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Every year of elementary school, my class would exchange Valentine’s Day cards on February 14th. The cards would have photos of dogs and cats, footballs and baseballs, Disney princesses, Hello Kitty, Scooby-Doo and My Little Pony. As I got older, however, we stopped giving cards to everyone, and kept the exchange between our friends, and a ~ crush ~ we might have had at the time.  

In popular culture and the media, Valentine’s Day is often shown as a couple’s holiday—including significant others celebrating the love they have for each other, partners bringing each other teddy bears and flowers or some couples getting engaged at a fancy, dimly lit restaurant— while people who do not have a valentine are commonly shown at home drinking wine and eating a box of chocolates on their bedroom, or bathroom, floor. 

But, rather than just celebrating one type of love on Valentine’s Day, why can’t we celebrate all types of love, or just love in general? Love for our family, friends, pets, teachers, passions, food and ourselves

So, here are some ways you can celebrate all forms of love this Valentine’s Day, and show yourself some too — whether you are in a relationship or not.

  1. Host a pot-luck style dinner party with your friends. Have everyone sign up to make something, including an appetizer, main course, sides and dessert. Cheese boards are always a great idea because they are so customizable and easy to cater to different dietary tastes and preferences. Dips are another really fun idea because there are so many different kinds you can make, such as seven layer dip, buffalo chicken dip, spinach artichoke dip, cannoli dip—the list goes on. Spending the days leading up to or the day of Valentine’s day with your friends is a great way to surround yourself with people you love, and who love you, and celebrate that care for each other.
  2. Pamper yourself.  Take a bubble bath or a long shower, paint your nails, watch your favorite movie or television show, bake yourself your favorite sweet treat, order your favorite meal, have a solo dance party and blast your favorite music, 
  3. Facetime your family members, and pets. If you’re away at college, it’s so common to miss your loved ones, especially on a day that is known for celebrating love. Take a minute to facetime your family and friends from home, and be sure to say hi to your furry friend too. It will make you feel so much closer to them, even if you’re not with them in person. 
  4. Try a new hairstyle and/or makeup look. Whether you are spending the day with a significant other, friend, family member, or in your own company, it’s always fun to step out of your comfort zone and try out a new look. YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok have so many hair and makeup tutorials that are great for inspiration, and you can find so many hair accessories at CVS, or local boutiques.
  5. Tell yourself you love yourself. I know this might sound pretty cheesy. But, what we tell ourselves has such an impact on how we feel about ourselves. If you tell yourself you love yourself over and over again, you might just start to truly feel that way. 
From Norwalk, Connecticut, Elise is a senior at GW majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication and minoring in History. Elise is passionate about fashion, traveling, news, and politics. She aspires to work in the journalism field, and possibly one day become a professor as well.
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