Valentine’s Day: Then and Now


Photo by Becky Weber

Rachel Van Leeuwen, Opinion Editor

Chocolates, hearts, and sappy professions of love are what usually come to mind when we think of Valentine’s Day. In elementary school, Valentine’s Day was something we could actually enjoy.

There was absolutely no pressure to have a love life, and we received 20 to 30 cheesy cards from our classmates, which made us feel loved and appreciated. Desks were topped with elaborate homemade boxes eagerly awaiting their loot of love. These boxes were either a traditional mailbox covered in pink paper, red hearts, and an excessive amount of glitter or they were Valentine monsters with large mouths that you could put your candy in.

You might remember getting a class list from your teacher with every child’s name on it so you could make sure you had a card for everyone. You excitedly went home and told your parents that you needed a card for each of your classmates. You wrote, “From: (insert your name here),” and, if you were really committed, you wrote the recipient’s name on every card.

At the end of the day, your teacher was overwhelmed with the responsibility of thirty children on sugar highs and was glad to hand you over to an unprepared bus driver. It was a magical day. To quote Andy Bernard from The Office, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

In comparison, Valentine’s Day in high school is a bust. There are no candies, cards, or crafts for you to proudly take home and present to your mom. But maybe Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about material things like chocolate and expensive gifts from someone special.

The best way to make Valentine’s Day great is to focus on what’s at the center: love. It may not be romantic love, but take time out of your day to show someone that you care for them. The little things mean the most. If you find Valentine’s Day in high school doesn’t live up to the excitement of Valentine’s Day in elementary school, find another way to make it great. On the Campus Ledger, Online Jessica Skaggs said, “The day will be what you make it to be.” She said doing something “simple and special” for someone you love can make your Valentine’s Day great.

Although it might seem like the “good old days” have passed, there’s still hope for your Valentine’s Day. Bring back those cheesy cartoon cards from elementary school if you want. Be traditional and present your significant other with flowers. If you want to try something new, do something special for someone. No matter what you do, make it good. After all, Valentine’s Day only comes around once a year.