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Valentine’s Day is the holiday we all love to hate. Maybe you hate its capitalistic, “Hallmark Holiday” undertones. Or maybe you feel physically pained listening to your roommate talk about the romantic dinner she has planned with her boyfriend for February 14th. Either way, most of us have something to say about this special day, and more often than not, it’s not something good. 

Okay, yes, Valentine’s Day cynics are usually single (myself included). Perhaps, those of you in happy, healthy relationships genuinely love Valentine’s Day – but I would imagine the holiday is actually a pretty great deal of pressure. How are you supposed to cram celebrating your love/relationship with a partner into one random day in the middle of February? Plus, the classic Valentine’s Day tropes of chocolates and roses aren’t for everyone.

Nevertheless, Valentine’s Day isn’t going anywhere. 

Given Valentine’s Day’s ever-persistent presence, I could advise you to lock yourself away for the day and turn off social media just to avoid the holiday altogether. But, alas, I’m not that pessimistic. The key to not absolutely losing your mind this year is completely reframing the holiday. This year, I’ve decided Valentine’s Day is NOT for lovers. 

You’re probably rolling your eyes. So just to be clear, I’m not suggesting you plan some over-the-top galentines bash with your 30 closest girlfriends. I’ve tried it, and believe me, it’s not all it’s chalked up to be either. Simply put, I’m advocating for us to take the exaggerated romanticism out of Valentine’s Day. Instead, let’s treat February 14th as our day, no one else’s. 

Do something purely for yourself. Maybe that something happens to be planning an intimate date with your partner or a fun night out with your girlfriends. But it doesn’t have to be. That something can also be treating yourself to a fun (and potentially overpriced) workout class you’ve been eyeing or cooking your favorite dinner while sipping on a glass of cab-sav. By making Valentine’s Day about yourself and not someone else, the day becomes a lot less daunting. Rather than looking outward to find a romantic partner or group of friends to focus on and celebrate, look inward to decide what type of day will make you feel your absolute best. With this approach, everyone’s Valentine’s Day will look a little different. This variation is the beauty of my fool-proof plan, though. For once, we’ll all spend our Valentine’s Days in unique ways that are actually enjoyable to us. 

And when in doubt, buy yourself a box of chocolates and just be thankful you’re no longer the middle school girl swooning over her brace-face “boyfriend” who just gifted her a necklace with his initials on it from Claire’s. Xoxo, happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Beatrice is a first-year, planning to concentrate in political science.
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