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A Week Before Gala

While our friends at other schools may be lounging by the pool, on the beach, or still in preparation for what they will call “the best spring break ever,” Bates students all over campus are preparing for what is possibly one of the most well-known events around campus: Gala.  Whether they are on the committee organizing it, or simply just attending, it has been a consistent subject of conversation in Commons during meals. As a Gala virgin and a first year, I have been mystified by what this event entailed- what I had heard from relatives or friends who had been at Bates before set the bar high, with Gala being described as the “best dance that Bates hosts,” “like Prom, but better because if you’re 21, you can drink,” and “when I peaked during my Bates career.”  Who wouldn’t have high expectations of an event after hearing it described like that?

When I got my invitation for Gala, I was excited to say the least.  Moulin Rouge? So many opportunities for both the party decorations and for dresses/outfits.  While I don’t think that many will go for the huge tulle skirts or bikini top two piece dresses, there are still a wide variety of dresses and options that could be on theme.  In all honesty, I was a liiiittle over-excited for Gala when it came to getting a dress and shoes. I only had one real formal event where I went to highschool, so when it comes to formal dances I get pretty excited to say the least. I got my dress over February break, so to find out that it actually fit the theme was a TOTAL win in my book because I didn’t waste what little cash I had left from my summer job on a dress I couldn’t wear.  Fearing a new Gala version of what has been coined by a few high school friends, PDR (Prom Dress Regret), I discussed with a few friends who had previously attended Gala on what they thought would be a proper dress. My friends overall did repeat the same thing though- so long as you are comfortable, dress to theme, and feel good in your dress, then you’ll be fine.

There is a one big question left for many when it comes to Gala- the big “do you bring a date?”  While a few of my friends have coupled off by now and have official relationships, many of the others are left wondering whether or not it is crucial to have a date to this event.  Do they ask a friend? Their Commons crush? The person they’re ~talking to~? For everyone who has been worrying about this question, Gala is dates-optional. When I say this, I don’t mean it in a prom sense like when you needed a date solely for those giant group photos in someone’s backyard or walk down the promenade.  Gala is a time meant to be spent with those you care about, whether that be someone special or your friends. Don’t spend your midterms stressing on finding someone to go with- just focus on going and having fun with your friends.

Overall, Gala is something that many look forward to on campus.  Whether you’re going solo or with a date, wearing a suit, dress, or anything else, it’s meant to be what you make it.  Go out, have fun, get dressed up, and hopefully, get on the dance floor.


Image courtesy of Bates Campus Life.

A now sophomore at Bates who is probably more passionate about Commons' chicken nugget days and free iced coffee than she is about any class she's taking. Can often be found freaking out over a paper that was left to the last minute in the Classics lounge in Pgill, drowning herself in any form of caffeine in the den or commons, on the floor of her best friend Annie Boyer's room, or somewhere in Rand bingewatching the Office.
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