Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

52° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Advertisement
Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our email newsletter in your inbox.



Advertisement

Advertisement

It’s formal season: Reading Period brings studying, packing amid social formals

An+illustration+of+gold+letters+that+reads+formal+season+on+a+blue+background.
Illustration by Shveta Shah
Whether it is a Greek life event, an extracurricular club social, or a residential college celebration, the end of the quarter brings with it a week packed full of formals.

Depending on students’ majors and how much they got done over Thanksgiving break, Reading Period is either a time for locking themselves in the library or for hitting the Christkindlmarket. 

There is much to be accomplished in the short ‘calm before the storm’ ahead of Finals Week — flashcard making, slowly adding clothes to the suitcase lugged home after exams and for many students, hunting for the perfect outfit and date for formals.

Whether it is a Greek life event, an extracurricular club social or a residential college celebration, the end of the quarter brings a week packed full of formals. 

Weinberg sophomore Sabrina Lam, Chinese Students Association’s social chair, is in charge of helping plan and schedule CSA’s fall formal. Lam said she believes most formals are scheduled during Reading Period because it is the most flexible time of the quarter for most students.

Lam added that planning for a Reading Period formal ensures most students won’t have a scheduling clash or an exam the next day. For CSA, she said, the fall formal is usually held the Reading Period weekend — to accommodate non-Weinberg students with classes during the week.   

Another part of the formal planning process for Lam is scheduling around the overflow of other organization’s formals that occur during the week before finals.

“We try to communicate and not clash with other organizations, like, for example, the (Korean American Student Association),” Lam said. “In terms of Greek life, it’s a bit of a difficult situation because they have formals almost every day (of Reading Period).”

Weinberg sophomore and former Daily staffer Miles Azuma-Hall agreed with Lam that Reading Period can be oversaturated with formals and that an organization’s prior planning can ensure members’ attendance.

Azuma-Hall is part of Northwestern Swim Club’s executive board, another organization hosting a formal during Reading Period. He said the club intentionally planned the formal ahead of other organizations to avoid conflicting with other student groups.

“It is a little bit of a friendly competition between organizations, so by getting our invitations out early, people can put it into their calendar and work it into their plans,” he said.

Azuma-Hall added that with careful planning, attending a formal is still possible for students who need to study during the Reading Period. He said he committed to two social events during Reading Period evenings and afternoons, but kept the rest of his schedule clear to focus on classes. 

Weinberg junior Amelia Rolighed is a member of NU’s chapter of Delta Gamma sorority. For Rolighed, a Winnetka resident, attending a formal during Reading Period is easier for her than it might be for other students.

She also said that hosting a formal prior to Reading Period might alleviate some of the stress that students feel toward the end of the quarter as they try to find flights home and study for exams. 

“I most likely would have skipped formal if I lived farther away and did not have any in-person exams,” she said. “With so many students staying home during this period, finding friends who can come to formal is harder.”

But based on the sheer number of organizations hosting some kind of formal event this week, one thing is for certain: Reading Period formals are not going anywhere anytime soon.

“Honestly, it’s an ongoing tradition,” Lam said. “There is more flexibility during Reading Week, and this is the time that works best with everyone’s schedule.”

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @TabithaParent12

Related stories:

Evanston businesses talk shopping local on Small Business Saturday

Freshmen reflect on their first Fall Quarter at Northwestern
Evanston shops welcome the holiday season with festive storefront displays

More to Discover