Lovely thoughts

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY BRIT­TANY WAR­REN

In her first foray into col­umn writ­ing, a Level 2 stu­dent at Cres­cent Col­le­giate shares her youth­ful thoughts on Valen­tine’s Day.

Some peo­ple look for­ward to Va­lent ine’s Day : hall­ways adorned with pink and red, spe­cial gifts of flow­ers and cho­co­lates from a boyfriend or girl­friend, hus­band or wife, and that gen­eral feel­ing that love is in the air. For oth­ers, how­ever, a dread of this day is caused by feel­ings of corni­ness and em­bar­rass­ment to­wards the day it­self. Th­ese feel­ings gen­er­ate around the time of Feb. 14.

For young chil­dren, Valen­tine’s Day is an ex­cite­ment. Kids look for­ward to ex­chang­ing store-bought valen­tines with their friends, and eat­ing fes­tive treats. Every­one has mem­o­ries of those lit­tle class­room par­ties in ele­men­tary school, with cup­cakes and card ex­changes. But as we get older, the hol­i­day loses its ap­peal and amuse­ment.

In fact, teenagers are bur­dened by pres­sure on this day. Since it is an un­writ­ten rule that you should not be sin­gle on Valen­tine’s Day, high school­ers put them­selves through the hu­mil­i­a­tion of ask­ing some­one to be their valen­tine, only to be re­jected and un­able to look that per­son in the eye ever again.

It’s just as bad for peo­ple who are al­ready in a re­la­tion­ship. In high school, breakups tend to hap­pen more of­ten right be­fore or around Valen­tine’s Day. This could be due, again, to the pres­sure of the hol­i­day. Every­one knows that on Valen­tine’s Day, you have to plan the per­fect ro­man­tic evening for your spe­cial some­one, and if you get one lit­tle de­tail messed up, you’re dead meat. This is not com­pletely true, but the ex­pec­ta­tions are just too great for the av­er­age high school stu­dent, so they set­tle with end­ing the re­la­tion­ship be­fore­hand to avoid the dis­ap­point­ment. Al­though this may seem a lit­tle ir­ra­tional, it’s how some teens feel to­ward the day.

It is pos­si­ble to en­joy Valen­tine’s Day, even if you are sin­gle. For ex­am­ple, gather the girls to­gether for a movie night, or go around the bay with the b’ys. But some­times, it is dif­fi­cult to re­mem­ber that you can en­joy your­self when you’re con­fronted by shelves cov­ered from top to bot­tom with singing teddy bears in the near­est store. The com­mer­cial as­pect of the day is most prom­i­nent. This is not al­ways easy to avoid, con­sid­er­ing all the ad­ver­tise­ments from stores try­ing to con­vince you to buy their new­est Valen­tine-themed mer­chan­dise. This can be dis­tract­ing and also an­noy­ing, es­pe­cially for teens who could do without a day of taunts from Cupid.

The­o­ret­i­cally speak­ing, Valen­tine’s Day is show­ing the peo­ple you care about just how much you love them. This can be done by re­mind­ing them how much they are ap­pre­ci­ated, and how im­por­tant they are in your life. While a fancy, can­dlelit din­ner for two may be ro­man­tic, it is a lot of trou­ble for a high school stu­dent to go through. If this is what you want, go for it. If not, set­tle for send­ing some­one a hand-writ­ten card or let­ter, or even some­thing as sim­ple as hold­ing the door open for the per­son walk­ing be­hind you. Th­ese ges­tures would not nor­mally be con­sid­ered the per­fect Valen­tine’s Day gift, but some­times, the small things are just enough.

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