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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Echo
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Choosing to celebrate Valentine's Day in new ways with friends

Love takes on fun forms, expressions

Though Valentine's Day is traditionally a romantic holiday, this February has proved that love is for more than just couples. Through fun times and faithful fellowship, students across campus have uncovered ways to express their love for one another. 

Second Center Olson (known also as the Heart of Olson for its central location in Grace Olson Hall) kicked off the fun this year by hosting their annual Valentine’s Day Open House. 

Anna Bassett, a freshman on Second Center, shared that this guys’ and gals’ event was fun to be involved in throughout the event and even in the planning process.

Bassett shared that girls on the wing prepared for the event by cutting and pasting what seemed like millions of paper hearts on the walls. 

On the night-of, guests played a professor-themed version of “spin the bottle”, a twist on the classic party game. Guests also had the opportunity to write valentines to be later delivered by Heart of Olson residents. The decked out wing also got spirited in their music as guests sang their hearts out to karaoke. 

The Heart of Olson women encouraged students to come back next year to continue to celebrate the holiday. 

“I think everyone should come back every year. It's so fun! [It's] a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s and not in a couple-y way,” Bassett said.

Nextdoor to Second Center, Second East Olson girls celebrated Valentine's day by gifting their “secret sisters” with goodies and notes in the days leading up to Valentine's day. Second Easters also participated in a Galentine’s-themed “chick-pick pick-a-date”.

Galentine’s, the holiday where gals get together to uplift one another, was observed on February 13, but it came early this year. The Saturday before the big day, the Office of Intercultural Programs (OIP) hosted a self care day for women  looking to celebrate. 

At the event, attendees heard a positive message, had a brunch with pancakes and were able to pamper themselves. 

OIP Secretary Goodness Korrie, responsible for much of the planning for the Galentine's event shared why she thinks this event is so important. 

“February is the month of Black History Month, but also of love,” Korrie said. “I think it’s important to note that you need to love yourself, because God causes you to love your neighbors as well but in order to do that you need to love yourself. I think it's a great opportunity for the females to get together and love on each other.” 

Senior, Julissa Castellanos attended the OIP Galentine’s event the two previous years as well. At those events, women were also able to uplift each other by exchanging notes, learning about self-empowerment and making vision boards. 

Castellanos explained how it's a nice opportunity to celebrate the Valentine’s holiday in a platonic way. 

“I think that it’s a nice day of enjoying the love that we have for each other as friends and sharing that as friends,” Castellanos said. “I think that the main motivation is just to bring girls together, show them that they are worthy of who they are. It's a nice time to hang out. I know sometimes people don't like Valentine's Day, so this is a good alternative as well.” 

Love was in the air this Valentine’s Day season, just a little differently than we may have expected. On campus, the Taylor University community loved each other just as Jesus commanded in John 13:34. 

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (ESV).