Stop Hating on Valentine’s Day

Ellie Thompson, editor-in-chief of the Mycenaean, prepares her "candy bag” ahead of a classroom Valentine's Day celebration. Photo courtesy of Stella Davis.)

Valentine’s Day seems to be a contentious subject among high schoolers. 

Some people have developed an aversion or even a cold indifference to the celebration. Whether this is out of jealousy for those who have a “valentine” or a vengeance against an entire holiday dedicated to proclaiming love, mixed feelings seem to rule February 14.

Shani Inbari, a senior at Leesville, agreed that people seem either cynical or dismissive of the holiday. “Many people think [Valentine’s Day] is stupid or not something that is worth their time,” she said.

However, we all used to think differently of Valentine’s Day, whether you remember that time clearly or not. Classroom celebrations in elementary school were so influential to us that most of us can remember decorating our shoeboxes, sitting in a circle, and exchanging candy. 

Rather than Valentine’s Day only being for those with a significant other, which most of us did not have in elementary school (I miss you Isaac xx), Valentine’s Day was for everyone. 

It celebrated platonic love, friendship, and that incredibly tasty Fun Dip candy. 

Lila Cobin, my fifth grade sister, had only good things to say about the legendary day of elementary school. “I really enjoy it,” she said with the most enthusiasm I could coax out of her. Lila mentioned that her favorite parts of the day were eating sweets, hanging out with friends, and most importantly the fact that “we don’t do that much schoolwork on Valentine’s Day.”

Even in early middle school, as kids began to discover the concept of “having feelings” for someone, many people had a sense of excitement that disappeared by high school. Innocent, playful interactions such as slipping anonymous love letters to classmates and giggling over any sort of bashful interaction left Valentine’s Day again in a positive, if not slightly awkward light. 

In order to reignite our nostalgic memories of Valentine’s Day, several Leesville classes have brought back the infamous candy exchange. This includes Inbari’s orchestra class and The Mycenaean staff.

“I haven’t done something like that in many years, and I think it is going to be really fun to celebrate with your friends, eat candy, and be grateful for each other,” Inbari said. 

So this upcoming Monday, keep in mind your childhood memories as you navigate Valentine’s Day. It is not just for couples, and there is no reason to be left out. You do not have to sulk around and post pictures of roses on fire (yes, I have seen it). 

Instead, remind yourself of the childlike happiness associated with every bite of candy you take, and all the love that surrounds you in the form of friendship and support. Celebrate with a Galentine’s Day (or Palentine’s Day) outing, or simply just mention to your friends that you are grateful for them.

And, if you are really dedicated to reviving that distant childhood memory, buy some Fun Dip.


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