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This Valentine’s, stand up to ‘singles awareness day’

by Victoria Valenzuela

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As Feb. 14th comes around once again for the singles out there, the stigma of what the day typically signifies tends to send shivers down a few spines. Whether you are fresh out of a relationship or have been without a significant other for quite some time (or indefinitely), Valentine’s Day is often the one day out of the year making you painfully aware of your solitary status. Some may spend it bitter, cursing under their breath at every lovey-dovey couple passing by. Others might simply park themselves in front of their television armed with a marathon of Nicholas Sparks’ favorites and a tub of ice cream. In either case, it’s time to turn that frown upside down and set the spoon aside—to take a stand against what many dub as “Single’s Awareness Day.”

Unfortunately, the by-products of Valentine’s Day are unavoidable—teddy bears holding stuffed hearts, bouquets of flowers and kisses both of the natural and chocolate variety. Any other day on campus, couples holding hands and sneaking in a bit of PDA before class seems like a normal occurrence. But on V-Day, love runs rampant, making those of us not in a relationship feel like outsiders in a sea of gifts and sweet-nothings. What then, would be the solution to not spending the day depressed and lonely? Rather than viewing singledom as a negative, reverse your thinking!

How do you do this, you ask? By rejoicing in the freedom of being blissfully unattached. Today there will be no money spent on useless presents, no flowers to keep alive and no stressful outfit selections to fuss about. In other words, there are no obligations or expectations to meet for anyone but your wonderful self. There is no better time than the present to get in touch with the one who truly knows you best: you. While this might conjure the image of spending your evening soaked in a bubble bath surrounded by rose petals and candles, there are other alternatives which are likely to be more appealing. Instead, make the decision to celebrate yourself by doing precisely what you want to do. Want to go have lunch at your favorite spot? Do it. Have your heart set on a movie you’ve been dying to see? Buy the ticket. Better yet, devote the entire day to making decisions that make you happy.  If you have class or work and can’t exactly take a day off from your busy life, at the very least treat yourself to something nice—even if it’s just your favorite drink from Starbucks.

Taking this approach might sound lonesome, but just because you are doing things for your benefit, doesn’t mean that you have to do them solo! Enlist another single friend (or two) and make the decision to spend Valentine’s Day together. If you plan on going out but are worried about being bombarded by couples roaming the streets, let’s face it—you can’t avoid others’ expression of love, no matter how hard you try. If that thought is either too revolting, nerve-racking or both, you might also consider staying in for a movie night. That is, if you choose a genre other than romance. Comedy, action or even horror flicks might be just what you need to give yourself a laugh or even a scare. There’s nothing like a little “Paranormal Activity” or “Bridesmaids” action to take your mind off the pressures of the day. For the fellas, how about duking it out on Xbox or challenging your buddies to a game of pool?  In short, choose something fun to enjoy just as much as the company that surrounds you.

For some, Valentine’s Day can be a somber occasion. For others, it’s just another day of the week that passes them by and holds no significance whatsoever. What is important to remember is even though you may not have a partner to share your affection with, it is essential to show love to yourself and those around you. Valentine’s Day is a day for love, even if it ‘s not in the romantic sense. Show kindness and appreciation to everyone you encounter, whether it is your server at a restaurant or your roommates. Making others feel special has the same effect on your own heart. By showing thoughtfulness and compassion, you lift the spirits of not only yourself, but other people who may also be struggling on Valentine’s Day.

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