Valentine’s Day: cute, corporate and over-hyped

George Brown students on their Valentine’s plans, or lack thereof

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and George Brown College (GBC) students have mixed feelings about the Hallmark holiday.

“It’s cute, but it’s very corporate. You should express your love for someone all year round,” said Petra Harding, a human resources student at GBC. “It’s not a real holiday.”

Harding said although this is her first year being single for Valentine’s Day in a while, she didn’t do anything big in past relationships.

“I’m the stay in and spoon type,” she said.

Valentine’s Day’s origin can be traced back to third century Ancient Rome, to a priest named Saint Valentine. Emperor Cladius II believed single men made more efficient soldiers, so he forbade them to marry. Valentine did not agree, and married couples in secret. When Claudius found out, Valentine was sentenced to death.

As the story goes, he sent the first “Valentine” to a girl who visited him in prison. It is believed that he signed the letter, “From your Valentine.”

Sabrina Agostino, a GBC special events management student, celebrates Valentine’s day with her boyfriend, Dan Baldissera. But for Agostino, the holiday is not about commercialism.

“It’s always about love, not about how much you spend. Even a handwritten letter or card to show how much you care about the other person can truly mean a lot,” said Agostino.

Agostino hasn’t made plans yet, but said, “I’ve got a few things in mind, involving red lace.”

Quintin Smith, a business student at the college, doesn’t celebrate V-day.

“For me it’s just another day of the week. It is a day to show love for a lot of people, but for me I find it’s just too over-hyped,” he said.

Smith’s girlfriend, Vanessa Mazarese, used to celebrate, but when Smith explained why he doesn’t, she agreed. They show their affection for each other every day with simple dates and spending time together.

Harding and Smith said if you’re going to celebrate, it should be special, like a birthday, an anniversary or an achievement. Celebrations should also be because you want to, not because you have to.

“I think a simple rose or something would be nice instead of going out of your way for a lot of stuff,” said Smith.

Harding had some budget-friendly ideas for fellow students, including the light festival in the Distillery District, the Royal Ontario Museum, and looking online for free events.

“Definitely skip the expensive night out. Cook together, get dressed up in your apartment, light some candles and turn on a movie that you’re going to ignore completely anyways,” said Agostino.

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Valentine’s Day: cute, corporate and over-hyped