocoon and use the 12-hour drive home to catch up on your sleep and prepare yourself for Sunday night's reality check.

Shop Mouth.com for the best small-batch indie spirits and cocktail mixers! Use code DRINK15 for 15% off
Shop NYC's Finest Boutique