There are three types of Valentine’s Day on Grounds

The different ways students experience the day of love


Roses are red, violets are blue. The month of January seemed to go by at an incredibly slow pace, but now we are nearing mid-February, and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. For some students, this realization is an exciting one — an opportunity to make plans with a significant other for a romantic Wednesday night. For others, this realization brings anxiety and dread — another Valentine’s Day alone. In college, Valentine’s Day can be whatever you make of it — from the best evening ever to the least significant day of the week. I’ve narrowed it down to three typical Valentine’s Day experiences at the University, all of which at least one student on Grounds will have.

The first experience is the romantic Valentine’s Day. This is your quintessential, lovey-dovey filled evening. As you walk up the Corner and glance into places like Fig and The Virginian, you’ll see a plethora of tables for two. This Valentine’s Day is typically adopted by those couples who have been together for a significant amount of time. You know exactly who they are, as your Instagram feed has been blessed with their adorable couple pictures all year — there they are at Parent’s Formal, a date function and a rainy-day darty.

Some might take a fancier approach to the night with a trip to a nice restaurant in the Downtown Mall — maybe the Downtown Grille, Red Pump Kitchen or Ten. In the college world where going out attire means wearing a dirty pair of Adidas and a “fracket,” it’s nice to wear a dress and heels or a button-down and slacks on occasion. On the other hand, some couples prefer to take the laid-back approach to the evening, perhaps cooking dinner at the apartment or ordering Lemongrass takeout. In either case, you know it will be an evening filled with chocolate, roses and sappy reminiscing.

The second experience is Palentine’s Day. For the single population at the University, Palentine’s Day is very much a reality. Whether you’re celebrating with your roommate in dorms, your apartment squad, your pledge class or your club, this type of evening is never one to disappoint. There are many mentalities when it comes to Palentine’s Day — there are the wallowers, the proud-to-be-singles or the bitter individuals who are still haunted by “the ghost of lovers past.” Depending on the mood of your crew, you may find yourself at Stonefield viewing the latest “Fifty Shades of Grey” flick, raging on Trin 3 or hanging out on the sofa with your good friend, Nicholas Sparks.

In any case, Palentine’s Day is a great option for anyone who wants to honor the holiday without having that special significant other to share it with. Palentine’s Day remains a fantastic option because it leaves you with a night full of fond memories with your friends, and it will never be tainted by an ugly breakup. As our founder, Thomas Jefferson, once said, “But friendship is precious, not only in the shade but in the sunshine of life; and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine.”

The third experience is the insignificant Valentine’s Day. Imagine this — it’s been a long Wednesday of classes, and you head straight from your evening discussion to the depths of Clem. You notice that it’s a little more empty than usual, but you don’t think too much of it as you descend into solitary confinement. It’s only when you take a break from your paper and scroll through Facebook that you realize what day it is — Valentine’s Day. In this moment, you’re not exactly sure how to feel — you’re somewhere between a laugh and a cry. As you look around at your fellow Clemons-mates, however, you know that you’re all in the same sinking boat, so onward you type.

For many students at the University, the world cannot and will not stop to honor the holiday of love. Those who are single often prefer to let the week continue as usual — the academic demand does not prioritize Cupid. Don’t be ashamed to have an intimate date with your textbook on this evening — everyone around you understands that your relationship with school is long-term.

So whichever experience you have this upcoming Valentine’s Day, know you’re not alone. Feb. 14 will come and go each year, but what you make of it will vary. Roses are red, violets are blue. The greatest love of all is our love for the Hoos.

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