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“Galentine’s Day, formed by a blend of gal and Valentine’s Day, is a day in which women celebrate their female friendships. The new holiday debuted in a 2010 episode of ‘Parks and Recreation.’ The term is also seeing increased use in celebrating any kind of friendship, not just those among women” (Merriam Website: Word’s We’re Watching). 

We all know that Galentine’s Day is a very real, and if I may add, an important, holiday, but now it’s official, at least according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Galentine’s Day is the Lizzie McGuire of holidays. It’s unanimously loved and can be celebrated by anyone and everyone, regardless of relationship status. What’s not to love about a fictitious, fun-filled holiday pioneered by the queen of cringe-worthy traditions? In Season 2, Episode 16 of “Parks and Recreation,” Leslie Knope famously invites her galentines to brunch on February 13. She surprises them with “a bouquet of hand-crocheted flower pens, a mosaic portrait of each of them made from the crushed bottles of their favorite diet soda, and a personalized 5,000 word essay of why they’re all so awesome.”  This is such an on-brand gesture for our beloved Deputy Director. 

Over the past several years, Galentine’s Day has surged in popularity, which can, at least in part, be attributed to the outdatedness of Valentine’s Day. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Galentine’s Day is about the most Instagrammable holiday out there. What first began as a day dedicated to brunches and nights out with your “gals” has evolved into a celebration of friendship–platonic guy friends are even included. There are no rules; Galentine’s Day is simply an excuse to wear pink and catch up with friends.  

Although the season of love felt a little more distanced this year, this didn’t prevent our chapter from joining in on the festivities. We hosted a Galentine’s Day event via Facebook Messenger Rooms–Facebook’s latest video chat platform. Thanks to our partnership with Facebook Campus, we had the chance to explore this new, virtual communication platform. This was my very first time using Facebook Messenger Rooms, and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by its simplicity and interactiveness. What I like most about this platform are the high-quality video and easy screen-sharing capabilities. While group Facetime calls tend to be very pixelated and low-quality, especially as you add more and more participants, the Messenger Room’s video retains crisp, HD quality, no matter how many people join. The ability to screen share is really the cherry on top of an already excellent application. In my mind, Messenger Rooms combines the technical capabilities of Zoom with the social, chill atmosphere fostered by a Facetime call to create a space perfect for calls with larger groups of friends.

During our Galentine’s event, we utilized the screen sharing function for a PowerPoint night. Several of our members shared PowerPoint presentations, ranging from where each of the Kardashian/Jenner children will be in 20 years, to ranking prom looks and the best types of Valentines in elementary school to receive. We were able to see each other, in addition to the lovely PowerPoints, which I really appreciated. If I created a list of the best virtual social events, a PowerPoint night would certainly be at the top of my list. Movie screenings don’t foster engagement or conversation, virtual workouts are simply . . . awkward, and virtual crafting/cooking takes so much concentration that you end up forgetting you’re even on a call with other people. PowerPoints offer the visuals of a movie or video screening, but not the monotony. They foster conversation, which is ultimately the purpose of any virtual social activity. 

Early that day, Jenna and I delivered galentines to the members of our Her Campus chapter. They included a delicious, pink and red chocolate chip filled rice crispy treat (courtesy of Jenna and her culinary expertise), a Y2K themed note, and some classic, seasonal candies (conversational hearts, chocolate hearts, Hershey Kisses, and heart-shaped Reese‘s). Yum! I must admit, making these little treats was truly the highlight of my week. I’m such a crafty person, and there sadly aren’t many opportunities to “get crafty” with the whirlwind of Zoom calls and studying packed into a college schedule. 

Together, we munched on our Galentine’s Day goodies, laughed about the “mandatory” sophomore year bodycon prom dress, and just spread some love to HCNU<3. But on a slightly more profound note, this event made me realize that every once in awhile, it’s important to take a break from the solemnity of school, bust out the sticker sheets and savor a Hershey Kiss. 

XOXO, 

 

Molly 

My name is Molly Van Gorp, and I’m a freshman at Northwestern from just outside of Evanston. Last year I took a gap year, where I interned in the fundraising and development department at an education nonprofit called Bottom Line. I’m currently planning to major in Sociology; minor in the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; and take a costume design class or two along the way. I'm passionate about all things lifestyle, and my ultimate my goal is to pursue a career in the fashion and/or beauty industry.
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