Valentine’s may be a money grab, but it’s a good excuse to do something special

By Lauren Kelly, Editor-in-Chief

Valentine’s Day has gotten a bad reputation over the years as a commercialized holiday, which is totally fair. Whenever you go into a grocery store or drug store, you’re inundated with pink and red crap, hearts, and lots of chocolates. If you’re near a jewelry store, you’ll see ads about all the diamonds you should be buying your SO if you really love them. I don’t blame people for lashing back against Valentine’s Day.

As a person in a long-term relationship, I just look at it as an opportunity to take the time and focus on appreciating the person that you’re with. We’re all busy—between school, work, and other commitments, it can be hard to make time to do special things, especially after you’ve been together a long time. It’s fun to go out on a date and really focus on each other, instead of just grabbing a quick meal. You don’t have to get anything, or you can just make something for them if you’re artistically or culinarily talented (or even if you’re not—it’s still very sweet!). It can be a super low-key holiday if you want it to be, or you can go bigger and have a more traditional one, too!

If you’re single, you can still make the most of the day. It is Reading Break, after all, so you hopefully have a bit of time off. You should take some time for yourself, and whatever makes you the happiest. Eat food you love, do things you enjoy, and take it easy. Jessica gave some unconventional romantic movie suggestions in Arts, so throw on some of those if you’re in the mood. It’s important to have time for self-care, and Reading Break is the perfect time to do that. Alternatively, go out with some friends, or attend an anti-Valentine’s Day party. Check out Greg’s article “Planning the perfect bro-date” in Life & Style this week for some great ideas for hanging out with your gender non-specific bros. Just because you may not be spending time with a partner doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with people you care about.

And if you just started dating someone and you’re not in that comfort zone yet, Mercedes’ article “Valentine’s Day for people who have been dating for five minutes” has some good advice on how to handle the potentially awkward juggle between too formal and too casual. Whatever your situation, it can be easy to dismiss holidays like this as nothing but a corporate money grab, but Valentine’s Day is still a good excuse to have a special day, whatever that means to you.