Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14. It is the day of the year dedicated to (mostly) couples who want to be more romantic. Many people celebrate their love for their partner by sending cards or letters, giving gifts or flowers and arranging meals in restaurants or romantic nights away. People who would like to have a romantic relationship with somebody may use the occasion to make this known, often anonymously.

Valentine’s cards are often decorated with images of hearts, red roses or Cupid. Common Valentine’s Day gifts are flowers, chocolates, candy, lingerie and champagne or sparkling wine. However, some people use the occasion to present lavish gifts, such as jewelry. Many restaurants and hotels have special offers at this time. These can include romantic meals or weekend breaks. However, Valentine’s Day is also celebrated by single individuals. Often, people without a partner celebrate this special occasion by making cards for other friends they care for, such as their best friend, single parent, and co-worker among others.

Aside from romantic dinners and gifts, there also are larger campus events thrown by different organizations. This year, I have attended two events namely Valentine’s Coffee Hour and ISA (International Student Association) Valentine Ball – Winter Wonderland. Valentine’s Coffee Hour was a great success; ISA collaborated with OISS (Office for International Students and Scholars) to co-sponsor last week’s coffee hour. At the event, there were several activities such as making Valentine’s cards as well as having heart-shaped cookies. Attendees seem to be having a lot of fun participating in the different socials at that event.

ISA Valentine’s Ball – Winter Wonderland took place at the Marriott Hotel on Saturday, February 11, 2012. The tickets were sold out for the classy event, hosting about 500 domestic and international students. Students were also allowed to bring a special someone from outside the institution. The romantic ball started slowly with some jazz music followed by delicious appetizers. The attendees seemed to enjoy the food as well as the interaction with one another. The event picked up the beat when the DJ played more modern music. The dance floor was packed; everyone seemed to be content with the sequence of events.

Overall, Valentine’s Day could or could not be more of a romantic day depending on how one views it. It is always nice to attend nice events thrown by RSOs (Registered Student Organizations) or local businesses.

Mark Chung Kwan Fan is a first-year international graduate student from the island of Mauritius. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Student Affairs and Administration at MSU’s College of Education. His interests vary from Latin American culture to student affairs in the context of international education. Mark also serves as Orientation Intern at the Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS).

Photos Courtesy of Lu Cao from the International Student Association