Peace, love and Mavericks: UNO students share their Valentine’s Day plans


By Kamrin Baker

Graphic by Kamrin Baker/The Gateway

I used to think Valentine’s Day hit its peak in elementary school when my whole life was devoted to making the world’s greatest valentine mailbox out of an old Nike box. I’d force my mom into purchasing the most glittery and expensive stickers, and I’d snag some lace doilies from my grandma. The once orange and branded container would turn into a gift-wrapped god-send that would house the love letters from my second grade peers. It was the life.

While I definitely think college could use more arts and crafts time, as well as a little more hand-written, cartoon-themed notes, I have discovered that once you actually form strong and lasting relationships– with a significant other, a best friend, or even yourself– Valentine’s Day gets even better.

In the three and a half years, I’ve been with my boyfriend, we haven’t formed any Valentine’s Day traditions– yet my favorite memory was going to see “Deadpool” and laughing our butts off because it wasn’t the least bit romantic. We usually always exchange gifts, and I’m super into writing my heart out in a Hallmark card, but mostly, it’s a fun day where we get to be together because the world says it’s so.

Photo by Kamrin Baker/The Gateway

That being said, I’m also a huge proponent of Galentine’s Day and will spend a good chunk of time with my best lady friends before the official holiday.

My stories aren’t too exciting, though, so in the spirit of valentine mailboxes, romantic comedies, and loving thy neighbor, I ventured out to find some Mavericks who celebrate Valentine’s Day in their own unique ways.

“My boyfriend and I always do handmade gifts [for Valentine’s Day]! We’ve been doing it our whole relationship (4 years), and my favorite memories are not only making something for him and putting my heart into it, but receiving something I can wear or display in my room.” -Jenny Grisso, senior

Photo courtesy of Jenny Grisso

“My best friend, Sadiya, and I celebrated Valentine’s Day originally because she doesn’t celebrate Christmas, but we both still wanted to get each other gifts. I suggested we celebrate Valentine’s Day because we could be able to celebrate our friendship, as well as have an excuse to swap gifts. We usually get dinner and spend the night together watching movies. It’s just a great reason to celebrate our friendship a little more than we already do.” -Sydney Rogers-Morrell, sophomore

Photo courtesy of Sydney Rogers-Morrell

“My girlfriend, Caroline and I are really busy during this time of year because of school. She always takes 18 credits, and I do in the spring, so we end up being very busy. Valentine’s Day is usually a dinner, but other times it’s just a movie, and eventually we get around to something nicer by the end of the month. Both of us don’t make a huge deal of it because our relationship is everyday; not just one day. So, there’s almost an attempt to not do something for Valentine’s Day, but I always get her something anyway.” -Matt Norrie, sophomore

Photo courtesy of Matt Norrie

“I work at TAGG, which is an app that stands for Together, A Greater Good, and this Valentine’s Day, I’m trying to get people to show some love to a local organization. If a business is on the app– like Smoothie King or Eileen’s Cookies– you can ‘tagg’ your purchase, and 5% of the total amount you spend will go to a local organization of your choice. -Delaney Rannells, sophomore

Photo courtesy of Delaney Rannells

“My girlfriend, Madi’s, birthday is two days before Valentine’s Day, so it’s already a special week for her. We don’t have any traditions or anything since this is only our second year together. We’re planning on going to eat at a nice restaurant, and then we’ll go watch that new “50 Shades” movie like we did last year.” -Justin Bowers, junior

Photo courtesy of Madison Kleinschmit

Perhaps some of us can embrace these traditions and ideas in our own relationships; romantic or otherwise. And, if not, we can always fall back on writing a valentine for our dear old mascot, Durango, and snagging a discounted bag of chocolates on February 15.