Valentine’s always makes me think of red roses, boxes of chocolate and cheesy romance films. Although the origins of Valentine’s Day are found in a Roman festival, cheering on the winning of women by lottery to celebrate fertility (I know, right?), our modern day has marketised it into a day for expensive set menus, chocolate covered strawberries and a free Pornhub subscription on the 14th february only.
For students, however, spare cash isn’t easy to find – those of us wanting to celebrate Love Day have limited options. I’m going to straight up exclude a meal out, because set menus are the bane of my existence and we all know that paying over £5 for a glass of prosecco just because of the date is an absolute rip-off. As alternatives, there’s the classic dine-in-for-two meal from a supermarket, even with a bottle of wine, or for the classier folks there’s restaurant food delivery. Or you could go old school and cook for each other, as long as your flatmates don’t hog the kitchen. I won’t even bother suggesting on campus venues, because the music in Courtyard doesn’t exactly set a romantic scene, does it? Personally, there’s nothing that screams ‘Valentines day’ more than pizza delivery you can only afford with a 241 offer, but I guess I’m just cheap.
Menu’s sorted, but what are we going to do about the gift? I think personal gifts are the way to go, and small ones at that. A book, a cuddly toy, and chocolate are all classic options, but so are little treats like a trip to the cinemas, paying for a treatment (manicure anyone?) or choosing to go for a meal in a week or so, when the surcharge isn’t so high. Doing something together is much more productive and enjoyable than a random gift you panic bought in the queue at the card shop.
On the subject of spending time together, we’re getting to the real importance of Valentine’s Day. All in all, it doesn’t matter if you’re a broke student who can only offer nisa discounted chocolates and a 99p card, as long as you can use the 14th February as an excuse to spend time with your loved ones! That includes your pals too. University life can often put pressure on finding a significant other, making Valentine’s look like a bullshit arbitrary holiday (which, okay, it kind of is), but since it lands in the middle of a stressful term, it’s the perfect excuse to take a little break and spread the love. Whether that’s a takeaway and cheesy films night with your mates, a romantic dinner for two, or a messy night-out, have a great Valentine’s Day.