By Tahlia Terhune, Columnist

I haven’t spent a Valentine’s Day single since I was in sixth grade. It began with plush toy exchanges during passing periods and “check yes or no” letters.

Throughout the years, I always found myself in a relationship on this particularly special day. This year, however, I will be partaking in the holiday single. I am looking forward to Valentine’s Day more than ever.

 Of course now that I am not involved in a relationship, I find it odd that our culture typically leaves this day up to the couples. I didn’t think too much of it until I found myself volunteering to work on Valentine’s Eve. My once romantic holiday turned into an opportunity to serve couples at the restaurant I work at. 

I was not too concerned except for the fact that I did not know what to do on February the 14th since my day was not planned out for me as usual. For the past month, I have observed my peers whining about sappy couples or joking about how they are going to be alone forever. Singles should view this day as something positive to make it their own. You are not obligated to anything, which means you can make of this day whatever you wish.

Junior David Stenger said he will hang out with his other single housemates on Valentine’s Day. You can just do something fun, get a group of your single friends together and go laser tagging.

If you want to be adventurous, use this day as an opportunity to meet new people. “I feel like you always bond with other single people on Valentine’s Day,” sophomore Caila Fautenberry said. “It’s kind of funny actually.”

Society has marked Valentine’s Day as a time to celebrate with a significant other. In reality it should just be a day to acknowledge love, whether that be with your friends, family or yourself is up to you.

Of course in grade school, you are required to bring cards for all of your classmates, or maybe your mom gave you a teddy bear each year. However, as you get older this fades away, and it seems as if people only think they can participate if they are in a relationship.

I want to be able to tell my friends how much I care about them, to tell my parents how much I appreciate them and even to remind myself I love who I am. I don’t need a soulmate to share love with others in my life.

This year I am going to utilize the free time I will have during this season of adoration to show others how much I care about them. Rather than investing my time in do-it-yourself gifts to save money on the expensive day or last-minute shopping, I will invest my time in small acts of appreciation for those I care about.

You don’t have to be dating someone to love him or her, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t show it. If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, call up that old friend you’ve been meaning to talk to.

Get yourself some Ben & Jerry’s and that new watch you’ve been looking at. Call up your parents just to talk — not asking them for money might be a refreshing change of pace.

 If you’re in a relationship, then cherish this time. Use this day as another excuse to publicly share your affection for your significant other. If you’re single, then partake in Valentine’s Day too. Make it your own.

 If all else fails, The Huffington Post concludes that chocolate is more stimulating than kissing — you’re welcome.

Romantic dinners and roses — although they sound delightful — are not in my horizon for this holiday. Instead, I will volunteer to work and make some extra money that I can spend on myself.

After that, my evening will be just another Friday night to spend with friends and go out. I have never been more excited for Valentine’s Day.

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