Students celebrate Valentine’s Day from a distance

Hannah Feuer, Reporter

Weinberg senior Max Lee spent his first Valentine’s Day with his girlfriend in 2019 at Terra and Vine. This year, the couple stayed in, cooked clam linguini and watched “10 Things I Hate About You.”

Like Lee, many students celebrated this year’s Valentine’s Day differently from years’ past. Wary of catching COVID-19 from indoor dining or public transportation, they are opting to stay home.

“There’s not a lot you can do (that is) special on Valentine’s Day, like you’re not going anywhere,” Lee said. “Even going to downtown Chicago is somewhat iffy. So just due to lack of options, it kind of just seemed like any other weekend, just a little more deliberate.”

This was the first year Medill sophomore Grace Deng spent Valentine’s Day apart from her boyfriend, who lives in the Seattle area. Last year, her boyfriend visited her in Evanston for the holiday, and before the pandemic, they saw each other in-person every few months.

Though apart, Deng and her boyfriend made steak together on Zoom for dinner. Deng’s boyfriend sent her a package filled with Baby Yoda stickers, a candle, face masks, Pocky’s and other snacks.

“Long distance is really hard,” Deng said. “Both of our love languages are physical touch, so it’s the worst. But you know, when his gift arrived, it really made me smile, and it’s worth it.”

Weinberg sophomore Nathaniel Unger is used to Valentine’s Day apart from his long-distance girlfriend, who attends McGill University in Montreal. They’ve been calling every night since he started college.

This year, Unger sent his girlfriend a package containing a mason jar filled with daily notes. The couple ordered each other takeout and watched a movie over FaceTime.

Communication senior Sophia Blake had a smaller gathering than usual, hosting a “Galentine’s” celebration with just her roommates. They did their makeup, dressed in red and pink, ordered takeout, drank rosé and watched a movie.

Catie Moore had a similar celebration with a small group of friends. She and her friends dressed up and made a baked feta pasta dish she had seen in viral TikToks.

Moore said holidays like Valentine’s Day are a good way to change things up as the days seem to blur together.

“Especially with the pandemic, I feel like my friends and I have just been finding as many excuses as possible to have events,” the Communication sophomore said. “It just gives us something to look forward to in lieu of going to The Deuce or something like that.”

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Twitter: @hannah_feuer

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