Valentine’s Day: a holiday for self-love

Illustration by Theone Purev

Illustration by Theone Purev

Emily Blumberg, asst. opinions editor

I’ve never loved Valentine’s Day. The cards are cliché, candy hearts have always tasted like plastic and the day itself only seems to remind people that they are spending yet another Feb. 14 alone.

Walking down the halls today, I plan to hear other students dismissing this day as a waste of time, wondering why we even acknowledge this “Hallmark” holiday. However, it has become clear that the issue isn’t the cheesiness of the cards, candy or roses, but instead, the fear of not receiving any ourselves.

We strive to impress people, receive acceptance and hope to eventually achieve validation. It’s human nature and no matter what I tell you, I know you will continue to strive for social affirmation. However, there is one person who is longing for your approval: you.

We often sweep self-love under the rug. We lean on others for validation but forget that the truest supporter is found within ourselves. Many attempts have been made to help us understand this. Social media is filled with ways to support yourself, and the internet is overflowing with empowering quotes.

However, I’ve never resonated with these self-love mantras before. They seemed all too happy and never truly addressed my biggest concerns with accepting myself. While writing this, however, I began to delve into an endless collection of such self-assuring statements. This time, however, I found their truth to be undeniable

You are your own worst enemy. I’ve always had competitive tendencies, thinking that comparing myself to others was helping in some way. However, Dr. Emma Seppala of Stanford University stated, “Competition, instead of strengthening relationships, tends to lead to isolation.”

Our school enrolls thousands of students, each with their own strengths and passions. To compare yourself to others without recognizing your own  talents is foolish.

You can’t truly love someone else until you love yourself. You most likely spent a good portion of your childhood playing tag in your backyard or dress-up in your room. And in those times playing make-believe games, you’d never been more content. Times change, however, and cliques begin to emerge, but your self-love should never fade.

Enjoy your high school years, meet new friends and find supportive classmates. However, remember the days when wearing your princess dress or astronaut costume was enough to feel great.

You are magical. If you can look past the cheesiness of this line, you’ll find a hidden truth. You will achieve many things in your life. You’ve most likely already started. But who’s to say what’s worth celebrating? What’s worth remembering? That’s only for you to decide. Because if you can’t even find the magic in your success, how can anyone else be expected to?

Self-love is hard to practice. We’re constantly tempted to seek comparison and are surrounded by outlets that try to hide our true worth.

But give it a try today. Look in the mirror, dance to your favorite song, eat your favorite cake and most importantly-enjoy every minute appreciating yourself.

Happy Valentines Day!