Plan Ahead this Valentine’s Day

By: Virginia Chambers | February 6, 2020 | Undergraduate Assistant



With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it can feel as though everyone is in love, with constant reminders of couples on Instagram sharing their affection for you to see. This might lead you to feel pressure to find a partner to get you through the holiday, or if you are in a relationship, you might feel pressure to make the most of this holiday for your partner. This year there’s no need to feel any obligations usually associated with this holiday because there are fun ways to make the most of your Valentine’s Day for any situation you find yourself in!


If you are not spending the day with a significant other, there is no need to panic. Valentine’s Day is a great holiday for loving, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be romantic love. Here are some ideas.


Hang out with your friends. Buy sweets or bake cookies with them. Hang out in your dorm and watch a cheesy rom-com (or an action movie, if rom-coms are too conventional or not your style).

Treat yourself. Grab a face mask, pore strips, your favorite pj’s, and whatever else makes you feel comfy to enjoy your night.

Chill with your family. If you have time in your busy schedule and are able, take a trip home for the weekend and let them treat you to dinner, or vice-versa. If you prefer to stay on campus, call or FaceTime with them. They’ll be happy to hear from you.


If you have a significant other, but you are not sexually active, Valentine’s Day plans may feel like the elephant in the room, with the looming conventionality that sex is a must. You might feel as though you have to have sex to make this holiday meaningful, but that’s not the case!


The good news- there are other ways to be romantic without being sexually active!


Visit an Atlanta staple that you haven’t visited before. Some ideas include (but are not limited to), the Georgia Aquariumthe Atlanta Botanical Gardenthe Atlanta Beltline, and Stone Mountain.

On a budget? Go hiking on one of Atlanta’s many trails, check out a free festival, or take a stroll in Piedmont Park.

Stay on campus. Attend an event on campus or visit a coffee shop. You can also stay in and enjoy a movie night with your partner.




However, if you do intend to have sex, being safe is the most important thing. Protect yourself by planning ahead.


Whether you are with a new sexual partner or a long-term partner, as always, be sure to ask for consent.


Make sure you know your partner’s history and be sure to get tested and treated. According to a study by the CDC, college-age students are the most at-risk population for contracting new sexually transmitted infections. Emory’s Student Health Services Department offers confidential HIV and STI testing by appointment. Our office also provides free monthly HIV testing on campus! Click here to find out more.


Always use a condom to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy. Remember, it doesn’t hurt to be safe rather than sorry, and taking precautions does not necessarily guarantee that no infections will be transmitted, so anyone who is sexually active should get tested. Stop by our office (AMUC 237) for complimentary supplies in our safer sex jars, such as external latex and latex-free condoms, internal condoms, dental dams, lubricant, and finger cots.


No matter what you have planned, remember to practice healthy habits and enjoy yourself this Valentine’s Day!