A Semi Formal Persuasion


I’m a big believer in going to dances. They are a fun way to relieve stress, hang out with friends, and (most importantly) get free food. On the whole, a majority of the student population attends each BUA dance—Fall Festival, Semi Formal, and Spring Fling. Yet of the three, Semi has always been the most controversial. Whenever I put in a good word for it, the most common response has been, “Why should I pay all that money just to see the people I see every day for another four hours?” While I believe this to be a rhetorical statement, I have some answers:

First, what you really missed out on this year was the boat. I admit it; I was ambivalent at first. Though Semi had been traditionally held on a boat before I came to BUA, I questioned the sanity of this endeavor. In my naivety, I wondered how the food would stay on the tables, and searched out the Dramamine before I left the house. Prejudiced by a whale-less whale watch this summer, I associated boats with crashing through cold and windy weather with no land in sight. Indeed, I was quite wrong. For one thing, I didn’t even notice when the boat set off. I was pleasantly surprised when I happened to glance out the window and noticed the lights of Boston blinking by. And they kept blinking by. We did not lose sight of land at any point on the trip, and seasickness was the last thing on my mind.

Additionally, the food remained on the tables. I would have cried if it had not. I am easily impressed, but have been a picky eater my entire life; when it comes to food, not everything goes. However, I can confidently say that I was very sad when my plate was empty. The buffet meal at the beginning hosted the World’s Softest Bread Rolls, accompanied, of course, by an array of lovely salad, beans, mashed potatoes, pasta primavera, and chicken. There was even a carving station for sirloin and pork! Dessert was equally, if not more, impressive: cheesecake with white chocolate ganache and raspberry topping, and not only chocolate chip cookies but also chocolate mousse truffles on chocolate cookies. My mouth is watering thinking about them.

However, food only took up a small part of the evening. Music played the entire night and for most of it, the dance floor was overflowing. For such a small school, we are really great dancers. And those of us who are less great at dancing can still feel okay about ourselves because nobody can really see who is who anyway when there are strange colors flashing from the ceiling all evening!

You also missed out on seeing all your friends dressed up. While not to the same extent as Prom, most people put effort into their outfits, so you should make that work worth their while! My only complaint was not pertaining to the dressing up part as such, but to the shoes-on rule of the boat. Due to the potential safety hazard of broken glass, many dress-wearing individuals had to totter around in heels for four hours. Personally, I did not strive for comfort when I picked out my shoes and came expecting to take them off. As a result, I found several new places on my feet that I didn’t even know could blister. Next year, I think I’ll be wearing sneakers, just to be on the safe side. Another incentive to come: seeing me in a dress with running sneakers!

Even though I could barely walk by the end of the evening, I am not at all sorry I went. Even in heels. The ultimate highlight of the night was going on the top of the deck to see the entire Boston skyline over the water. Despite a deceptive sixty degree Monday that melted all the snow, Friday evening happened to be a particularly cold day of the week and my bare legs did not thank me for spending close to 10 minutes in the open air. But this just goes to show how beautiful the view was! I personally do not get to see the Boston skyline over water every day. Or night, for that matter; most of the time I am surrounded by tall buildings and towering people. Sadly, the view was short-lived, owing to my very exposed and very numb legs, yet there’s something about being surrounded on all sides by what you see that looking out the window at the top of the GSU doesn’t match. You had to be there.

After hearing all about this fantastic night, I can’t imagine that you are glad you missed Semi. Apply what you learn daily at BUA: nothing daunts a scholar! Not even a dance. If the boat aspect doesn’t appeal to you, you must be tempted by the World’s Softest Bread Rolls. They were so soft, I almost didn’t want to eat mine; all I wanted to do was stroke it. Even just seeing your friends in pretty clothes is a novelty. Great minds frequently prioritize work over dress; at BUA, it’s not every day you get to see a bunch of nicely dressed people all in one room! Yet whether or not you are considering going next year or ever, I’ll always have fun remembering the view, the dancing, and the food.

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