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Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day or just having a day for yourself, we bet you want to make the most of this day. Single, taken, or it’s complicated, we at Spectrum have come up with 5 ways you can reclaim Feb. 14 as just Feb. 14!


If you’ve never listened to a podcast in your life, what have you been doing? An entire world of podcasts awaits! Podcasts are easily available and can be played while you’re sitting in your room surrounded by incense, soaking in the tub, or even with another person. If you’ve never listened to a podcast, what better time to start than now?

Spectrum recommends:

Modern Love: With a new episode  every Wednesday, this podcast hosted by Meghna Chakrabarti features weekly in the New York Times. Dealing with themes of love, loss, and redemption, this podcast is engaging, witty, and the perfect way to spend a chill February evening. The Shadows: This is a “sexier,” risqué podcast hosted by Kaitlin Prest about the anatomy of a relationship: a crush, a choice, a resentment, and an end. Check it out for some tears, laughter, and feel-goodness. 


What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than watching a rom-com? Here are some options from yours truly:

The Ugly Truth: starring Katherine Heigl, the queen of rom-coms herself, this movie is a classic story about a single woman in search of the “one” … with a twist. When Harry Met Sally: Can men and women ever be just friends without one falling in love with the other? Watch on to find out.  My Best Friend’s Wedding: Julia Roberts stars as a lovable anti-hero in this movie about a woman trying to sabotage her best friend’s wedding because she realizes she’s in love with the groom. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: If you haven’t watched this Netflix movie already, watch it now. All you need to know is two words: Peter Kavinsky

3. BUY

There is no greater feeling in the world than when you get deals on things you can’t otherwise. We’ve curated a list of all the best deals, from pedicures to chocolate, to bring you inner joy AND external happiness.

Ever wanted a good ol’ mani/pedi but figure it’s too expensive in the city? Here’s a secret: If you go before 4 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, you get a 15 percent student discount at Lilac Nail & Spa. And here’s another pro: it’s on 110th Street, so you can save on the commute! If it’s too cold to go shopping outside, why not shop from the comfort of your bed? Fashion Nova, SHEIN, and other online clothing stores currently have sales on their sites. Jeans for $15? We can’t believe it either. has great deals on Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Chloé and other perfume brands that are usually $$$. Check it out to find your signature scent! Food + online shopping = ? Godiva’s BUY ONE GET 50% OFF sale! Chocolate is always the answer, regardless of whether you’re having a night in or need chocolate for your boo. 

4. DO

Okay so, you’ve put on that killer outfit, your hair looks good, and you smell great. Now what? Well, since the weather forecast claims this week is going to be bearable temperature-wise, Spectrum suggests going out to the city. Here are some recommendations on how to spend Valentine’s Day out and about and feel great:

Take a cruise on the Hudson! There are a range of options from $ to $$$. If your boo is taking you out (or your parents happen to be in town) and an evening full of live jazz and cocktails entices you, a three-hour cruise down the Hudson may be for you! If not, the skyline is still breathtaking, so curate a playlist and sit in the park under Brooklyn Bridge and take in the view, solo or with someone else, you will not regret it.  Night at the Museum: The American Museum of Natural History celebrates Valentine’s Day by hosting an annual event called “Romance Under the Stars” in its Hayden Planetarium. If you’ve watched La La Land and want to have a night under the stars with your gals or significant other this is the event for you! Check out Times Square: Every year, there is a V-day-themed art competition that displays the winner’s art smack in the middle of Times Square. The winner for the 2019 Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition is Reddymade’s “X” art installation.  The lines of the letter “X” converge and cross paths, symbolic of people’s paths crossing at Times Square.


Tired of reading Foucault? Us too. Unwind this Valentine’s day by reading some quality poetry (and we don’t mean Shakespeare). Spectrum recommends:

The Princess Saves Herself In This One, Amanda Lovelace: Long gone are the days when Rupi Kaur dominated the poetry scene. Lovelace does an excellent job of capturing the resilience of romance and ultimately encourages readers to write their own endings.  The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran: The Prophet is a collection of 26 prose poetry fables by the Lebanese-American poet and writer Kahlil Gibran.  Love Looks Pretty On You, Lang Leav: Thai poet Lang Leav’s latest book is a powerful reflection on relationships with others, but most importantly, the relationship you have with yourself. 

Staff writer Naina Lavakare can be contacted at Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

Valentine's Day Columbia Barnard February Self-Care Love Reclaim
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