by Amy Rice

Imagine February 14, 2013. You’re strolling out of class and dogging it down the three flights of stairs in Aquinas Hall, then pass by the heart-themed decorations plaguing The View. You think to yourself, “Okay, not too sickening, I can deal with this.” So you swipe your card to enter the dining hall and realize that all the food is “love” themed. Made with love? I don’t think so. Three heart-shaped sugar cookies later, you walk into the mail room to pick up the last textbook you were waiting for to be delivered just to find yourself at the back of a line 20 girls strong waiting to pick up one of the 200 boxes of flowers piled up in the backroom, the smell flooding out into the hallway. Now it’s getting rather irritating, and your allergies are working up. Is it your allergies? Or are you crying because it’s finally hit you that you’re alone on the most lovesick day of the year?

When this feeling strikes, keep calm and put your hood on. It’s time to recognize those people in your life who you truly love, and who truly love you. First and foremost, this person should be you. Be glad that you didn’t spend a small fortune on a generic date, a cheesy love card, and calorie-packed snacks. Take this day as a blessing. Most likely no one will bug you about homework, money that you owe them, or ask for a ride home from the club late at night. This is a day all about you.

Self-love isn’t something that college students practice often; most of our time is spent on academics and socialization. Therefore, finding ways to spend the day appreciating oneself could prove challenging. For starters, get your lonely butt to the gym. Run a mile for every person who has ever broke your heart, do ten sit-ups for every boy or girl who made you cry, and do push-ups until you realize that you deserve better.  When returning to your homely a bundle, put on your favorite playlist while taking a long, distressing shower. You’re ready to face Valentine’s Day.

Don’t be afraid to lay in bed and catch up on your favorite shows, read a book that doesn’t pertain to your classes, or take a snooze. As long as you are keeping your snacking healthy and minimal, take it easy; everyone deserves a mental health day. Taking care of yourself mentally and physically makes a world of difference in self-esteem and overall energy. Engage in activities that make you laugh or feel renewed. Clean your room, work on a project you’ve been meaning to finish, or take a few hours for a retail therapy session. Whatever it is, remember that you need to be the most important person in your life. No one will love you if you don’t love yourself. #SelfLove