Does Valentine’s Day have value? Yes and no. It comes with a range of emotions for everyone. Some of it is good, there’s joy and excitement surrounding celebrations of love and commitment. For others, it might open old wounds and bring back sad memories of lost loved ones or past relationships. Some may feel resentment towards this holiday and choose to ignore it–which is fine too. 

          No matter how you interpret this holiday, there’s a preconceived notion of it being just for couples or those in committed relationships. I personally think there’s more to Valentine’s Day than just the normal everyday romance. Besides the regular ‘value’ in a consumerist sense, it’s a holiday in that it can have different significance depending on your situation or place in life, much of which can be carried over through the rest of the year or whenever the voice of jealousy starts to creep into your head. Here are a few alternative ways to think about this special/not special day. 

        It’s a time to consider where you are in your life. Love doesn’t necessarily just apply to people, anyone can easily admit to loving things or aspects of their life. Like where you are with your academic career or if you’re about to start on a new stage of your life. As students we hear a lot about self-reflection and the benefits of looking inward, maybe you want to take this as an opportunity to look both inside and outside of yourself. Think about your emotional state and why you may be feeling a certain way. Holidays like this give you an opportunity to consider any changes you may want to make in your life whether it be emotional, academic or something else.

       It’s an opportunity to take time for yourself. Similar to the previous point, small holidays like Valentine’s day are a good opportunity to just give yourself a break. This time in February, the semester is in full swing. Classes are coming up in midterms, clubs and extracurriculars are at one of the busiest and most active points in the semester.  You may find yourself busy and approaching burnout. You could have a movie night, watch your favorite TV show or go out with your friends for a mental break.  Or, you could just have the best nap ever known to man and call it a Valentine’s Day celebration of appreciation for yourself. Whatever you feel will make you feel the best and most rested. 

       The Post-Valentines Day Treats, all of the discounted chocolate. That is all. Time to appreciate the little things.

If nothing else, you could use this as a way to just appreciate the everyday things that bring you joy, like a good coffee, your favorite song or how the air smells after it rains. Sometimes it’s the little joys and victories that balance out the negative aspects of our lives. What are your little victories? 

          While the traditional associations of Valentine’s Day may not have value for a lot of people, there’s definitely something you can find to celebrate within it, even if that celebration is just for yourself. Because we all need a little reminder from time to time.

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