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Students’ thoughts on Valentine’s Day vary

Molly Madden | Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine’s Day is a national holiday that traditionally celebrates love and romance. At Notre Dame, students’ views about the day of love vary, from those cynical about the holiday’s appeal to those who celebrate it as an expression of any kind of love.

“I think Valentine’s Day is an invention of Hallmark,” sophomore Jimmy Long said. “I’m single but I wouldn’t take a girlfriend out that night in protest.”

Other students who are in committed relationships at the University have issues with the goals of the holiday as well and tend to view the day as unimportant.

“Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about showing how we feel about someone else,” sophomore Kathleen McKiernan said. “But we do that everyday.”

Her boyfriend of seven months, Tony Schlehuber, agreed.

“Why do we need a special day for something we should do all the time?” he said.

Seniors Steve Meehan and Rachel Davidson have been dating for three years and they agree that some of the luster of Valentine’s Day has somewhat faded.

“We played racquetball and went to Mass,” Meehan said. “But other than that we didn’t feel the need to do much.”

Davidson, who received a present from Meehan the night before Valentine’s Day, said she will be giving him a gift later in the week but didn’t feel much anxiety about the demands of the holiday.

“We joke that Valentine’s Day is just an excuse for him to get me flowers,” she said.

Freshman Rich Estes said that he felt pressured into taking his girlfriend out for Valentine’s Day because of the traditional expectations of the holiday.

“I really felt obligated to take her out,” he said. “I feel like Valentine’s Day is all about obligations.”

While many students have a skeptical view of the holiday, others believe that the purpose of Valentine’s Day is for individuals to spread happiness to loved ones.

Junior Chris Lee shares the more traditional view of Valentine’s Day and believes it is a time to demonstrate love through romantic gestures.

“The holiday is centered on one person’s affections for someone in their life that is special,” he said. “There’s the saying that talks about how Valentine’s Day should be everyday so that you can feel special everyday of the year, but if every day were Valentine’s Day the holiday wouldn’t be significant. It’s special because it’s once a year.”

Other students believe that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about romantic love but it can also be applied to family and friendship.

“I always thought Valentine’s Day is a good day for friendship,” sophomore Liz Ledden said. “It’s a good time to tell your friends how much you love them.”

Sophomore Jordan Matulis agreed that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be focused on couples and should be more about the important relationships that individuals have in their lives, regardless of whether those relationships are romantic or not.

“It’s a day about love, not romantic love but love in general,” she said. “I don’t have a special someone but I don’t think that Valentine’s Day is just a day for sweethearts. It’s a day to tell everyone significant in your life how much you care about them.”