The way we love: How we perceive Valentine’s Day over the years

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The way we love: How we perceive Valentine’s Day over the years

Hannan Waliullah

Story by Emma Lam, Renee Pu, and Hannan Waliullah

As we’ve grown up from elementary school to high school, Valentine’s Day has changed each and every year. Long gone are the days with individually-named Valentine’s Day cards, candies and awkward crushes. Read below to see how Valentine’s Day has changed through elementary, middle and high school.

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Graphic by Renee Pu and Hannan Waliullah

In elementary school, many students have fond memories of pink and purple candy, witty Valentine’s Day cards sealed with heart-shaped stickers and fun parties. But sophomore Amanda Zhao remembers something different.

“I was eating a lollipop during the Valentine’s Day party and my teacher thought that I was smoking,” Zhao said. “She yelled at me and I was so sad. I told her, ‘I’m not smoking okay.’”

Zhao isn’t the only one who remembers Valentine’s Day in elementary school differently. Instead of a Valentine’s Day filled with schoolwork and an occasional singing valentine, the day was filled with parties and fun.

Sophomore Shreya Roy agrees with Zhao’s statement about how Valentine’s Day has become rather school-oriented as the years have passed. Roy believes that Valentine’s Day has retained less of a presence in the classroom as time has gone on.

“Everyone used to get candy…like little cards with cute slogans on them and then you would basically spend the whole day in your classes eating candy and having fun,” Roy said. “Valentine’s Day is about spending time with people and enjoying the time with other people and showing them that you care.

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Graphic by Renee Pu and Hannan Waliullah


Freshman Ishani Chakraborty was surprised when she first received a singing Valentine in middle school. A bit embarrassed, she opened up the card that she received — across the middle of the page the only words written were “Happy Valentine’s Day.” It was anonymous.

“I thought someone was pranking me [and after] asking a bunch of people I finally found out who it was. It was not a boy so I didn’t have to cry over it or anything,” Chakraborty said. “I don’t know why I was worried, I just didn’t want to get singing Valentines from boys.” Chakraborty said.

Chakraborty explains that she and her friends were a lot more immature regarding relationships during her preteen years. As a highschooler, the stigma behind having a boyfriend or girlfriend has changed.

“In middle school everyone was like ‘Who’s your crush, who’s your crush?’” Chakraborty said. “I think in high school it is much more straightforward, like you either get [a singing valentine] from your friend or your boyfriend.”

Similarly, Arnav Raut, a seventh grader that goes to Kennedy Middle school, doesn’t see many relationships on campus and thinks that Singing Valentines are not usually for couples.

“It shows appreciation, or pranking,” Raut said. “Some of my friends get really excited that a girl will send them something, and then they get their dreams crushed.”

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Graphic by Renee Pu and Hannan Waliullah

Sophomore Shreya Roy believes that in middle school or elementary school, Valentine’s Day was seen as a fun, relaxing day. In high school, however, Valentine’s Day is more focused on relationships rather than fun. Also in high school, Roy says that Valentine’s Day isn’t perceived as a holiday that many care about. So when it comes to her doing singing Valentine’s, it gets a little chaotic with teachers planning tests on that very day.

“We have to work around teachers’ schedules basically, so if a teacher says that I have a test first and third period, and those are the only classes that I can give a singing valentine to someone, they won’t be able to receive it,” Roy said.

Sophomore Amanda Zhao believes that Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love and joy to everyone. In elementary school, this was expressed through parties and candies. Now high schoolers, especially single ones, associate Valentine’s Day as nothing more than a day of the week before winter break starts.

Roy believes that although some may think that Valentine’s Day is strictly for couples, they should understand that it’s truly about enjoying time with everyone you love, including friends and family.

“But they have to understand that they don’t get that one day again so you might as well enjoy it while you have it,” Roy said.