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The Right Way to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I don’t know why everyone hates Valentine’s Day. Okay, it creates a need for excessive need for spending, racking up billions of dollars every year. Perhaps because it taunts those that are single. The ~storybook romance~ Valentine’s Day presents is not a one-size-fits-all, yet society prescribes this formula to it as if there is no other way to celebrate the love in your life. But it doesn’t have to be this way. For example, the origins of Halloween called for large bonfires and animal sacrifice. That isn’t exactly trick-or-treating, yet everyone has their own tradition that brings them joy on the eve of November. Forget tradition. Celebrate what you want on Valentine’s day.

When I think of Valentine’s day, at its core, it’s a day to celebrate love. Let’s run with this idea. Sit down for a moment, and think of everything you love, hopefully, it is enough to write down. To be broad, it could be people— family, friends, of course, a significant other, yourself. It could also be objects of things— I love playing the Sims, sweet food, and cats. If Valentine’s day is about love, these things are what make up my day. If the aspect of celebrating with a romantic partner creates a pit in your stomach, you have the option to not do that.

If your friends are the thing that brings you happiness, spend the day with them and have fun. Last year, I decided to send my friends Valentine’s letters to show my love for them. Try to show them how much they mean to you, and you may get some love in return. If the monetary aspect of V-day doesn’t bother you, why can’t you buy your friends a cute card and share some chocolates? On that note, why can’t you buy yourself chocolates and flowers? I promise that the store cashier isn’t going to judge you. Even better, you can buy yourself items that you personally love. Watch your favorite movie, paint your nails, go on a run. Be your own date, and do the things that make you feel loved. This is where that list of things you love can come in handy. If you love freshly baked cookies, perhaps you could spend some time baking and eating them.

Especially being at college, it’s important to reach out to your family as well. Sending a gift or kind words to your mom or dad will be sure to make their day, a small way to thank them for the unconditional love they have for you. The same goes for others that you’re close to, a sibling, cousin. That’s the beauty of Valentine’s day, it’s about what you love, not what the world says you need to love. If you and your friends or family aren’t that close, don’t feel pressured to take my advice. With all that said, if you want to celebrate with your significant other, do it. If you hate the typical flowers and dinner, do something that speaks more to you and your relationship. You can make a gift, send a love letter, or just spend time together.

The days of wallowing over Valentine’s day are over. We can’t keep putting romantic love ahead of all others. That’s why V-day hurts people so much. The absence of romance makes humans feel less than as if romantic love alone can fix you. All these other loves, all these other people in your life deserve affection and appreciation as well. Take time to celebrate them, and what you do have.

Sophia Kenny

Gettysburg '24

Sophia is a sophomore at Gettysburg College. She is a Business and English double major. On-campus she is also a member of Alpha Omicron Pi. In her spare time, she loves doing arts and crafts and cuddling with her cat.
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