RIP Fred Fest

As if it weren’t a foregone conclusion, Fredonia Police put the nail in the coffin yesterday:

“As stated above, our government and health officials are prohibiting any parties, celebrations or gatherings including ‘Fred Fest.’ It is imperative that landlords, parents and student tenants join our efforts by making smart choices during this pandemic/state of emergency.”

I’ve been hard on Fred Fest in the past, but lately I’m thinking about how hard it is for a person to self-isolate, for it’s the quality of her relationships that determines her happiness. Fred Fest appears to be an extension of this intuition, which has only recently become scientific truth, and in that sense it is a shame that it is lost. Students come to college expecting education will predominate; they leave knowing relationships did.

When Yale professor Laurie Santos launched her class, “The Science of Well-Being,” 1,200 students enrolled–that’s one out of every four students at Yale–and a cornerstone of the syllabus is about the importance of relationships. The irony is that students at Yale were so absorbed in their schoolwork that they neglected their relationships, then needed to take another class to learn that relationships were important.

Coursera just picked up the class, and already over 1,000,000 people have enrolled. In lieu of Fred Fest, you can take “The Science of Well-Being” for free: