As Columbia’s daily temperature dips below 88 degrees, Frat rush settles down, and the Jesus people on campus switch from Chacos to Rack Room Nikes, on comes the rebirth of “cuffing season” — when everyone remembers the only thing worse than being lonely is being lonely in college.
Cuffing season is typically timed the same as “Christian Girl Autumn”, leading to an uptick in PSL sales at the Humanities Starbucks and a spike in Tinder Gold subscriptions…as well as sightings of PDA in front of the T. Coop fountain.
As I walk alongside my hallmates to the Student Health Center for my first university-required COVID test, I can’t help but romanticize the possibilities of my own love life this fall. As a student pursuing a writing degree, I’ll have to marry rich to survive, so walking through the sanitary glass doors I’m all but overwhelmed by the wave of romantic possibility dressed in wrinkly scrubs and non-slip shoes.
Gazing into the cold, dead eyes of the overworked public health student that hands me my cup, I can feel the hair on my arms raise. Could this be true love? Without a shadow of a doubt, yes. Those under-eye bags and half-washed scrubs can only end with us spending Christmas Eves at my parents’ and religiously questionable Easter Sundays with my in-laws, arguing over politics and the injustice of the wage gap. But I digress; between me, my stuffy-nosed hallmates, and the possibility of missing parents weekend over a positive test, the tension has never been higher.
Gone are the days of tongue kissing through my 90-cent disposable mask. Thanks to the fifteen mandatory student health service COVID clearances and infinite COVID safety precaution posters that wrap every available surface tighter than one of the Health Center’s free condoms, I’ve finally found salvation in our new COVID protective procedures. There’s nothing like a cold, sanitary room to get your blood flowing, and by God, the vibes in this student health service room are doing the job better than one look at President Pastides’s chapped lips saying “Go Cocks.”
Many will say the new requirements have been put in place to curb a steadily rising number of positive cases on campus, but one look at YikYak can tell you that no matter how hard our Public Health services work to keep us socially distanced, sad horny college kids are working way harder. Even my one-star rated stats professor can agree: being lonely has never been so trendy! So when I get that email to shuffle into the Student Health Center for my mandated saliva test, you can count on it that I’ll be the first to come.