Let’s face it, 2020 was a lonely year. And for college-aged kids like us, we’re in desperate need of human connection– Gen Z was reportedly the loneliest demographic in 2020.
Being separated from friends and family was not most people’s first choice for the roaring ’20s, but this isolation, compounded with being single on Valentine’s Day, is a new type of loneliness. We want to go out more than ever, pandemic aside. But for the sake of safety, please fight the urge to go out for a date or hookup this Valentine’s Day. Instead of heading outside of your bubble, find a way to treat yourself or meet new people virtually.
For starters, you could open up Omegle, an online chat service that chooses someone random to talk to you, video optional. You could enter some of your interests into a questionnaire, and the service will pair you up with people who have common interests. The company also added a college student chat option, so it will link you with other students that go to GW. If you don’t like the person you’re talking to, just move onto the next chat – it’s better than nothing.
For those who want to stick to people you know, make it a movie night with your roommates and watch poorly-aged films or romantic comedies. Poke fun at the so-called perfect love stories and talk about the beauty of being single. Buy your friend chocolate from Baked & Wired and write them a love letter. All this to say, there’s no need to head out on the town to meet up with someone you might not ever see again. Plus, I can’t imagine a new relationship blossoming after contracting COVID-19 from one another.
For those who want to connect with people they have not seen in a while on Sunday, make a homemade card and send it off to your distant family member or friend. Tell someone who lives in a different state that you’re thinking of them, or order a bouquet of flowers and have it delivered to their doorsteps. If they live relatively close, meet at a park and exchange small gifts. If you want to do something truly selfless, take a few minutes to send a Valentine’s Day card to a child at St. Judes. You don’t need to take a road trip to their home or invite them to your apartment for a candlelit dinner – a note or flowers would do.
In case anyone missed the running theme here, I want the antithesis of a typical Valentine’s Day this year. Accept that we are all alone and stay that way, physically. Coronavirus cases are slowly starting to go down and there is absolutely no reason to hinder that success. So my fellow single college peers, desperate to get out there and mingle again, stay home so we can have a better Valentine’s Day next year. Place your focus on taking care of yourself and those closest to you because 2021 should be a year of reflection and improvement, not regression to the mistakes of 2020. Make your Valentine’s Day about more than the commercialism of empty romantic gestures. Work toward self love and platonic love because that deserves to be celebrated equally and socially distanced.
Jenna Baer, a freshman majoring in creative writing, is an opinions writer.