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What Does Valentine’s Day Mean to You?

Karlee Zolman 

Valentine’s day: What exactly does that mean to you?

Many people don’t know the history of Valentine’s Day. It was originally created as a Christian feast used to honor Saint Valentine, also known as The Feast of Saint Valentine. 

However, in the 18th century this holiday took a turn to focus on love, with people dawning flowers, hand-made cards and sweets to show their love and admiration for one another.

Valentine’s day, oddly enough, is not an official holiday in any country. 

Despite not being an official holiday, In a survey done by The National Retail Federation, it is estimated that Americans will spend approximately 23.9 billion dollars on Valentine’s day in 2022. These spendings include things like gifts and experiences.

With this much popularity in the United States, I decided to go around campus and ask students,  “What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?” 

Mickey Watson ‘23 elevated Valentine’s day to one of their favorite holidays. 

They exclaimed, “Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love of all kinds- to embrace the people around you and connect with friends, family, and lovers. I think the celebration of love is a really beautiful thing.”

In contrast, some people hold little to no value in Valentine’s Day. “It doesn’t really mean anything to me, Feb 14 is just a day,” said Laura Ellis ‘22. 

“It’s good for people in relationships and stuff, but to me it seems like a capitalistic day,” Ellis said.

Not everyone celebrates in the same ways or to the same extent. Watson shared, “When I was a kid my dad used to buy all of us flowers and chocolates.” Zoe Smith 24’ similarly shared, “My family used to cook a special dinner, sit around the table and talk about how much we love each other.” 

Whereas Ellis stated “Maybe the day after valentines day I buy the discounted candy, that’s it.” 

Chocolate was another commonality among students when they shared words that reminded them of the day. Isabella Horowitz said, “The chocolate is my favorite part of Valentine’s Day!”

The American University community seems to have many opinions on Valentine’s day, but most people seem to bring up a common theme: love.

Shayna Rutman ‘24 places value on, “spending time with the people you love most.” Similarly, Cesca Thorne ‘24 sees Valentine’s Day as a time to, “spend quality time with people you appreciate.” 

Laurel Parker 24’ said, “It’s a time to step back and really look at my friendships and relationships and show people how much I appreciate them.”

American University Students seem to see Valentine’s Day as a time of love, appreciation and, of course, chocolate! 

So, what does Valentine’s Day mean to you? 

Check out my TikTok to see more of what Valentines Day means to the AU campus community!


Karlee Zolman

American '24

Karlee (she/her) is a second year student at American University, double majoring in Journalism and Justice and Law. This is Karlee's first year as a Feature Writer for HerCampus at AU. In her free time, Karlee enjoys writing, dancing and spending time by the beach!
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