Why I like Valentine’s Day

Illustration of various people kissing, by Jannah Sheriff
Jannah Sheriff/File

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The beginning of February marks the beginning of many new things, and I’m not talking about the terrifying reminder that it’s no longer the beginning of the school year and midterms are actually coming up. No, I’m talking about the holiday that everyone loves to hate and hates to love: Valentine’s Day. It’s a time when Walgreens is decorated with pinks and reds and every chain restaurant has a couples deal. 

Although the holiday reeks of cheesy pickup lines and candy hearts, I can’t help but really enjoy it. You can call it Stockholm syndrome or simply my love of cheap chocolate, but I’ve always enjoyed Valentine’s Day — whether or not I was in a relationship 

TikTok and Instagram try their absolute hardest to make people feel alone Feb. 14, and I feel like the holiday should be spent as a day to appreciate each other, rather than a couples-only holiday. Admittedly, I used to spend this day manifesting the worst upon all the happy couples, but I’d say recent years have allowed me to see the holiday in a new light and grow to appreciate it. 

This realization came in high school when I made a tradition to spend the night before Valentine’s Day baking treats for all of my friends to enjoy between classes. Even though it was small, it was a way for me to show my appreciation to every one of them in a way that suited the holiday, whether or not any of us were in a relationship. Eventually, we all made a habit of exchanging gifts between classes for Valentine’s Day. Even though it seems like a young and childish thing to do, it was something we all looked forward to, and it helped us to develop a wordless appreciation for each other every year. 

So I suppose I can say that I like the holiday because it gives us the opportunity to spoil each other: You can buy heart-shaped boxes of chocolate for your best friends or use little heart-shaped sprinkles on your pancakes for a Valentine’s Day brunch. It’s a time to celebrate love, whether that be platonic, self or romantic. Although all should be appreciated every day, it gives us an excuse to go above and beyond without celebrating. 

To me, this looks like making baked goods or setting aside a day to focus on my loved ones. And although it’s a busy time and midterms are just around the corner, I think it’s important to stop and appreciate those around you, and Valentine’s Day gives the perfect opportunity to do so.

Contact Isabella Carreno at [email protected].