February 4, 2022 | LIFE | By Katie Rowley | Illustration by Emmaline Hawley

Start your countdowns. There are officially 10 days until the day I dread most: Valentine’s Day. And as my Instagram feed fills with happy couples and my search for love becomes more desperate, I am slowly accepting that I will be single on Feb. 14. This will be my 19th year in a row, so you would think I am used to it by now, but here I am, searching for ways to cope with my loneliness.

If you find yourself in the same position of solitude, whether you have been alone for your entire life or just a few days, this is the article for you: a guide to making the dreaded day less depressing.

Palentines Day.

Palentine’s Day, a more inclusive version of Galentine’s Day, is the easiest way to forget about all your sorrows on this day of love. Gather all of your pals and find something fun to do.

I suggest engaging in a game of cheesy Romantic Comedy Bingo. It’s pretty easy to play. First, find some hard-to-watch romantic comedy, perhaps Netflix’s “The Kissing Booth.” Next, search for a rom-com bingo card — there are tons on Pinterest — or make your own! Spend the night watching the chosen movie and filling out the bingo card. And make sure you and your pals have tons of chocolate to snack on during the movie.

If watching a romantic comedy isn’t your speed, spend the day engaging with some quality pal-time over a meal or retail therapy in downtown Colorado Springs. After class, take your friends to La Baguette, a French bakery/restaurant off Pikes Peak Ave., for a traditional French bakery complete with five different kinds of croissants. This is the perfect place to spread your platonic love.

After brunch, hit some of the local shops downtown and buy gifts for each other. You don’t need to break the bank, but supporting small businesses on Valentine’s Day is just another way to spread love in the community.

Continue Palentine’s Day by having dinner with your friends. Make a college-budget gourmet dinner and dessert, such as heart-shaped cherry hand pies, and eat on the floor of your dorm room. Buy cheap decor from the dollar section at Target, and surround yourself with love, both in paper hearts and in the company of those around you.

Throughout the day, don’t forget to take cute pictures of you and your pals and post them on Instagram to drown out all the pictures of the happy couples.

Buy yourself flowers.

As important as surrounding yourself with friends on this depressing day is, self-love is just as vital, if not more.

So, to remind yourself just how valuable you are, engage in self-care in whatever way feels best for you. Buy yourself a seven dollar bouquet of flowers from King Soopers. Read that book you’ve been wanting to read. Or binge-watch an entire season of a show. Take time for yourself and appreciate your own company.

We live with ourselves 100% of the time, so prioritizing you-time is imperative, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to etch some self-love into your busy schedule.  

Do your homework.

And finally, I know I was supposed to be giving you advice to make the day less depressing, but let’s face the facts: Valentine’s Day falls on the Monday of Fourth Week. Spend your weekend engaging in self-care and hanging out with your friends, but, when the 14th rolls around, prioritize your education.

You will probably have an essay to write, a project that needs to be completed, or an exam to study for. So, shut off your phone and be productive. I know, not the liveliest suggestion, but it’ll serve as a good distraction.

Remember, not being in a romantic relationship on Valentine’s Day is not a failure. Appreciate all the forms of love around you, and remember you are never actually as alone as you feel.

And, if all else fails, and none of these ideas succeed in defeating your loneliness, you can always text your ex to spice up your day (as long as they’re not in a relationship).

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