Students weary of impending love holiday

Sam Jefferson, Guest Culture Writer

Valentine’s Day has always been one of the more controversial holidays. 

Some look forward to it every year, most don’t. A lot of that has to do with people feeling as though Valentine’s Day only celebrates romantic love.  

But is Valentine’s Day really about love if it only focuses on just one kind of it? Has it become just another Hallmark holiday for American businesses to profit off of? Or is that just an extremely cynical way for single people to view the holiday?

Savanah Tebeau-Sherry

Everyone seems to have their own varying opinion on Valentine’s Day, including UVM students.

“I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day,” said junior Hannah Gonzales. “I really just think of it as an extra excuse to just be over the top and appreciate the people that you love in whatever sense that is.”

Gonzales said that her parents had always celebrated the holiday with her as a family, demonstrating you didn’t need to have a significant other to participate. 

But not everyone feels this way. 

First-year Kailey Titus said she thinks Valentine’s Day is “extremely overhyped.”

“It’s always a disappointment and there’s a lot of pressure for people in relationships and for people who aren’t,” Titus said. “It’s kind of a jab to the heart.”

Titus said she wishes she didn’t have to view Valentine’s Day like this because at surface level, it’s supposed to be all about the purest human experience—love. 

But maybe that’s it: perhaps Valentine’s Day isn’t about pure love.

“I think industries and companies have made it less about love and more about the idea of Valentine’s Day, more money to spend, more companies to profit off of it,” Titus said.

According a Jan. 28 CNBC article, the average Valentine’s Day gift is $142. 

Titus said that she was not surprised. . She said she hopes love can break the commercialization barrier someday, but feels doubtful it ever will.

Other students don’t really care for the day.

“To be honest I don’t really think about Valentine’s Day that much. I don’t really know what it’s supposed to be,” said first-year Enzo Boone.

Ignorance is bliss in this case.

Boone, like Titus, sees Feb. 14 as a “Hallmark holiday,” which according to Urban 

Dictionary’s definition, is a holiday that seems to exist only for the purpose of selling greeting cards and flowers. 

The difference for Boone is he actually seems to find the day humorous.

“More chocolate, more problems” he laughed.

Not everyone can take the commercials and supermarket displays as lightly as Boone.

First-year Jackson Jannarone thinks that we should cancel the holiday all together.

“The concept is kinda weird if you actually like somebody,” Jannarone said. 

Jannarone said he thinks the affection couples show for each other on Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be a one time thing.

However, he said he didn’t have any issues with the commercialization surrounding other holidays. 

“Valentine’s Day is just exclusive to people in relationships, the other holidays that are commercialized don’t exclude,” he said.

Like Jannarone, many people who dislike this holiday do so because it’s so hard to escape it. Couples feel like they’re forced to celebrate it, the single people are then forced to sit and watch.

Gonzales said that on a recent Valentine’s Day she offered to take  fellow RA Hannah Kershaw’s shift and got an amazing response.

“No, no no you should have a self love night, whether you’re alone or not, just love something, don’t you dare take my duty, go have a spa night or something,” Kershaw said.

Kershaw said that you can love your mom, dad, beanies, friends, Cheez-itz, chapstick, basketball, your pet fish, the list goes on. 

Which is why I only acknowledge Feb. 14 to be celebrating “Love Something Day.”

Or, I guess you could just hope your UVM Marriage Pact somehow turns into something real by Sunday.