Counselor offers insight to single’s depression on Valentine’s Day

by Associate News Editor Kaitlyn Davis

Cupid does not shoot everyone with his arrow of love on Valentine’s Day. The holiday can cause some to feel down.

Feelings of sadness around the holiday are an unnecessary stressor, said Student Counseling Services Mental Health Counselor Carmen Richter.

“We superimpose this on ourselves, and we put too much stock in the media and what the media says Valentine’s Day is,” Richter said.

Richter said she thinks students should focus on showing care for others instead of thinking about a date on Valentine’s Day.

“What I would love for students to do is love themselves every day and to love others around them, and they can make that their Valentine’s Day,” she said.

In the past year, Student Counseling Services has noticed an increase in students seeking help with stress and depression, Richter said.

“I think (the increase) was more of an influx of freshmen coming in and not having the stigma of mental health issues,” she said.

Students experiencing depression around holidays is common, she said.

“So many students are away from home, and they don’t have the support, so what’s happening is they’re having to reach out,” she said.

Richter said students can improve their mental health by getting enough exercise and sleep, eating healthier and practicing self-love and selflessness.

“Get out of yourself and do something for someone else,” she said.

Feelings of sadness are common during the winter months when people are not exposed to enough sunlight, do not exercise and are eating unhealthy foods, Richter said.

She said Student Counseling Services sees more freshmen and seniors than other students because they are in a transitioning period.

Richter said students coping with stress and depression in general or around holidays should work on loving themselves.

“Self-love isn’t something you achieve,” she said. “It’s something you do for yourself every day for the rest of your life.”

Sophomores Sabrina Samano and Emily Stricklin said they plan on throwing an anti-Valentine’s Day party for anyone who wants to come.

“We’re not really mad about Valentine’s Day, but it’s going to be funny,” Stricklin said.

Freshman Tyrone Yarbrough said he plans on celebrating the holiday with his mom and his friends.

“(Valentine’s Day) really doesn’t matter to me as long as I make people happy,” Yarbrough said. “So I don’t really find it depressing. I just find it another time to make a happy moment.”

Sophomore Michael Davis said he hopes to spend the holiday more romantically.

“Even if it’s just spending a little time with a girl I kind of know, I like to at least attempt to do something romantic on our nation’s day of love,” Davis said.