We all know what a midlife crisis looks like. From 40-something year old men wearing cargo shorts and learning how to kite surf, to your friend’s mom who aspires to be Madonna and seduce the pool boy, you can always tell when someone isn’t aging quite so gracefully. Clearly in denial of the cruel reality of time, midlife crisisers find comfort in not acting their age, partaking in activities meant for the youthful masses. But then again, youth is wasted on the young, right?
In comparison, what does a quarterlife crisis look like? As senior year comes ever closer to an end, it has become increasingly apparent that even though some of us have solidified our post-graduate plans, we are all united in our desperation as we helplessly grasp onto the final fleeting moments of our collegiate careers. Finally, I am not alone in my painful struggle. As a result, it isn’t quite as easy to identify a fellow student trapped in a quarterlife crisis, as it is to spot the middle-aged couple grinding with far too much gusto on the Dino’s dance floor — we are all way too ridiculously good looking.
However, come May 14, we can all proudly celebrate our rejection of the oncoming real world as we attend Duff Ball, aka Senior Prom. Just like our middle-aged counterparts who can’t resist getting a lower back tattoo or buying that shiny new car, we 20-somethings won’t have to hide our shamelessness as we revert back to our high school years and scramble to find the perfect date, sneak booze onto the premises, and hopefully get a little somethin’ somethang before the night is out. The only difference this time around is that our parents unfortunately won’t be there to capture every preciously awkward moment at the pregame.
Named in honor of Springfield’s famed brewery, Duff Ball (which must be said “DUFF BALL!” while throwing up both fists à la Arrested Development’s Steve Holt — no really, that’s the only correct way to say it) is bound to be a night to (partially) remember. Considering that tickets sold out in a mere 10 minutes, it’s clear that many of us are suitably excited to attend (or to make mad money selling our tickets on the black market). And why not? After four years of hard work and hard play, we deserve an official University-sanctioned formal. Furthermore, after four years on the Cornell grind, it’s nice to relive the simpler days in life, when all our 17-year-old selves had to worry about was prom, as opposed to obnoxious career choices.
So how exactly does prom work in college? It just so happens that it’s pretty much the same exact process that you remember from high school. First comes the date selection — gentlemen (and bold young women), you have a bevy of options at your disposal. Have that one girl you’ve always dreamed of but been too scared to make the first move for the past four years? Duff Ball is your chance to lay it all on the line and hope that love is in the air. If that doesn’t work out, you can always opt for the safe but unsexy option of taking a close friend, ensuring a good time on the dance floor but not much between the sheets (or a distressingly awkward morning after). Going stag is still not a viable decision, no matter what you tell yourself.
What about the ever-classy limo ride and the appealingly Guido after party (WESTCHESTER WHADDUP)? Never fear. Thanks to the trusty TCAT system, you and your date will be riding around Ithaca in style in no time. After the main festivities, catch a bus to the Schwartz Center and you can party like there’s no tomorrow at any one of Collegetown’s fine establishments. Leave the fake I.D.s and vodka-filled water bottles at home this time — suck it, 17-year-old self!
Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy the feature presentation itself. This is the prom of your dreams — black tie, cash bar, no chaperones. What more could you ask for? Don’t forget that one lucky sexy couple gets crowned the Duff Ball King and Queen. If you don’t leave Duffield sweaty and soused, you’ll know that you’re doing something wrong. Think that you’re too old for this shit? We all are — that’s the point.
I sincerely hope to see all of you beautiful people at Duff Ball (DUFF BALL!). With mere weeks left to graduation, we need to seize every remaining moment of our young student lives with fervor and wave our quarterlife crises around like we just don’t care. And for you ladies out there looking to be crowned Duff Ball Queen, you know where to find your King.