To: Readers. Love: Nanuet Students.

Sentiments on the Culture of Valentine’s Day

Stores are stocked with hearts, candy and Valentines décor.

Keira Devine

Stores are stocked with hearts, candy and Valentine’s décor.

February means love is in the air! Drug stores have dressed their shelves to the nines with heart-shaped decor. Jewelers and flower companies are advertising to husbands and boyfriends in need of gift advice, and everyone is gathering their best photos to post on the special day to show off their loved ones. 

The origins of Valentine’s Day are unclear, but there are a few myths of the legendary St. Valentine. One story suggests that after Roman Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage to make young men better soldiers, a priest named Valentine defied him by performing secret marriages. Another myth tells of an imprisoned man named Valentine who fell in love whilst he was in jail. Before his death, he allegedly signed a letter to his lover with “From your Valentine”: an expression that is still in use today.

Regardless of its roots, Valentine’s Day has become an integral part of American consumerism, but is it really worth it for high school students? Some say no. 

The holiday, which was once fun, looks very different from a high school perspective, according to Junior Theresa Urzi.

“In elementary school, I enjoyed [Valentine’s Day] because we got to do cute little crafts and got candy bags from everyone in the class, as it was more a celebration of all love rather than romantic love,” she said. “Now I don’t care much for it, because as we’ve gotten older it’s centered more around partners’ love towards each other.” 

According to Urzi, because the focus has shifted towards showing off romantic love, the holiday may exclude those who personally are not in a relationship.

“I like it because I’m nosy and can see who’s dating who,” she then added. 

Swapna George, a sophomore, agrees with Urzi on the relative pointlessness of the holiday.

“I think Valentine’s Day is okay, I enjoy it, but at times dislike how romantic it is,” she says. “I think I’m just gonna hang out with my friends. I always make my sisters a valentine and surprise them with flowers.”

As one gets older, Valentine’s Day becomes more selective, according to George. High schoolers do not spend the evening of February 13th writing out cardboard valentines for their friends and classmates, attaching a pencil, tattoo, or lollipop like they did in elementary school, she explained. To suggest high schoolers should do exactly that is ludicrous, but what better day than the holiday celebrating love to express appreciation? 

Still ultimately, one of the best aspects of Valentine’s Day is the many different ways it can be celebrated. Products like chocolates and chalky candy hearts are holiday staples. If your Valentine’s looks like spending time on a date, there are a multitude of options in the community, like taking a walk or hike and appreciating Rockland nature, or ice skating at Bear Mountain. If not, going on a “date” with your friends could be even better than a traditional one, and just as festive. The arguably very best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is by watching cheesy, classic rom-coms, like When Harry Met Sally or 10 Things I Hate About You.

No matter how or why you celebrate, make sure to take the time this February 14th to show love, gratitude, and appreciation for the little things in life, and the people you often take for granted.