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U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

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Teens celebrate Valentine’s Day in untraditional ways

From candy to cards, gifts and love are bestowed
Grace LaBelle
Students pass around candy, and other treats to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Some classes even require their students to make Valentines to embrace the spirit and spread love during the day.

Red white and pink. It’s February 14, and the world is covered in hearts, chocolates and roses. What originally began as a way to commemorate Saint Valentine in third century Rome has been adapted to celebrate the important people in our lives. 

While U-High students don’t go as far as to  bring Valentines to everyone in their classes, many students still find ways to celebrate with each other: as friends or as couples.  

Some students, like junior Shelby Hackett, celebrated the holiday by posing for photos at the photo booth organized by the photojournalism class. Shelby and her friends enjoyed taking pictures with Valentine’s Day-themed props. They also planned to end the night by going out to dinner.

“I think Valentine’s Day is more fun when you hang out with friends,” Shelby said. “You can be with people and show your love even if it isn’t romantic.”

Junior Sofia Picciola attended a Galentine’s Day party, a day honoring women’s friendship instead of romantic relationships, with a group of friends. The house was  well-decorated for the theme: from hearts all the way down Chick-fil-A Valentine’s Day plates. 

“The whole thing is to celebrate being friends with each other and playing games,” Sofia said. 

Galentine’s Day is a relatively new tradition among many friend groups. Sofia has noticed an influx of people on social media choosing to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a nontraditional way. Galentine’s is something Sofia could see herself continuing to celebrate in future years.

“Obviously there’s traditional Valentine’s Day, but I feel like Galentine’s Day is emerging a lot on my social media feed,” Sofia said. “I think it’s a cool thing to celebrate friendship.”

Others spent the day in a more conventional way. Sophomores Julian Rossi and Kate Ryan celebrated  Valentine’s day by recreating their first date, which was exactly one year ago. 

“We’re going to reenact what our first date was like: a similar Wednesday on Valentine’s Day last year,” Julian said before the day. “We’re going to go to the university, get something to eat and chill.”

The notion of Valentine’s Day has changed for Julian now that he’s in a relationship. 

“I think it’s more meaningful,” Julian said. “I get to fulfill what the holiday actually is instead of just giving candy.”

Senior Bella Waltzer celebrated Valentine’s Day by having dinner and seeing a drive-in movie with her boyfriend. Even though Valentine’s Day can be a romantic holiday, Bella’s favorite part about the holiday is that everyone can celebrate regardless of their relationship status. 

“I think it’s really fun to wear pink and red and even though Valentine’s Day is a romantic holiday, it can be fun for friends to show their love for each other and have an excuse to hang out,” Bella said. 

Above all, Valentine’s Day represents an opportunity to celebrate many types of love, whether or not it’s romantic.

Julian said, “I think that everyone, no matter what situation they’re in, needs love to get through their lives. It’s a really necessary part for having a happy life and, I think when you give that to other people it’s really special.”

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About the Contributors
Victoria Washington
Victoria Washington, Opinion Editor
Victoria Washington is a member of the Class of 2025 and serves as the Opinion Editor. She joined the journalism team in fall 2021 during her ninth grade year. Her favorite story she's written for the U-High Midway is “Artist raises $2,000 to restore Bronzeville mural.” She enjoys journalism because it provides an opportunity to communicate with others from different departments and see new perspectives. Aside from journalism, she enjoys historical fashion and watching documentaries. Awards: 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, Boston convention: Honorable mention, commentary writing 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, San Francisco convention: Honorable mention, news writing
Grace LaBelle
Grace LaBelle, Photographer
Grace LaBelle is a beginning photojournalist and a member of the Class of 2026. Her favorite part of photojournalism is taking pictures at school assemblies. Outside of class, Grace enjoys going on bike rides, going on hikes and swimming. 

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