Although I generally shy away from too much specific advice to current undergraduates — what can an old man like me possibly know? — I can’t help but to post on the real purpose of Winter Study, especially for male undergraduates.

The real purpose of Winter Study is to fall in love.

You will never, ever be surrounded by as many smart, pretty, eligible women as you are right now. Life after college is, comparatively, a wasteland. Of course, as you pass into the great beyond, you will meet other women, but they are unlikely to be as wonderful, physically and mentally, as the Eph women you are now blessed to know. More importantly, the best of them will choose mates sooner rather than latter. This isn’t to say that exiting Williams without a serious girlfriend is a one way ticket to permanent bachelorhood, but don’t delude yourself into thinking that it is a smart way to play the odds. The odds favor love now.

It isn’t that your classes and papers, your theses and sports teams, are unimportant. They do matter. But finding a soulmate to grow old with, someone to bear your children and ease your suffering, someone to give your life meaning and your work purpose — this is a much more important task than raising that GPA enough to make cum laude.

So, stop reading this blog and ask out that girl from across the quad. I did the same 16 years ago and have counted my blessings ever since.

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