Love in Alternative Ways

By Cameron Jenkins

Ah, yes…here it is again. February 14th– a day that is adored by many but also detested by tons.

This day has ample different meanings depending on who you talk to. Some may say that they are in it for the discounted chocolate the day after, while others love spending it with their significant other (SO). Regardless of how you do or do not celebrate this day, it can serve as a reminder to love the things you have and be thankful too.

It doesn’t only have to be around this time in February, though, as you can show love and appreciation anytime. Here is a list of ways that you can show love. You can…

  1. Celebrate “gal-” or “pal-” entine’s day anytime! From the beloved show of Parks and Recreation, the main character Leslie Knope purposes February 13 as Galentine’s Day, the day before Valentine’s where you celebrate your girl friends.  The day is supposed to be only on the 13th, but why not do it any other time, too?
  2. Love your planet by picking up trash scattered around your campus, neighborhood, park, and much, much more. Perhaps you can start a movement with just your friends or begin a city wide clean up or even go out on your own, as any effort to help our beautiful planet is a good effort. If you show love to Mother Earth, I am certain she will show it back.
  3. Play cheesy love songs and sing them to your dog or to your mom. You can also just listen to them, too. There is nothing like a 1980’s pop love song to soothe the soul with its gleeful melody and brilliantly painful lyrics. Maybe listen to Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is” or Huey Lewis and the News’s “Power of Love.” If you’re not into the glorious 80’s, you can listen and try to reflect in today’s pop music, as almost every song has a reference to love. If it sounds like I am biased, it is because I am (ha).
  4. Send mail. I am giddy every time I open up the mailbox and find a letter that isn’t a tuition bill. Instead of always receiving that note from your grandmother, send one back to her. You can also send letters to your friends or significant other because honestly who doesn’t love a little “snail mail” in today’s modern world? Plus, you can use it as a healthy procrastination– you are doing something worthwhile while the pile of homework awaits.
  5. Cook dinner. Over the weekend, I was grocery shopping with my SO and we spontaneously decided to make homemade chicken noodle soup. Being in college, we usually resort to the cafeteria or a packaged meal, as home-cooked food is typically nonexistent. I treasured doing the extra effort and resulting in the comforting meal. Maybe the next time you go home, you can cook for your family or at least help out in the kitchen. I am sure it will be appreciated.

You can make this Valentine’s Day something different by showing your love and gratitude in different ways. Happy loving, friends.

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