It’s that time of the year again, folks: winter formal season. Much like your section TF, these dances can be extremely nice… but almost too good to be true. With this comes the eternal question: to go or not to go? We can help you make that decision by considering a few simple factors.

The Cost

On any normal day, $20 for a dance wouldn’t seem so outrageous, but it’s the holiday season. Your mother’s already guilted you into buying gifts for everyone in the family. Yes—even your fourth cousins thrice-removed. Low on money, you balk at the cost of all these dances. Plus, if you go to more than one, the price can very quickly add up. If you don’t want to run your bank account into the ground, you go to a maximum of a few of these. Do not treat formals as Pokemon—you don’t have to catch ‘em all.

The Date

Ever wanted to talk more with that girl in section? Or that guy you see across from you in the library every day? Winter formals give you the perfect excuse to ask them out without seeming like an overly forward, sex-deprived ghoul. That is, of course, with the exception of Kirkland’s infamous Incestfest, with its distinct Alabama feel and square dancing. K-House readers…maybe don’t invite someone to that.

The Number

Seriously, the River Houses have so many, there’s a winter formal for every time Cher has had a Botox injection or facelift. On the other hand, Quadlings are about as dance deprived as that ridiculous town from Footloose. So go to Quad Formal while you have the chance to dance!

The Timing

Next week, when you’re running around the Yard at 4 a.m. completely plastered from the three jelly shots, half a bottle of tequila, and entire bottle of Sauvignon you sipped at (chugged) that night, let us know if you think Reading Period is supposed to be “formal.” Yeah, we didn’t think so.

The Timing, Part Two

Are you a freshman? Don’t go. You’ll get your turn. For now, you can hold on for spring formals. Are you a freshman who’s been invited by an upperclassman? Okay, go. Just do not brag to all your friends about it. You got a formal date, not a Nobel prize.

Stay safe and formal on, kids.