A College Guide to Surviving Valentine’s Day When You’re Single AF

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Akon’s “Lonely” plays quietly in the background while you take a bite out of every chocolate in the heart-shaped box because they never tell you what’s in them. After throwing the box across the room because you can’t find the salted caramel truffle, you turn up the volume out of sheer frustration. Let’s be real—it’s not really the chocolate that’s got you down—it’s the fact that this is how you’re spending your Valentine’s Day.

Contrary to popular belief, single people don’t have to hate V-Day. I mean, really, it’s just another day. But if you’re sad about flying solo this February, here are some tips to not just survive, but thrive on the dreaded 14th.

Step 1: Do a bomb-ass workout

“What you should definitely do is have a really bomb workout in the morning so you know you’re hot,” University of Tennessee sophomore Kaitlyn Golding said. Preach it, sister. Thirty minutes of abs creates the illusion of a perfect six-pack to get you through the day—and to compensate for all the chocolate you’ve been drowning yourself in. To quote Elle Woods, “Exercising releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy…and happy people just don’t kill their husbands” (or ex-boyfriends, but we won’t go there). Binge-eating a jar of Nutella will only make you feel worse about yourself. The only tears shed that day will be from your muscles—and your ex when he sees you dropping down for those squats.

Step 2: Stay away from the social media and couples. I repeat, stay away!

Scrolling through social media on Valentine’s Day looks like an episode of Bachelor in Paradise—couples upon couples upon couples. Except you’re that one person who doesn’t pair off with anybody else. Spare yourself. “Avoid Snapchat and Instagram…because it’ll most likely just be couples posting about how in love they are,” Golding said. Remember, Valentine’s Day is just another day, but to play it safe—do yourself a favor and avoid social media altogether. Or, defy socially constructed norms and post a V-Day selfie with your cat. Most importantly, though, avoid spending extended time with your non-single friends. “Valentine’s Day is pretty much just like any other day, unless you’re like surrounded by couples and all your friends have a significant other, then I can see how it might be annoying,” University of Maryland Baltimore County sophomore Cristina Calderon said. There’s nothing worse than accidentally ending up on a fifth-wheel date.

Step 3: Treat. Yo. Self.

Remember, you are a strong, independent woman (or man) who doesn’t need no man (or woman), and Valentine’s Day doesn’t change that…if anything it empowers you even more. You don’t need to be in a relationship to feel happy. Treat yourself to a new pair of shoes and a venti Starbucks mocha. No one bought you flowers? Who cares! Buy yourself flowers. Buy your best friend flowers. Buy the whole town flowers, for goodness sake. “I just see [Valentine’s Day] as a day to bless the person I care about and do something nice for them,” Montgomery College freshman Joe Ennis said. Just because you’re single, doesn’t mean you can’t do the same. You don’t need to be in a relationship to do something nice for the people you love.

Step 4: Surround yourself with other singles

Gather your single squad and embark on a movie marathon while you cry with a glass of wine in one hand and your fancy truffles in the other. Except there will be no crying here. “I think that it’s fun to get with a bunch of other single friends and watch stupid rom coms with a bunch of chocolate,” Golding said. “Me and my friends were going to do a Secret Valentine’s, which is kind of like a Secret Santa, and just watch movies all night.” Surrounding yourself with like-minded single people helps distract all of you from feeling down. And ditch the Nicholas Sparks tear jerker and put on a horror movie. Watching love stories just make you feel even more depressed about your lack of a S.O. There’s nothing quite like chainsaws and serial killers to kill the romantic mood!

Step 5: Make Some Moves

If all else fails, remember, love is in the air. “Sometimes [Valentine’s Day] can be a good day to try and make the move on that girl you like if you’re both single,” Ennis said. Take advantage of single people’s vulnerability (just kidding) and send a flirty text to your also-single crush (preferably before you down the wine). This could potentially backfire, but life’s all about taking risks, amirite?

Step 6: Slap yourself in the face because it’s just another day

On Valentine’s Day you will go to sleep just as single as you were when you woke up (unless that flirty text worked its magic). Instead of focusing on yourself, focus on the people you love around you. “It’s a day of love, so try and love everyone a little bit more [you] know?” Ennis said. Embrace the single life, love other people and, trust me, you’ll survive. Wallowing in self-pity the entire day results in nothing but sadness. “I think [Valentine’s Day] is a great holiday where couples can show their affection for each other…be happy for your friends that are in a relationship,” Montgomery College sophomore Evan Malcolm said. “Too many people are negative,”

Overall, enjoy the benefits of being single. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a gift for your SO. You can spend the day care-free. Heck, you can go out to buy a cup of coffee without worrying about letting bae know where you are at every moment. Flirt with your crush, laugh with people you love and you’ll be just fine.

Sophomore at the University of Maryland double majoring in English and communications. Favorite things include Jesus and avocados.

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