Despite the barren trees, blustering chill and gray skies, Muhlenberg’s campus is as vibrant as ever. Winter break gave students an opportunity to rest and recharge, and now that the new semester is in full swing, students here have found their rhythm. The novelty of the new semester is so refreshing; students here are taking new classes, making more friends and exploring the opportunities that this incredible little school has to offer.
Yet, with how busy campus seems to be, it is also easy to feel incredibly alone around this time of year.
I don’t want this piece to be a tirade against Valentine’s Day. However, I think that it’s important to acknowledge how difficult it can be to spend the most romantic holiday of the year (besides Presidents’ Day) without a significant other. After all, there are reminders seemingly everywhere you look. We see it in public, as we observe the bouquets of flowers decorating the shelves of supermarkets. We watch it play out on the screen — the commercials on television try and “sell” love as if romance can be bought with a diamond ring or “decadent” chocolates. Most importantly, we see it as we scroll through our social media.
I am dedicating this piece to those whose hearts break a little when they see these reminders of romance. Perhaps you’ve just ended a relationship that was not working, or perhaps you’ve been on the receiving end of heartbreak. In some form or another, we’ve all been there. Look out for yourself on Valentine’s Day, and always.
This piece also goes out to those who are learning to love themselves again. The journey to finding yourself again after a tough time is extensive, and healing is not a linear process. Trust yourself that you’re going to get there. And seek support from resources if you need it.
Perhaps Valentine’s Day is not just a holiday to celebrate couples and companionship. It’s a day to appreciate anyone — and everyone — you love, including friends, family and especially yourself. After all, those three little words go a long way.