The price of Valentine's Day expenses

St. Valentine is making his way into our hearts on this rainy February week. For many students, Valentine’s Day is a day to get dressed up, buy gifts and go on dates with their partners.

It’s almost halfway through the semester, and some students at the university are already exhausted. With 100-page reading assignments, multiple essays and extracurriculars, it’s safe to say that we all need a break. For some of us, this break will include a lovely evening with loved ones on Valentine’s Day.

However, there is a negative connotation associated with the holiday that should be dispelled. Valentine’s Day is promoted as a day to show love by spending money. Big companies monetize relationship expectations, such as buying expensive gifts, for profit.

We can’t let society’s version of the holiday remove the true meaning of the day, which is taking time to express your love for others. Instead of viewing the holiday in its commercialized state, view it as a day to relax and appreciate the people you love.

Amid class and work, many students feel overwhelmed by the financial aspect of the holiday. But money is not mutually exclusive with relationships. Money won’t buy or keep love. No gift can amount to the feelings you have for your loved ones. You shouldn’t feel compelled to buy into the capitalist version of the holiday.

There are many ways to enjoy the holiday without grand expectations or money. Some people prefer meaningful cards, while others simply want to cuddle on the couch. Acts of service are important to some, while a small gift may mean the world to you or your partner. Show your affection for loved ones. Don’t be discouraged by the advertisements.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a costly or time-consuming event. Instead of buying expensive chocolate covered strawberries, get ingredients from the store and make them together. Cook a meal at home instead of going to a restaurant. Go on a romantic walk. Enjoy a movie on the couch. Take your dog to the park. Take this time to do anything to show your appreciation for someone.

This day isn’t about the gifts or the Instagram photos. That isn’t what denotes real love. Real love is choosing to be with your partner through the good and bad times. It’s making a commitment to the companionship. Love is accepting the gems and flaws of person. It’s much more than the pink and red candy aisles at Walmart. Don’t diminish the holiday because society doesn’t promote its true value of it.

You should love and appreciate your partner daily, but it is easy to get caught up in the tedium of everyday life. One of my favorite ways to relax is cuddling with my partner on the couch, but that isn’t always feasible for a busy college student. That is why Valentine’s Day is so important. It allows you to spend undivided time and show endless appreciation to friends, family and anyone you love.

For this Valentine’s Day, take advantage of the fact that it’s on a Friday. Call someone you love and tell them how you feel. Spend time with your friends and family. Show yourself some appreciation by taking a break from school or work. It’s all in the name of love.

Erin Stephens is a 19-year-old journalism sophomore from Brusly, Louisiana.

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