Surviving Valentines’ day as a student abroad

Hey ASA fam

Since it’s almost Valentines Day (Vday), I thought I would write to all those students who are nervous about the fact that you may not have someone to celebrate Vday with you.Β Depending on which part of the world you find yourself in, Valentines Day might be a bigger deal compared to others. South Africa definitely takes Vday seriously: In my matric class, girls would be delivered roses , chocolates and teddy bears. And later at university, there was all sorts of Vday bashes and dinners being organised. But Kinshasa is worst…lol!

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As a self-confessed hopeless romantic, you can imagine that not being able to have someone/celebrate Vday was torture for most of my 20s. I had even convinced myself that I would be able to know that someone is “the one”if he showed up at Valentines’Day and we were able to celebrate it together…. Looking back, I can safely say to the old me “Babes, take a chill pill, sit down and chillax…It’s not that serious”. Here’s why:

Be gentle on yourself

Don’t force yourself into a lifeless/emotionless robot…It is okay to wish celebrating the day with someone, perfectly normal to miss an ex especially freshly out of a relationship. Or even secretly hope that your crush might reciprocate your feelings and come clean on Vday. Those thoughts have crossed us a lot more than we would ever like to admit it…Don’t beat yourself up for feeling this way, you’re not a weak: just human… πŸ™‚

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It is truly just a day (mainly driven by a BIG commercial agenda)

Most of the couples I know, actually do not celebrate valentines day. Even though it took much convincing from the guy’s side (most of the time), this decision ended up being a mutual one between both. Their reason makes loads of sense… they do like/love each other and do not need to display their love/like for each other on a day with a big commercial agenda. Each to their own I guess πŸ™‚

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Get over it, it is all in your own head

There is nothing wrong with you, millions other people will be celebrating Vday alone and/or simply not celebrating.Β Confession time: I have actually never celebrated Valentines day (well sort of). I was either in long distance relationship with a shoe string budget which did not allow for any fancy romantic getaways (a few years ago, a long phone call was the best you could hope for) and/or out of a relationship by the time Vday came around. I survived with no bruises/broken bones,etc. So have millions others and so will you πŸ™‚

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Choose something to do

There will be loads of events being organised either in favor of and/or against Vday. A few ideas:

  • Evening of pampering yourself indoors with a great movie/bookgiphy (3)
  • A Singles Vday event, or anti-valentine party (these are usually so much fun)
  • Girls/Boys’ evening hanging out
  • Work on your tutorial/project due

Studying/Work has always been my (almost) perfect escape/response to anything. If unsure what to do, decide to work on that tutorial and/or project due that evening. Go to the library and/or the lab before you know the evening will be done and tomorrow will be back to normal :).


I hope you enjoyed reading this post and happy valentines day to all readers who will be celebratings!


P.S: All the gifs were taken from www.giphy.com


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