Minus the City: A Very Gate Valentine’s

Kate Hinsche, Commentary Editor

Hi, dolls. I’m back. I know you’ve missed me, and I get it, the sex and relationships column just isn’t as sexy without me. I wanted to wait to make my comeback until the big V-Day, though, because I’m one for a little drama and spectacle once in a while. I’m also feeling like a bit of an expert on Valentine’s Day at Colgate, considering I’m going for round three. While I tried to figure out exactly what to say in this article, it dawned on me that February 14 at Colgate does not resemble any of the traditional nonsense sold to us by Hallmark, rom-coms and the lingerie and chocolate industries.

Sure, maybe you’re of the rare, elite breed of Colgate students that has managed to lock-down and maintain a long-term relationship. Maybe, if you’re one of those people, you’re doing the typical romantic dinner, wine, roses and hotel room for the night. Maybe. From my very limited observations of the greater cuffed student body, not even people in committed relationships are necessarily partaking in the version of Valentine’s Day we’ve been conditioned to view as properly romantic.

This is not because students don’t appreciate romance; I actually think we’re all saps at heart. There is, however, one, major, extenuating circumstance inhibiting this ideal on love’s holiday, and that is Colgate. Already, I’ve talked to two friends who won’t get to spend Valentine’s Day with their boyfriends because someone in the relationship has a major test or paper due the following day. Assignment and exam deadlines aside, there is also a full day of classes on the 14th and the 15th, with meetings, office hours and brown bags carrying on without a second thought. I’m not saying that work should be put on hold for Valentine’s Day; I just want to point out the reality students are facing in trying to dedicate time to their special someone. There’s something, I don’t know, less elegant about romance with such a strict time constraint.

There’s another facet to Colgate’s for your best romantic intentions, and that is the Valentine’s Day social set up. We are a student collective notorious for relentless partying; getting someone to stay in for a night requires either a recently opened Word Doc that needs 10,000 words by 8 a.m. or a coma-inducing plague virus. Naturally, we keep up the charade on Valentine’s Day, with an onslaught of date parties, crushes and bad decisions that take the form of a visit to the Jug. This means that many couples wind up wining without the prerequisite dining. This is not necessarily bad, but it’s not your grandmother’s Valentine’s Day.

It’s important to note that people our age, not just at Colgate, but around the country and the world, court in a wildly different way than any previous generation. We’ve upended the accepted norms around dating, sex and relationships, so it makes sense that the holiday to celebrate these will look much different for us than our parents and grandparents. We can take a whack Colgate V-Day in graceful strides and redefine a commercialized holiday for what we want and need this year. Whether you have a S.O. or not, give yourself and those around you a break and room to breathe. Chill out. Eat some chocolate. Keep it fresh, keep it fun and, most importantly, keep it sexy.

Contact Kate Hinsche at [email protected]