A word cloud of all of the answers given by seniors to the cheese or oral sex question

Wordcloud of “Cheese or Oral Sex” answers – click for full size!

Bwog has been around for ten years, and no content has quite defined us like our Senior Wisdoms. We’ve seen some very good (and very bad) advice, but the posts are about more than just actual wisdom. Anyone who’s thought about writing a Senior Wisdom has inevitably had to contemplate – would I rather give up cheese or oral sex?

We’ve received many ridiculous answers. Some students would rather give up cheese – to quote Yoachim Haynes SEAS ’13, “Dairy products make me break out. Oral sex hasn’t done that to me yet…” Others know that they would rather sacrifice oral sex – Orli Matlow GS/JTS ’15 told us, “Cheese never asks for reciprocation, and what is the Lewinsky without the Mozzarella Cheese?” Others still avoid the question or give halfway answers, such as Yanyi Luo CC 13’s, “Both arguments would have holes in them.”

The answers are varied and hilarious, which is why few Bwog posts have fascinated me more than “Oral Sex or Cheese: The Truth Revealed?” In it, a mysterious student named Fromage ’13 analyzed hundreds of Senior Wisdom responses to see whether Columbia students preferred one over the other. They found that 42% of students would rather give up oral sex, compared to only 30% who would give up cheese. We’ve posted over 170 Senior Wisdoms since then – how do they change the numbers?

Graph of Give Up Cheese or Oral Sex, 2006-2016

The newly inputted data doesn’t change the numbers too much – students would still rather give up oral sex as compared to cheese, with the cheese-lovers ahead by 42 votes out of 401 responses. Responses that avoid the question are down in frequency over the last four years.

Graph of Oral Sex or Cheese by Gender (2013-2016)

When we collected our new data, we were able to collect some more detail than just what Fromage ’13 presented us with. Our 2013-2016 data on gender and school breakdowns provides us with some knowledge on how modern Columbians think about sex and cheese. Over half of women said they would give up oral sex, although with a sample size of only 95, we can’t make a confident statistical statement that a majority of senior women would give up oral sex. The recent men have been more split than the women and, predictably, would rather keep oral sex. The school breakdown shows that Bwog has given a lot of CC students Senior Wisdoms, and that GS students are really not big fans of oral sex.

Graph of Oral Sex or Cheese By School, 2013-2016

There is also a marked difference in the number of comments on each Senior Wisdom – the average senior who avoids answering the question has 3.6 comments less than those who would rather give up cheese. This does not seem to be the result of several huge outliers ruining the data – Emma Sulkowicz’s 65 comments with oral sex balances out perfectly with Zoe Ridolfi-Starr’s 65 comments for cheese. Maybe this just means that the people who avoid answering the question are less interesting.

We classified 16 answers which we weren’t entirely sure of to either oral sex or cheese – consider these your “swing votes.” We also had 3 N/A responses which we weren’t even sure of – such as Will Hughes CC ’13’s, “In the words of Ms. Goldman, I prefer my pizza smothered in dicks.”

In the interest of transparency, here is our spreadsheet of student responses. We hope that you can have fun browsing through these and find inspiration for your own Senior Wisdom.

Wordcloud generated by wordclouds.com