How UVM students are sharing the love this Valentine’s Day


Annalisa Madonia

Photo Illustration: Students celebrating Valentine’s Day with a box of chocolate . College students’ plans for Valentine’s Day range from a crepe dinner over FaceTime to an Applebee’s outing.

My most remarkable Valentine’s Day to date was when I texted “I like you” with a blue heart emoji to my sixth grade crush. I was rejected. 

Other than that one year when I was deeply inspired to inform my crush of my infatuation with him, I have never really celebrated Valentine’s Day. 

But this year I figured it might be nice to brighten the cold winter by doing something to celebrate with my boyfriend. Unfortunately, the dorm-bound, college-student aspect of my life limited my options as I am sure it limits others’. People in long-distance relationships need to get even more creative. 

Keely Ehnstrom, a sophomore and Cynic writer, spoke to me about her Valentine’s Day plans this year. She and her long-distance boyfriend of two years intend to celebrate with a FaceTime dinner and movie. 

“Last year, I got Skinny Pancake and he went to a crepe place and we shared the same dinner,” Ehnstrom said.

This year is special for her because, for President’s Day weekend, she is going to visit her beau in Washington, D.C.

“We are going to kind of make our own Valentine’s Day where we are going to go to the Kennedy Center and see the ballet, dress up and have dinner,” Ehnstrom said.

Several UVM students in long-distance relationships seem to be making the effort to celebrate the occasion. First-year Alex Forrest said she and her boyfriend will also be marking Valentine’s Day with a FaceTime date. 

Maybe some of us in close-distance relationships simply don’t have the romantic drive to get creative for Valentine’s Day. People in long-distance relationships are evidently using the holiday to find creative ways to spend some quality time together. 

The most entertaining Valentine’s Day plans I have heard of so far are from junior Meaghan Johnson. 

“We are going to Applebee’s and we are drinking their Valentine’s Day drinks called ‘Smoocho Mucho Sips,’” Johnson said. 

Celebrating with silly drinks is a fabulous way to cheerfully mark a holiday without too much intensity and pressure. When I reach the legal drinking age I may adopt this tradition. 

Johnson also dresses up as an Italian man named Valentino who visits with gifts every Valentine’s Day from him and his husband who is a centaur. 

“It started as a little joke but then I actually ended up making a pink beret and wearing a mustache while giving all of my roommates chocolates to cheer them up,” Johnson stated. 

I like the idea of a Mario-esque Italian man as described by Johnson visiting me on Valentine’s Day much more than a baby in a diaper shooting love arrows. 

There tends to be this vision around Valentine’s Day in which people either give outlandish gifts or none at all. But as my research has discovered, keeping the holiday simple can lead to a more meaningful celebration. 

Valentine’s Day started out as a pagan holiday called Lupercalia, which promoted fertility, according to a Feb. 5, 2022 National Geographic article. Men and boys would get fully naked, sacrifice a goat and a dog and then whip the women with the dried hides of the sacrifices. 

I believe most Valentine’s Day plans are a step up from this, at least in our modern times, though maybe whips used consensually still have a role in some people’s plans—who am I to judge? 

This year, I might make my valentine a nice Marsh-Austin-Tupper kitchen dinner to at least escape dining hall food for a night. Or I might simply watch a movie with him. You don’t need to leave campus to mark the occasion. 

Valentine’s Day is a day to acknowledge your love for your family, friends and significant others. You don’t have to buy a billion roses or plan an extravagant gesture. 

So this Valentine’s Day, spend some quality time with someone you care about and wish those important to you a happy Valentine’s Day. It goes a long way.