February 14th. Every year, the day is met with disdain, joy, regret and, of course, that four-letter word. A holiday all about love can feel like a real sucker punch for those who are single, but for those who are spoken for, how do you celebrate? 

For Orlando Calas, a 21-year-old UF aerospace engineering senior, his plans certainly aren’t lacking the cute factor. 

“I wanted to surprise my girlfriend with this small picnic at Depot Park,” he said. “I think any small, romantic gesture, as long as it's meaningful, is really the point.”

For Sasha Wuscovi, a UF 23-year-old animal sciences senior, her plans are a little bit different. Galentine’s Day is much more important.

“I actually got Valentine’s Day off, but I have a lab from three to six.”

That’s always rough, but her plans after seem like they're going to make up for that.

“I’m actually going to go out with my best friend, and it’s one of my other friend’s 21st, so we’ll see where the night goes,” she said.

I also caught up with Leo Bergmiller, a 18-year-old UF mathematics freshman, to ask him what he’s doing for the holiday. As an actor who recently starred as the romantic interest in a short film, I figured he would have plenty to say about his plans this Friday. 

“Nothing,” he told me with a chuckle.

As a fellow cinephile, I wasn't surprised when he said, “Watch a movie or something. I don’t know.”

At the same time, Bergmiller does not knock those who go all out for this one day a year.

“If that’s what one of the partners values, then I think there can be importance there. If you don’t want to, both people in the couple shouldn’t feel pressure to do that.”

Insightful, and he’s single, folks.

To me, the whole Valentine’s Day thing feels sort of hokey. Whether you have plans or not, I think it’s important to love everyone in your life. Between your partner, your friends and your family, make it more about your relationships than about roses and conversation hearts. This Friday, try to make time to love yourself as well. While it is so important, it’s easy to forget sometimes.

Contact Alyssa Archard at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @Alyssa_Archard.