Guest column: Love yourself silly

Whether spending it with a sweetie or celebrating solo, Valentine's Day is a perfect chance to celebrate you


Davison sophomore Lindsay Flynn (left), Portage sophomore Abbey Conway (center) and Bay City sophomore Caroline Roberts pose for a Valentine’s Day portrait in the Fabiano botanical garden, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (CM Life photo | file)

Shumaila Khan

By Shumaila A. Khan

The airwaves hum with love songs, shop windows overflow with overpriced teddy bears and societal pressure mounts like a tsunami of heart-shaped expectations. But hold on, fellow students: Before you drown in the manufactured romance of Valentine's Day, let's raise a flag – a flag of self-love, independence and unapologetic singleness. 

This year let's rewrite the script and embrace the Anti-Valentine's Day revolution!

Remember that iconic “Friends” episode where Phoebe declared, "They're not on a break!"? Well, this Valentine's Day, we declare: "We're not buying it!" 

We're not buying the forced romance, the pressure to couple up or the notion that happiness hinges on a Hallmark holiday. Instead, let's channel our inner Phoebe and celebrate the freedom and joy of being single. Think a fun meal in over overpriced dinners out, Netflix marathons over awkward dates and self-pampering sessions instead of chasing validation. 

Don't get me wrong, love is beautiful. But the commercialization of Valentine's Day? Not so much. 

This year, let's skip the overpriced roses and diamond-dusted expectations. Instead, invest in experiences that truly nourish your soul: that pottery class you've been eyeing, a solo trip to explore a new city or a cozy night in with a good book (and yes, maybe some lobster claws ). Remember, your happiness doesn't have a price tag.

Also, who says Valentine's Day is just for couples? This year let's shower our platonic soulmates with the love and appreciation they deserve. Organize a Galentine's Day brunch, gather your squad for a game night or send heartfelt messages reminding them how much they mean to you. 

True connection doesn't require a romantic label. Celebrate the love that comes in all its beautiful forms, including the unbreakable bond of friendship.

And remember, being single on Valentine's Day isn't a curse, it's an opportunity to celebrate you. Forget the pitying glances and societal expectations. Instead, throw a singles bash, organize a self-love workshop or treat yourself to a day of pure indulgence. 

Remember, you are a whole, complete and worthy individual, regardless of your relationship status. Dance to your beat, embrace your independence and let the world know that singles are thriving, not waiting.

This Valentine's Day, let's prioritize the most important love story of all: the one we have with ourselves. Nourish your mind, body and soul. Practice self-compassion, embrace your flaws and celebrate your unique awesomeness. Remember, a healthy relationship with yourself is the foundation for all other forms of love, so spread kindness, practice gratitude and know you are enough, just as you are.

Shumaila A. Khan is a third-semester graduate student from Karachi, Pakistan. She is pursuing a Master of Science in administration with an emphasis on project management, and is a student project intern for Division of Student Affairs Vice President Renee Watson.