GC, will you be my valentine? (How GC students celebrated Valentine’s Day in 2021)

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Merritt Dismuke

GC, will you be my valentine? (How GC students celebrated Valentine’s Day
in 2021)

Each Feb. 14, some stay in and watch movies while others treat their partners to lavish dates and expensive gifts. Whether it be a day spent with friends, by oneself or with a significant other, GC students agree that everyone should observe Valentine’s Day, single or not.

“Everyone should celebrate! It’s a great day to show love to any and everyone around you,” said Karlie Lucas, senior mass communication major.

Although many consider February as the month of love, the history of Valentine’s Day is shrouded in mystery. According to Smithsonian Magazine, one legend disputes that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the wrongdoing of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

In 2021, Valentine’s Day traditions are a lot less gruesome; Grace Rickman, a sophomore political science major, chose to celebrate Galentine’s Day with female friends.

“I’m single and like celebrating it with my single friends and living vicariously through my friends in relationships. It’s what you make of it!” Rickman said.

According to USA Today, Galentine’s Day was first introduced to the mainstream media in 2010 by the NBC television series “Parks and Recreation.” The episode, appropriately called “Galentine’s Day,” features the show’s protagonist Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, as she hosts a waffle-filled breakfast to celebrate the ladies in her life.

Although the episode aired during the series’ second season, the tradition of Galentine’s Day has outlived the show. Many at GC celebrate by having brunch, exchanging thoughtful gifts or watching “Parks and Recreation.”

 

While many relish in the spectacle of the holiday, other GC students consider Valentine’s Day as overrated. GC students highlighted its exclusivity, misrepresentation and stressfulness.

“I think it’s a holiday for couples,” said Tykedra Driskell, senior public health major. “It’s the one day out of the year where single people are called out for being single.”

Abigail Harper, senior education major, agreed with the holiday’s exaggeration.
“But the cheesiness of it is kinda fun,” Harper said.

“I think some people do a little too much on Valentine’s Day, but it’s also meant for those people to do what they want to do,” said Chandler Harrison, senior MIS major. “Luckily for me, my significant other and I don’t like to do too much just spend time together.

Amid a pandemic, GC students also mentioned the challenge of getting reservations and agreed that “making plans was harder.” Students even deterred from celebrating due to COVID-19 susceptibility and the possibility of crowds.

“I’m staying in and cooking dinner,” said Lauren Murphy, junior exercise science major. “Not to avoid COVID but just to avoid crowds in general and long wait times and reservations.”

GC students, as well as organizations, have an array of Valentine’s Day traditions. While many haven’t made valentines since elementary school, students partake in sending candy grams, bonding with loved ones or buying candy and flowers. Others prefer spending the day to themselves, often consisting of drinking or eating chocolate. The general consensus: celebrate Valentine’s Day how you see fit, but don’t overdo it by spending too much money.

“Valentine’s Day should be about all kinds of love, not just romantic love,” said David Connel, senior theatre major. “It’s a day to show appreciation to everyone you love.”