Valentine’s Day in the Upper Division

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As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, I wondered what the familiar, infamous, and low-key couples were planning for the big day. Is Valentine’s Day even a big deal for high school couples? Do they want to see flowers and chocolates in their lockers, or is it a holiday to celebrate outside of school? What about single people–do they think about their lack of a significant other all day, or is it just another day of the week?

Since I can’t ask everyone in the school, I wanted to gather an overall census of the relationship status of Upper Division Students and how they felt about the holiday. I found that of the Upper Division, 80% of students are single. However, regardless of status, 55% of people think that Valentine’s Day isn’t a big deal when in a relationship. I wanted to see how people in relationships of differing commitment levels thought about the holiday and its expectations.

I had a chance to sit down with Preston Parsons (‘19) in Records during the noisy double period. Preston has been dating Caroline Hawley (‘19) since eighth grade and they are still going strong. When asked about the importance of Valentine’s Day in their relationship, he replied: “It’s important. It helps us come together once a year and really show our affection for each other.” However, Preston, like a large percentage of  the Upper Division, will depart Thursday, February 14th to go compete in Dallas, Texas, for the SPC Tournament. He stressed that although he would be missing the official day, he is looking forward to a night out with Caroline once he gets back. Although Preston places an emphasis on the holiday in his relationship, Nick Armoudian (‘19), who has been dating Kaili Nguyen (‘19) for five months, thinks Valentine’s Day “isn’t a huge deal” but they are “going to try to do something.”

Preston and Nick are part of the minority of Upper Division students that are in relationships. As I talked with Sophia Dykstra (21’), she brought up a unique way of looking at the holiday as a single person:  “I like celebrating my friendships and I think it’s important to emphasize on Valentine’s Day– if you’re single –loving yourself first before loving others.” She thinks that in a relationship, it’s just another day to show love to your partner.

Like Sophia Dykstra, Peyton Walter (19’) also brought up an interesting way to view the holiday as a single person: “Valentine’s day is just a way for me to get free candy. After Valentine’s Day sales are great.” However, as Peyton went on, she described how Valentine’s Day reminds her of past relationships and boyfriends. She has a positive outlook, though, and looks forward to future relationships and celebrating this Valentine’s Day with her friends.

Valentine’s Day can be an important holiday in a romantic relationship, but also in friendships as well. Whether you’re in a relationship or single, the holiday is a great opportunity to show kindness to those around you, remind your close friends and family of how much you love them, and stock up on all your favorite candies. So happy Valentine’s Day from The Crier, and to all the athletes traveling this Valentine’s Day, good Luck and let’s Go, Cyclones!