Looking for love on campus

College students are among some of the most unique groups to celebrate Valentine’s Day each year. Valentine’s Day is a source of joy and anxiety for many people on campus and may cause much anticipation as the holiday approaches. Whether you are single, in a long-distance relationship, living with your partner, or something in-between, everyone celebrates the holiday differently.  

For Jennifer Dunn, a junior at WCU and her partner Ethan Terry, a junior at Georgia State, their relationship is long distance. This poses a special challenge for celebrating Valentine’s Day. Most times they are not able to see each other in person at all. However, Dunn believes that long distance was a smart decision for them. “We both have grown into our own people, and we experience college in ways that we couldn’t if we went to the same place,” Dunn said. “I love my life in these beautiful mountains, and I really have found myself. I’ve gotten to explore my love for the outdoors here, and Ethan has gotten to explore city life in Georgia State. We’ve grown into the people we were meant to be, and we both love who the other has become.” Dunn explains that the growth they experienced as individuals would not have been possible if they hadn’t been long distance.  

Distance makes the heart grow fonder Dunn says but also makes the fleeting time they spend together even more important.  “It also makes my time with Ethan so precious. I never take a moment for granted with him, because I only see him every other weekend. It makes every goodbye kiss more special, while also harder. Watching him drive off, or wave to me from the parking lot as I leave always breaks my heart, but I know it’s all worth it.” This year, they are closing the distance gap to celebrate together. “We’re going to Chattanooga for a weekend and spending time together in the city and hiking,” Dunn said. But not every year is as lucky as this year.  

Madolyn Mueske, and Dillon Acevedo, also students at WCU will be spending their first Valentine’s Day together this year. This year is special for them because they have never really celebrated Valentine’s Day before. “We’re doing either something cheesy or cliche like dinner and a movie or fort picnic. It’s our first Valentine’s Day and neither of us have actually really celebrated it.” Mueske also adds that they’ve never done something cheesy or wholesome just because they could, so she is particularly excited.  

For some, being single on Valentine’s Day is a reason to despair but Anthony Clark, a sophomore and recreational therapy major, disagrees. Though he may be single, he looks forward to taking some personal time with himself and his friends. “I’m going to watch soccer and then hang out with my friends to celebrate Valentine’s Day and our friend’s birthday,” said Clark. Just like Dunn, Clark also takes the time he has on his own being single as a moment for self-development and to experience college in his own way.  

 Valentine’s Day is for everyone, and it is important to celebrate the ones you love as it is equally important to take time for yourself and work on self-love strategies.