LoveND: Falling For Formal

Author: Tajae Thompson


Dear Notre Dame,

Although the University of Notre Dame does not have Greek life, some of the positive aspects of Greek traditions have been naturally integrated into our dorm culture. One of my favorites has been formal season!

I love hanging out with my friends, dancing, and getting all dressed up for any occasion. I didn't think that Notre Dame would have formals, but after attending the first hall council of my freshman year, I was shocked to find out that they did. Dorm formals are not nearly as formal as prom, so you don't have to worry about shelling out a lot of money for a nice dress or suit. 

In addition to formals, each dorm on campus has its SYR, which stands for “set up your roommate.” Just to be clear, it's just a dance. SYRs and formals typically take place in different semesters, too. For example, a dorm could have their SYR in the fall and then their formal in the spring. SYRs usually have bizarre themes, a dorm will vote on their theme each year. This year my dorm’s theme was "high school lunch tables." This meant we dressed up as different stereotypical high school cliques, like cheerleaders, football players, nerds, goths, etc. Other themes include a toga party, “bad fads and hot dads,” and many more. 

You don't need a date for SYR, and it is really fun to go with a group of friends and do a cute group costume. For my SYR, my friends and I dressed in all pink, similar to the cast of Mean Girls. SYRs are overall just a casual, good time.

Formals are an opportunity to get dressed up, as these are not themed. As I stated previously, each dorm has a formal, but there is something special called, “Dome Dance.” The previous year's winners of “Hall of the Year,” have their formal in the Main Building! Dorms do not always have their formals on campus. St. Edward’s Hall has their formal on a yacht, and Duncan has their formal in a skyrise in Chicago. Other than dorms, different programs have formals. Band, football, engineering, and my scholars' program, Balfour, are some of the non-dorms that have formals.

While I am sad that we will miss out on formals, prom, graduation, and many wonderful end-of-year activities, I am glad that my family and I are healthy. 

It is okay to be upset about the things that we will miss out on, but let us not forget to pray and to continue practicing social distancing for the essential workers who have to put themselves in harm's way to continue to serve those of us who have the privilege to stay home. Let us save our energy and come back stronger and better than ever.