Sierra Ludington - College of Arts and Sciences
No matter how much we try to discredit Valentine’s Day by saying, “acts of love should be done every day” and “it’s just a commercial holiday,” it still sucks being single. And we find that our friends in relationships tend to be less than sympathetic to our cause—they’ve probably subconsciously hidden the pain of their last Valentine’s Day alone. Or they simply don’t actually know what it is like to be alone. For the last three years I was one of those people; I was head over heels in love for my first time. Which means this is my first Valentine’s Day with the wonderful yet painful knowledge of what it actually means to be in love, and that makes me acutely aware of my singleness this year. It stings. And despite all my rational objections to the holiday—which do have some truth—I’m still a hopeless romantic. Romantic relationships are such a central part of our lives as humans. I mean come on, they lead to the reproduction of our population. They also shape us and help us grow. Losing my first love caused one of the most riotous and challenging growth periods of my life, but it was rewarding. It is the reason I believe it is important to embrace aloneness on Valentine’s Day.
Hear me out. Our college years and our twenties are all about our ever-evolving identities, opinions, beliefs and goals. Some days we wake up and we can just feel the difference from the day before. And for most of us, a lot of this change has to do with our newfound independence. When we think about the concept of independence, we imagine it as financial independence or being able to do things how we want to do them when we want to do them, without our parents or old high school teachers nagging us. However, we also have to find emotional independence. And the only way we can maintain stability is by learning to depend on ourselves; you need to see yourself as good company. You need to love yourself. At the end of the day anything can change—anyone can come or go from your life—but you’re always going to have you. You can be there to pick yourself up on a bad day or make a good day an extraordinary day. Granted we all need guidance and mentors, but having the ability to pick yourself up is a life skill. Plus, if you know how to love yourself and treat yourself right then you can help your lover better love you and treat you right. It’s a win-win situation.
So as the impending doom of Valentine’s Day descends upon us single people, be prepared to pamper yourself. Do the things that make you happy. Eat the foods you love. Treat yourself to something sweet. Heck, pull out that handy vibrator or jerk one off. I know I will be drinking wine, eating Trader Joe’s chocolate and watching the new season of House of Cards. And most of all, embrace the aloneness, do not fear it. You can be your own lover and your own best friend.