Off the cuff: Students reflect on cuffing season at Tulane

Alex Calloway, Staff Reporter

Hanson Dai | Staff Artist

As the winter months approach and the festive lattes brew, Tulane students are already preparing for the most polarizing time of year: cuffing season. Loved by some, deplored by others, cuffing season is the period of the semester where happily-single individuals suddenly find themselves longing for a romantic connection. Multiple justifications for the phenomenon — which was first introduced to the internet’s lexicon by a 2011 UrbanDictionary user — have sprung up, but some doubt its existence altogether. So the question remains: does cuffing season even exist?

Close proximity to holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa could be one of the reasons why cuffing season falls during the last two months of the year. A desire to share a celebration with a significant other — like the widely-practiced tradition of New Year’s kisses at the strike of midnight — could lead many to take the romantic leaps they may otherwise avoid.

“It’s getting cold, and ya girl needs a cute boy’s sweatshirt to steal,” freshman Rachel Serfaty said. “Also, the holidays are coming up. I feel like people feel a lot of pressure to be with someone during the holidays.”

Similarly, some believe cuffing season is part of an elaborate holiday culture, socially constructed and enforced.

“It’s kind of like Valentine’s Day,” freshman TH Williamson said. “It wouldn’t exist without some kind of driving cultural or profitable force behind it. I think it’s real as long as there are memes about it to make people believe that it’s real.”

While the cultural phenomenon of wintertime hook-ups may seem benign (after all, there’s more love in the air), it could result in unhealthy pressures to jump into relationships.

“The pressure of there being a cuffing season can be toxic due to the fact that people might feel bad about not having anyone during it, or they may get into bad relationships just because of the fact that there’s pressure to be in any relationship at all,” Serfaty said.

Students might contest Tulane’s most romantic time of year, but it could be a time for opportunity. Whether it’s love at first sight or a good old-fashioned long-standing crush, cuffing season is a time to take risks. When taking risks, though, Tulanians want their peers to be safe more than anything else.

“You’ll be a lot happier if you let relationships fall into place naturally, and don’t force them because of some seasonal trend,” Williamson said. “Otherwise, you’ll end up in a hasty relationship with someone you don’t even like that much — that’s not worth your time and energy.”

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