On a glorious spring day, I went to Glenn Island Beach with my friend Alyssa and her friend Olivia in order to enjoy the apocalyptically warm weather we’ve been having. I’d made up a picnic of Mediterranean pasta, fruit, and sangria. We sat at a picnic table in the park as close to the water as we could and had our nice, almost-end-of-semester outing. It was exactly what you’d expect: a summer playlist that we curated and played along the way, books that we brought even though we weren’t going to read them, and the booziness of sangria in balmy weather.
We didn’t go swimming because the water was so chilly that we didn’t even want to step foot in it. We earned our keep, picking up a few pieces of trash before getting off the beach.
Following that, we went back to campus in time to see some of our friends open for a concert. The opening act was jazz; the act itself was disco.
The event was an excuse to lounge out on the south lawn listening to jazz and disco in the type of weather that has you half dressed or wearing the thinnest dress you have. Lights were strung up. The singing and playing was amazing. The vibes were good. Exposed bodies were strewn out all over the lawn on picnic blankets in a way that made you fantasize about Woodstock. Everything mellowed as the sun went down. You could sit on the grass with your bare feet out or you could get on your feet and really join in. All I had in me was a gentle sway.
That was going to need to change because the concert fed directly into the time slot for our Spring formal. The last formal my school put on was in the first semester of my freshman year, before everything shut down for COVID.
It was my last school formal, for which I did not dress very formally. I left my formal wardrobe at home and don’t own a single sundress, unlike all of my paisley-clad, gingham-and-floral-wearing peers. I therefore went full-tilt mini skirt and showed up at the party.
Everyone I knew was there and they all showed up drunk. Pretty iconic if you ask me.
It was pretty much understood that the school would not be serving alcohol there and that you couldn’t sneak any in so everyone did what they had to do. This did not stop the school from labeling the fruit punch as “Tequila Sunrise” despite the lack of a single drop of tequila.
The theme was Greek mythology. Statues, including a living statue that we all agreed “scared the shit out of us,” lined the lobby, mostly with boxes of Trojan condoms placed in their hands– because we are nothing if not mature.
We all agreed that the one thing that was missing was a Trojan horse.
The music was so loud you would have to be blackout drunk for it to not bother you. The whole room was pulsating with mostly early-2000s hits and a DJ who frequently shouted, “HELLO SARAH LAWRENCEEE” and expected us to scream right back. The amount of sweat that I accidentally touched on other people as I was dancing is not something that I want to think about, so I will be leaving it at that. I stayed there all night, dancing like a marionette being controlled by a drunken puppeteer, but that was kind of the mood of the night. Everyone else was on a similar wavelength to mine. And yes it’s pretty pathetic to dance in a way that lacks any sense of rhythm and coordination, but it is so freeing to dance that way too.
I stayed at the party until the end of it, exhausted from my long day of beaching, concerting, and partying (and classes. I’d had class that morning). In a real “thank God it’s Friday” move, I went home to sleep my way into the weekend.
My first and final semester was bookended by a school formal. This was the first moment that it really sunk in that this, my college experience, was about to be entirely behind me. This was also the start of many great last Sarah Lawrence hurrays.
The Tragic Queen,