Valentine’s through the years

Valentine’s Day may always fall on Feb. 14, but a person’s experiences can vary greatly from year to year on the day. Explore the timeline of the relationship ups and downs that a person can have through life.

 

Third Grade

It’s time to buy all 22 kids in your class a little box of “Be Mine” SweeTARTS and some fill-in-the-blank cards so no one feels left out. In class, you’ll all go around the room giving everyone a Valentine, knowing you can’t skip your playground enemy because, to quote your mom, “Everyone deserves to feel special on Valentine’s Day.” Ugh, mom.

 

Seventh Grade

The day where that one kid in your whole grade with the significant other gets to prance around like they’ve struck gold before anyone else. Managing to sneak the word “dating” into more sentences than necessary, they strut down the hallways talking about their big plans so everyone knows their Valentine’s Day schedule is booked. Mom leaves a “Happy Valentine’s Day” note in your lunch bag, and even though you know she means well, you can’t help but wonder if your crush even knows who you are.

 

High school, Freshman Year

Your Algebra teacher has you graph out a heart on your calculator and your English assignment is on “Romeo and Juliet.” Seriously? Why is this forced holiday even a thing? Your peers wear more pink than usual, and your Instagram newsfeed quickly becomes flooded with “this has been the best two weeks of my life, I love you” pictures. The school day drags on, and the ninth period bell is the only thing you’re waiting for with sweaty palms and a fast heartbeat.

 

High school, Junior Year

You guess it’s a little different now that you have someone to share it with. You make it clear that you don’t want to make a big deal about Valentine’s Day because you have to prep for the ACT tomorrow and the holiday is overrated. You get flowers sent to your house anyways, and even though you know it’s the cheesiest thing in the world, you can’t seem to wipe the sheepish smile off your face.

 

College, Freshman Year

The first one where you can’t be in the same state to celebrate it together. Whatever, it’s just another normal “long distance relationship” day anyway, right? You send a quick text to let them know you didn’t forget it was Valentine’s Day and, in fact, you’re wearing all the pink you own scattering rose petals around campus (ha, yeah right). You get an “I love you” text; those three words never seem to get old. You feel lucky not just to be with someone, but also someone who gets you like they do.

 

College, Sophomore Year

 Oh, is it that day again? It’s a little sad stomaching the fact that you’re celebrating solo this year, but your friends come through with a much needed movie night. All the junk food goes on sale tomorrow and you know as a broke college student you will most definitely be hitting that up. In all seriousness, it’s a Tuesday night and professors don’t show too much passion for Cupid’s Holiday. That means you have a test and two quizzes to study for to reward yourself with a proper celebration of the single life over the weekend.

 

College, Senior Year

All right, just another day of the week. Looking forward, you realize any day well spent with your significant other should measure up to this overrated holiday we all feel socially responsible to acknowledge every year. Your relationship shouldn’t be tested by the gifts you get or cute texts you receive — it’s about so much more than that. As you get older you realize this holiday can be used as another way to show everyone in your life how much you appreciate them. And obviously, you still take advantage of the candy sales the next day.