By Kurana Doobay
Valentine's Day can be a hard day as a single college student. Some people are finding their soulmates and the rest of us are sitting around waiting for them to come to us. And others of us are withering away at the thoughts of who we could have been with the one that got away or how much we love somebody who doesn’t love us back. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Take back your power and reclaim the day!
Valentine’s Day is a day of love, and sometimes that means giving the love you have saved for someone else back to yourself. The most important relationship that we need to foster is the one we have with ourselves. You are the only person who you’re guaranteed to spend forever with. Maybe you aren’t participating in a romantic event with someone else, but romanticizing your own life can feel even more magical.
You know yourself better than anyone else, which means that you’re the best person to receive a gift from. And although college isn’t the most ideal time to spend money on a dream vacation or splurge on a designer purse or new pair of shoes, time is free and we have a lot of it. And even when we don’t have the time, as college students, there’s nothing we know more about than doing the best we can with whatever we have.
Sometimes in college, we forget to do the things that make us hate life a little less; our hobbies. We get flooded with assignments we don’t want to do and bombarded with responsibilities we wish we didn’t have. We give ourselves excuses like, “I’ll do it when I have the time” or “I’ll do it over the weekend.” But when we do have the time and when the weekend does come, we obsess over TikToks of people we wish we were and wish for things we don’t have yet and forget to enjoy what’s important and available to us. So let’s change the cycle up a little bit on February 14. Valentine’s Day, a day to love… yourself! Instead of scrolling through, staring at endless videos of couples going on dates and doing grand gestures for each other, get up and do something fulfilling. If you like running, the neighborhood around Adelphi has a lot of pretty scenery you can surround yourself with while doing it. If you like swimming, there’s a pool in the Center for Recreation and Sports that you can visit. If you like watching movies, Adelphi offers a free HBO MAX subscription that you can sign up for. Play the instrument that’s been begging you to be picked up, or sing a cover of your new favorite song (even if it’s going to end up sitting in your camera roll). If you were a dancer your entire life and decided not to major in dance at college, try to re-choreograph what used to be your favorite routine. Write in your journal, add to your scrapbook, crochet a new scarf, try cooking a new recipe, make a new playlist. Choose something you love doing, AND DO IT!
And even if your schedule happens to be packed with classes, labs, meetings and events on February 14, at least look hot and wear an outfit you feel your best in. It doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day themed, all pink and red or littered with hearts. If you have a new shirt you’ve been waiting to pull out for the “right occasion,” make Valentine’s Day the day. Do your hair all nice and wear your favorite perfume or cologne. If makeup is your thing, draw some eyeliner on, and if it isn’t, try a necklace or add some rings. Look in the mirror and tell the person staring back “You look fine as hell.”
And after the long day you’ve had, before you start to stress out about what’s due at midnight, take some time to slowwwwwwwww dowwwwwnnnnnnnnnnn. If you need to sit and stare at nothing for a few minutes, do it. Don’t think about anything. When you decide you’re done, go take a shower, close your eyes in there and really smell the shampoo. You picked it out, so it must be good – because obviously, you have the best taste. Then get out of the shower and do nothing again. Take a nap if you want to, and if you don’t want to, keep doing nothing. And honestly, if you need to take the time to feel sorry for yourself, do it. Cry it out. Scream it out. Do whatever it takes to get your hatred for the day out of your body and into the air.
You can hate Valentine's Day all you want, and at the same time, you can also do your best to try to appreciate what it stands for. Love. You’re not a heartless robot. Take the time to make a list of things you love. If you don’t want to take out a piece of paper and write it down, do it in your notes app, or at least just think about it. Even the little things, the things that seem most insignificant but still feel REALLY good. Good hair days; not having homework; waking up before your alarm and realizing you have an hour of sleep left; when someone laughs really hard at a joke you made; when a professor tells you that you’ve done a good job; getting an unexpected A; finding a $10 bill in your jacket that you forgot you put in there; when you try to get a good picture for Instagram and it’s perfect on the first try; when someone says “You look really nice” on a day you didn’t think you did; when your drink from Starbucks tastes *just right* after you’ve waited over half an hour for it to be made.
Tell everyone you love that you love them. Not just because it’s Valentine’s Day, but because you mean it. And when they say it back, remember that they mean it just as much. And then say “I love you” to yourself. And mean it.
In the end, Valentine’s Day is only one day of the year, and the day after is just another old day. So if all else fails, and you still feel like there’s nothing left to do to make yourself feel better, just remember that on February 15, you can walk into any drugstore and buy a box of chocolate for 50 percent off what it was the day before.