By the time February first rolls around, signs of Valentine’s day are everywhere. Newspapers and magazines are filled with gift guides for your “special someone,” stores are selling flowers, valentines candies, cards, and everything heart shaped. With the prevalence of social media and advertising, it becomes impossible to escape from the torrent of hearts and pink. Opinions remain mixed about the day, with some calling it a commercial holiday, bemoaning the expectations and painful reminders the day gives them, while others embrace the day and arm themselves with gifts and/or appreciative gestures for their loved ones. Love it, hate it, don’t care or anywhere in between, students certainly had different takes on Valentine's Day.
The overwhelming majority of Friends students see Valentine's day as both overhyped and overdone. Though many are looking forward to binging on candy, 60% of Friends students plan on doing nothing out of the ordinary to commemorate the day. Those who said they were planning on doing something cited watching movies as their first choice of pastime. The majority of students are also not planning on giving gifts, though many are certainly open to receiving. Unlike many communities, the majority of Friends students also do not care about being single on Valentines day. Instead of lovey-dovey memories, a survey of most memorable Valentine's day moments of students brought up tales of puking on classmates shoes, Netflix binges, and “eating all the chocolate in my house.”
However, for the 20% or so students in relationships, or for those looking to give gifts, over 50% of students stated that a thoughtful surprise would be their gift of choice. Whether it is delivering someone their favorite snack, doing one of their most hated tasks for them, or decorating their room, there are lots of sweet things you can do on February 14th to brighten your loved one’s days. The over-commercialized nature of Valentine's day is certainly recognized by the majority of our community, however since Valentine's Day is inescapable, why not have fun with it? Do something nice for someone you love (since clearly students are especially receptive to thoughtful surprises), or plan on getting together with friends with a movie night. Though Valentine's Day has been over-inflated by the media and over marketed to the point that some find it annoying, it can still be a fun day set aside to show someone special in your life (parents, siblings, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends) how much you care.
Here are a few ideas for simple, thoughtful surprises to show your loved one how much you care:
-Make a playlist for them with songs that are meaningful to the two of you
-Buy/bake them their favorite candy or snack
-make them a collage of the best moments,inside jokes, and things you both love
-make them a crown (who doesn’t love a crown?)
-film a funny video
-Jar full of affirmations or memories
-make a music video for them
-Request a song for them on the radio (with a message)
-Warm their clothes in the drier on a cold morning