Hey You! Snuggle Your Friends This Winter

Illustrated by Cleo Maloney

New England winter is headed our way. I have lived in Connecticut my entire life, and in all honesty, I am still afraid of what it will bring. The evening walk to the dining hall will take place under an already-darkened sky. The grandeur of campus buildings will be lost to tight-lipped shadows and muddied snowbanks. Courtyard benches will become nothing more than romanticized blocks of wood with no one daring to sit on them. Sound depressing? I think so too. 

With the looming threat of winter, I have found myself wondering how we will brave the cold in order to continue being the passionate, inspired, and loving students that make this campus so special. 

This may sound ridiculous, but as a first-year, I truly believe there is a tragic deficiency of platonic physical affection in college. At home, sourcing hugs was easy. At any given time, Mom and Dad were downstairs, and my sister was right down the hall. But beyond family, my closest friends were an endless source of needed, non-sexual, physical intimacy. When my best friend would come over (which was practically every day) there was no hesitation towards greeting one another with bearish hugs and lazing on the couch together. Girls’ night always consisted of cuddling and sharing blankets. It never would have been deemed weird if I reached out to hold a friend’s hand or stroke their hair. 

Things change, however, when you roll up to a college campus as a first-year. Completely new and untethered, you lose access to beautifully necessary and nourishing types of physical affection; they are no longer socially acceptable. I am a bold person, but even I can admit that walking up to someone, announcing your name and pronouns, and requesting a non-sexual spooning session would be certifiably nuts. It takes time to reach a point of platonic physical affection. Lucky for us, time is darting by.

Now that the first-year class is a couple of months into school, and we are forging genuine friendships, there is no excuse for having a campus culture devoid of friendly snuggles. The importance of platonic physical touch cannot be overstated—especially as we near the depths of Northeastern winter. We must revive non-sexual, physical intimacy. Just for a moment, set cuffing season aside and forget your hamster-wheel run through Yale’s exhausting hook-up circuit. Instead, think of the joy that you could derive from a few more hugs; be brave, drop the fear of being awkward or over-the-top, and provide your friends with the cuddles they deserve!



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