Thinking about spending a night “Under the Stars”?: To avoid the rookie mistakes, here’s a quick Birthday Ball survival guide

By Amanda Gabriel

Senior Writer

As the end of February approaches, so does Washington College’s beloved annual tradition—Birthday Ball.

Originally created in remembrance of George Washington’s birthday, this day of the year has transformed into an expensive and much-anticipated Student Events Board extravaganza.

The SEB announced the “Under the Stars” theme at the end of last semester, which has given students ample time to plan for the occasion.

In case you are late to the game, or new to WC, here are a few things to remember when going out to Birthday Ball:

Most crowds don’t arrive until after 10 p.m. Be prepared if you walk through those magnificently decorated doors before 10, because you’ll find yourself among professors, alumni, and other adult faculty.

Students are usually having their own small get-togethers before the dance “actually starts,” so you may not see your peers until later.

Make sure to get some of the food before it’s gone. One perk to arriving early, though you may be one of the few, is first access to the food table.

Dining Services caters the event, and it’s surprisingly delicious (especially the crab dip.)

When all the students begin to flock to the dance, these appetizers disappear fast.

Compose yourself at the door, and wear proper attire. Before entering the dance floor, it is required that students pass through security and Residential Life and show their IDs. No one is permitted without them, so make sure to have it on hand.

Additionally, for those 21 and over, remember to pace yourself if you’re choosing to drink, because nothing is worse than planning your night for months and getting turned down because you’re acting too sloppy.

As for your outfit, long dresses are always best and in fact encouraged, as well as slacks, a dress shirt, and tie.

This past homecoming, students were kicked out for having dresses that were too short, so play it safe and wear something that won’t scandalize any sticklers.

Don’t miss out on the photo ops. The SEB puts a lot of effort and funding into decorating the Johnson Fitness Center for a magical night, so don’t forget to look around and take it all in.

You can usually find a spot or two near the front doors to the JFC that is set up just for the purpose of giving you a photogenic background to work with.

Keep track of your belongings, or pack smart. Most people decide to place their heels and bags around the edges of the curtain near the food section, but this leads to theft and misplacement.

Although heels can make an outfit, perhaps this year you can leave them in your dorm after posting to Instagram, and opt for comfortable sneakers or flats.

Those in dress shoes tend to accidentally step on bare feet anyway, so you should save yourself the pain.

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