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Bishop Miege Press

The Student News Site of Bishop Miege

Bishop Miege Press

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Bishop Miege Press

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Does Valentine’s Day Matter?: Students reflect on what the day of love means to them

Junior+couple++Edgar+Ludwikoski+and++Frannie+Chaffee-McClure++showcase+their+relationship++with+smiles.+Ludwikoski++recalls+his+favorite+dates++with+trail+walks+and++museum+tours.+The+pair++met+in+the+Campus+Ministry++Office.+%E2%80%9CGoing+out+at+night++to+the+Nelson+or+the+nature++center+in+summer+was++special%2C%E2%80%9D+Ludwikoski+said.++%E2%80%9CWe+also+like+Blue+River++Park.%E2%80%9D
Junior couple Edgar Ludwikoski and Frannie Chaffee-McClure showcase their relationship with smiles. Ludwikoski recalls his favorite dates with trail walks and museum tours. The pair met in the Campus Ministry Office. “Going out at night to the Nelson or the nature center in summer was special,” Ludwikoski said. “We also like Blue River Park.”

Often marketed as the most romantic holiday, Valentine’s Day carries a diverse set of emotional responses, forms of celebrations and an evaluation of what current culture values. This contains both strong associations with passion and appreciation for a partner or friendship as well as a loud reminder of loneliness or peer pressure surrounding relationship status.

For senior Josie Herrold, this Valentine’s Day represents a celebration of her nine-month commitment to and appreciation of fellow senior Xander Quenzer. According to Herrold, before entering a relationship, she did not find the holiday significant, it now holds a new perspective.

“As a single person, I have never really celebrated it nor cared,” Herrold said. “This is the first time I have ever really celebrated it and have never given it much thought.”

Even with being in a relationship, Herrold still admits that she thinks Valentine’s Day is overrated and that couples should always be celebrating each other.

“If I did not have a boyfriend, I’d just like treated as a normal day,” Herrold said. “Now, it is like I feel have to celebrate it when it should not be that big of a deal.”

According to junior Edgar Ludwikoski, the atmosphere and importance of the day depend on relationship status but do not define how fun it will be. He believes that the pressure of creating an effort toward Valentine’s Day for his partner is worth the stress.

“When you are not in a relationship on Valentine’s Day, it is another way to have a little platonic connection with all your friends, and it is nothing more than that,” Ludwikoski said. “When you are with a partner, it is much different. It involves understanding what your partner wants making a special something for the other person.”

Ludwikoski said that there is a lot of planning involved when it comes to figuring out how to spend the day. However, he believes that the pros of making the day special for his partner outweigh the cons.

“It is more difficult, in the sense that you do have to think about days or weeks in advance,” Ludwikoski said. “However, the difficulty is always overtaken by the fact that it is an enjoyable day and
something to look forward to.”

Anticipation around Feb. 14 can also trigger dread or anxiety for individuals, whether single or in a committed relationship. Unrealistic expectations of expensive gifts and dinners remove the core of what Valentine’s Day represents, love.

A study conducted by Joetta Di Bella and Fred C. Sautter III Center for Strategic Communication at Montclair State University found that the commercialization of Valentine’s Day sits at an unprecedented rise due to social media exposure and pressure, which negatively impacted mental health rates. The study also analyzed social media data using “Valentine’s Day” as a keyword revealing that the most associated word was “shop,” as “shop” and “gift” were connected 131% more frequently than the term “love.”

Rather than focusing on the price tag of a gift, sophomore Bebe Preu gathers a group of “girlfriends” for a celebration of friendship.

“I hang out with my friends,” Preu said. “Like this year we’re going to go to [sophomore] Bria Sutherlin’s house, and we’re going to make pizzas and watch rom-coms.”

Preu’s “Galentine’s Day” also includes gift-giving as each member purchases or handcrafts a present to showcase appreciation and love of the different personalities and friendships in the group.

“That’s what we’ve done every year because I haven’t had a date,” Preu said. “I love spending it with friends, I feel like it’s more fun because I’m not stressed out about if I need a date or whatever.
‘10 Things I Hate About You’ is one of the main ones [movies], and then we’re going to watch ‘Anyone But You,’ since we haven’t seen that yet.”

For sophomore Laina Vossen, yearly school celebrations of the holiday fostered a culture promoting an essential for a “good” Valentine’s Day: a relationship. However, despite this social influence, she typically maintains a simple schedule that treats Valentine’s Day as a normal day.

“As a kid, it would pressure you into having a date,” Vossen said. “At school in the sixth grade, if you didn’t have a date, you weren’t cool. Getting older made it less serious but more stressful. When I see people on social media posting about it, I don’t feel great.”

Ludwikoski recommends his practice of putting himself out there and having spontaneous adventures saying they may bring about the best results with any loved one whether it’s friends, family or a romantic partner.

“My favorite thing of all time is going and finding new things to do without a plan,” Ludwikoski said. “In the best case scenario, take a car downtown and walk around until you find something to do or spontaneously talk to people. Oftentimes, you find a lot more meaning, and it can be really fun.”

Herrold said that her favorite way to spend a Valentine’s Day when single is to treat herself and do things that make her
happy.

“If you are single, be single, buy yourself some chocolate, watch your own movie or go treat yourself to dinner,” Herrold said. “You can do all those things on your own, and you do not need another person.”

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About the Contributors
Sally Panis, Print Editor in Chief
Jamie Weiss, Staff Writer
Sophia Gassett, Photo Editor
Elaina Gibson, Web Editor in Chief

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