Special College Formals
In addition to regular college formals hosted by the college, Cambridge societies can also host a formal at a specific college. I decided to go to a formal at Clare College hosted by Girl Talk, a society that encourages female empowerment by bringing in inspirational speakers and setting up social events. Going to society-hosted formals is a good opportunity to meet people outside of college, and also to check off another college formal off the list! For some people in Cambridge, one goal is to attend formals at all 31 colleges in their 3 or 4 (or 6 for medics) years at Cambridge.
The formal at Clare college is a lot less formal than the previous ones I attended at Corpus and St. John’s. Maybe it’s because it was hosted by a society so no fellows were present, but we weren’t required to wear gowns. Personally, I think the formal food at Corpus is better than that at Clare, but what was nice was the society made cute decorations for us like little hearts and mustaches. While I was at the formal, I actually met a Caltech alum who is doing her masters here. What a crazy coincidence!
Colleges also host themed formals, usually for holidays like Halloween or Christmas. At Corpus’ Halloween formal, we dressed up in ‘fancy dress’, meaning costumes, and weren’t required to wear gowns. It was really fun, and it’s probably my favorite formal so far.
One other thing – formal tickets, especially for special formals hosted by the College, are extremely popular! They sell out within minutes of being released at 12am, so people rush to buy tickets to attend. It’s nice in a way, because you know that people are motivated and want to go to these events, which makes them all the more fun when you’re going with friends.