Campus News

Editorial: A single’s perspective of Bethel Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day at Bethel College generally means a few things: obnoxious Snapchats, random gift-giving for no reason, obnoxious couples in the Great Room and campus-wide pranks. Essentially, the single introvert’s nightmare. I steeled myself for all this and anything else the love-struck minds on campus could cook up this year as I made my way on campus from my Valentine-proof shelter of my house. I steeled myself for overly cuddly couples and lots of chocolate. Were my fears realized? I arrived at my first class with no red hearts or candy in sight. Sitting through class, the holiday wasn’t even mentioned. Odd, I thought to myself. From that class I made my way to the Huffman Administration Building. “Surely,” I thought, “The clever minds of Student Development have done something to decorate their offices for Valentine’s Day.” But it was not to be. As I greeted Benitha Vinscon, the ever-present (and ever-smiling) Student Life assistant, there were no paper hearts, no red and white confetti, not one chocolate candy to be found. This was very odd. Crossing back to the Everest-Rohrer (ER) auditorium, I heard an excited cry. “Ah!” I thought, “Surely the cry of an exuberant freshman proposal!” Alas, the cry came from across campus, and I was unable to investigate its source. I choose to believe that I heard the sound of a young couple take things to the next step of their relationship, but in truth, it was more likely an Oakwood freshman getting shoved a little too close to the pond by his friends. I approached the ER, looked up and saw, to my amusement, at least one of my predictions come true, albeit a marginally less romantic one. A yellow and blue pair of boxer shorts now adorned the needle of the ER. I had many questions, the least of which was how they got up there. Check one on the Bethel Valentine’s Day bingo card. Walking in to do homework, I heard one of my theatre friends rehearsing a song for “Oklahoma!,” the upcoming musical. 30 minutes later, Karen Pajor, the choreographer, exited the rehearsal room and told me that Valentine’s treats were in there. The only condition was that I had to share them and share the news. I put down my book and entered, on the prowl for the second chocolatey item on my bingo scorecard. And I found it! Dark chocolate raspberry squares and bite-sized cherry-filled cakes, along with other smaller candies and even a few coloring books, were my reward. I did my duty and shared the news, but not without taking a few treats for myself first. It’s Valentine’s Day. Cut me some slack. I waited the rest of the day for the third and fourth item on my bingo card, but to no avail. I even went out of my way to scope out the Great Room for freshman couples. As I approached I heard a soft voice and thought it was a couple, but no, it was Reed Lyons and his young son playing. Adorable, yes, but Valentine’s-worthy, not quite. Not even the basketball game tonight made any mention of the holiday, at least in the pre-game, which was all I was able to see. I scanned through my Snapchat stories to see if someone, anyone, had any Valentine’s plans. And then I saw it. Snapchats of couple trips, gifts and celebrations populated my social media feeds. People celebrated their significant others, yes, but roommates gave gifts, friends lifted up friends and groups went out and had fun. As it turns out, my cynical observations of Valentine’s Day were quite wrong. Instead of making all campus residents uncomfortable, couples have gone off campus to have fun together. And this Valentine’s Day was about more than just romance, as friends lifted each other up and just had fun. If you’ll forgive the phrase, it warmed my heart to see this heart-centric day made about more than just candy and butterflies in the stomach. It became a day about relationships of all kinds and fun throughout the community. And best of all, no “Fifty Shades of Grey” trying to make things uncomfortable for us all this time around.
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