Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 7 months ago
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How do they work exactly? Do you have to go to every one? (like are some optional?)
How often to colleges typically have formals?
As a state school kid who is working class (more like struggling working class, money is a balancing act most of the time) and who’s closest experience of a formal type situation being my year 6 graduation dinner, I’m lowkey terrified I’m going to stick out like a sore thumb at these dinners (as a black female I guess I already will stick out at Durham tbh) and I’ll hate it.
Some people say it’s one of the best parts of a student’s experience at Durham but as it’s so new to me it does worry me. It’s putting me off Durham a bit (as well as the shocking lack of diversity and increased classism but that’s an issue for another time) and I feel it would be a shame for me to not at least get other opinions about this instead of me deciding not to apply to Durham just because of that.
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physgradstudent
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It depends what college you go to. Some have them up to twice a week (I think). Usually if you have a catered room then the formals are included in the cost of the accommodation, but if you go self-catered then you have to pay (around £5) to attend. You can look here to see which colleges have formals and which don't.
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HoldThisL
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presumably your getting the maximum maintenance loan? nice formal clothes aren't super expensive and they'll do the most to make you fit in visually

not everyone behave like a middle aged, upper middle class businessman at dinner just because its called a formal. people won't be throwing food but if you just act tentatively at first, you pick up normal habits quickly
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Lemur14
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You definitely don't have to go to every one, I think if we hadn't gone to the one in freshers they likely would have been annoyed (because they'd made food etc.), but other than that I haven't been to a single once since. My college does them about 4 times a term, but it's self catered so we pay for every one. In catered colleges they often happen around once a week, but if you're not going you have to work your dinner time around that (for instance at Van Mildert my friend had to get food by 6:15 if she wasn't going to the formal, which when you finish at 5:55 is somewhat tight!
But you definitely don't have to go to most so don't be put off Durham by that
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by HoldThisL)
presumably your getting the maximum maintenance loan? nice formal clothes aren't super expensive and they'll do the most to make you fit in visually

not everyone behave like a middle aged, upper middle class businessman at dinner just because its called a formal. people won't be throwing food but if you just act tentatively at first, you pick up normal habits quickly
thank you. it’s just a little intimidating atm, that’s all
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Lemur14)
You definitely don't have to go to every one, I think if we hadn't gone to the one in freshers they likely would have been annoyed (because they'd made food etc.), but other than that I haven't been to a single once since. My college does them about 4 times a term, but it's self catered so we pay for every one. In catered colleges they often happen around once a week, but if you're not going you have to work your dinner time around that (for instance at Van Mildert my friend had to get food by 6:15 if she wasn't going to the formal, which when you finish at 5:55 is somewhat tight!
But you definitely don't have to go to most so don't be put off Durham by that
thank you, this was really helpful
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by chapmase)
It depends what college you go to. Some have them up to twice a week (I think). Usually if you have a catered room then the formals are included in the cost of the accommodation, but if you go self-catered then you have to pay (around £5) to attend. You can look here to see which colleges have formals and which don't.
thank you
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HoldThisL
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(Original post by Anonymous)
thank you. it’s just a little intimidating atm, that’s all
yeah sure, find someone else to go along with first just so you've got the moral support, although that said, one of my lecturers started freshers by saying "put your hand up if you're already part of an exclusive group who wouldn't have a conversation with someone if they came up to you and said 'hey'" and unsurprisingly no one put their hand up because everyone's out to make friends and no one will really turn down a 'hey, what do you study' conversation starter
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by HoldThisL)
yeah sure, find someone else to go along with first just so you've got the moral support, although that said, one of my lecturers started freshers by saying "put your hand up if you're already part of an exclusive group who wouldn't have a conversation with someone if they came up to you and said 'hey'" and unsurprisingly no one put their hand up because everyone's out to make friends and no one will really turn down a 'hey, what do you study' conversation starter
very true, that lecturer sounds cool haha. thanks again
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Reality Check
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(Original post by HoldThisL)
. people won't be throwing food
Clearly Durham formals are nothing like Cambridge ones then :laugh:
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