SYR Survival Guide

It’s almost that time again—the weather’s gotten colder, classes (and football) are well underway, and pumpkin spice lattes are back at Starbucks.

With all the wonderful changes fall naturally brings, Notre Dame also gives us collegiettes© something else to anticipate (and stress over!): It’s SYR season and we’ve got some tips to help you smash it.

1. Just because it’s no longer a tradition to set-up your roommate doesn’t mean you should discount the practice entirely.

It can be scary, especially your freshman year, to ask a boy (or girl) you hardly know to attend a dance with you.

Especially since the first SYR of the year is Friday night (yes, Howard’s Hoedown is happening that soon). That’s why it can be fun to get a group of girls together to ask a group of guys. That way you aren’t responsible for entertaining your guest the entire night (after all, their friends are in attendance too) and you don’t have to worry about the whole awkward was-that-a-date-or-wasn’t-it? after the fact.

Going with a group also alleviates pre-dance stress of where you can hang out—you already know who you’re going to be with, it’s just a matter of finding a communal place to hang out and get ready. 

2. If you’re nervous about asking someone, don’t feel pressured to do it.

You can have plenty of fun going stag.

You will definitely have more fun going by yourself than you will if you force yourself to bring a date. If you can find a couple of other girls who want to go as a group, that’s awesome. If you can’t, remember that this is your dorm’s dance and you will know a good number of people on the dance floor.

Find a group that you can tag along with (yes, all by your awesome self)! If that’s still intimidating to you, don’t forget the Notre Dame dance rules are that you can bring one GUEST, not date. If you have a friend from another girl’s dorm who you think would have an awesome time at your dorm’s totally ridiculous themed dance, then don’t be afraid to bring them.

Chances are, the pair of you will have an amazing time.

3. Don’t forget what prom already taught you.

I don’t know about you, but neither of my high school proms will ever rank in the top ten nights of my life. They just weren’t that exciting. But I wasn’t that disappointed—everyone I talked with for about a week before reminded me that it wasn’t ever going to be quite what the media has depicted it to be.

Prom wasn’t the best night of my life but it was fun (and getting ready was always the most fun part!). SYRs aren’t guaranteed to bring the fun to you—it’s all about what you make of it. It’s about finding the best outfit you can, getting ready with your friends, and hoping the dance isn’t too awkward.

4. Go all out with your costumes.

There are only so many times in your life that you will attend themed parties where a good number of the attendees will actually dress to the theme. There’s no reason not to go all-out in jungle attire or find the classiest Kentucky Derby outfit you can. Creating and finding your outfit can be (and should be) one of the best parts about SYRs!

Take a trip to a South Bend thrift store with your dorm mates, search the Internet for the perfect earrings, and make sure you are one of the people whose costume gets comments all night long.

5. Don’t give up on the dance too early.

You have almost every other night of the semester to go to a super-fun dorm party. You only have four SYRs to attend with all of the people you’re living with.

There’s no reason to leave the party early—as with all things, you have to give them a little time. If you get there and you seem to be the first to arrive, grab some food and wait for the rest of your dorm to get there. Alternatively, grab your friends and take advantage of the totally empty dance floor—chances are, that’s the most space you will have all night.

6. Don’t be afraid to dance.

I know there’s space on the side of the dance floor to stand, and I know that there’s free food, but don’t let that stop you from actually participating in the dancing! Everyone looks silly doing it and you will look sillier if you’re all done up in costume. But that’s okay. That’s the point of dances, and if you aren’t willing to look a little silly, then you won’t be having nearly as much as fun as you could be.

Dance like no one is watching because chances are, no one is all that worried about how others look.

7. Take lots of photos.

Take photos before the dance, during the dance and, yes, even after the dance. You will want to remember this as one of the things you got the chance to do during your time at Notre Dame and having silly photos of you and your friends is one of the best ways to do that.

If there’s a photo booth, take advantage of that and use as many of the props as you possibly can. Don’t let documentation get in the way of actually enjoying the moment, but don’t swing too far the other way. After all, you’ll want to be able to show off your amazing costume to all your friends back home!

8. Don’t stress too much over anything.

If the SYR isn't perfect, that’s fine.

It probably won’t be.

Approach it as something silly, something that should be a little awkward and a little weird, but kind of awesome anyways. If you make it something light and fun, then it will be light and fun. At the end of the night, if you remembered to actually have fun, then you will have memories that were worth making. Find an appropriate attitude to approach the SYR with, and no matter what happens, it will be a postive experience! 


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Images: 1, 2 (provided by author)