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Photos From This College Senior's Last Formal Will Make You Feel Feelings

End of year formals are right around the corner as the end of term begins. While finding the right outfit for the dress code can pose its own dilemmas, getting ready the day of is an event in its own right. After searching for dresses, picking the best Pinterest eye look to copy, and delaying our process of getting ready to the last minute, my friends and I went to our last formal this past weekend.

It was a bit bittersweet to think of us closing this chapter in a few months—our formal is the beginning of a long set of ceremonies to come. Taking the opportunity to have unique experiences is so important, especially if you find yourself also finishing school this year. These small moments spent with friends, especially doing things out of the ordinary, are always sweet memories.

All crammed into one bathroom while doing up each other’s necklaces and taking photos on our phones, my friends and I took the evening to make getting ready for our last formal an unforgettable one. Check out below to see how we got ready in preparation for your own big night and make sure to celebrate the little joys in spending time with your friends.

5:45 pm

After promptly forgetting something behind at my place, I arrived (again) at my friends’ apartment a bit behind schedule. Start things off by doing your make up first—I find it’s always easier to pull your hair out of your face when you haven’t done anything to it yet! We all lended a helping hand in some way or another by doing each other’s brows or helping blend each other’s eye shadows properly.

6:30pm

Once we got our make up done in (almost) record time, we tackled hair—blow dryers, irons, and hairspray were all out in full force. While I would have liked to do an up-do personally, I’m unfortunately not Jen Atkin and certainly did not have enough time. We all stuck to our strengths and curled our hair in the styles we know suit us best.

7:25pm

After zipping up our dresses and putting our shoes on to break them in, we decided to take a few minutes to get photos before heading out. We’ve all been obsessed with Insta cameras in the last year; I like taking individual photos of everyone on special occasions with mine. There’s nothing wrong with preserving the moment you’re in! You can still be present, but sometimes having a few polaroids to hang on your wall will help you to remember the night in years to come. Plus, you definitely want a record of your look from that night, right?

8:00pm

We arrived later than we should have, but laughing over our collective struggle to get down the stairs in our heels was more memorable and getting those last selfies were more important. We made up for missing hor d’oeuvres by snagging some dessert, then danced until our feet hurt. Forgetting about all of our schoolwork coming up and sitting around a hall table talking, it was our little moment of escapism.

It’s always to your benefit to let go for a night and take a shift from the norm of university life. Pausing for a moment to spend some time in a shimmery outfit with friends for one night will imprint itself on your university experience, all you need to do is just get ready.