By Katrina Liu

Happy Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re in a relationship or are planning on hanging out with some friends, you deserve to do something fun this weekend. 

The holiday lands on a Friday this year, and with Presidents’ Day on Monday, it also happens to be a long weekend. But let’s face it: Valentine’s Day is a day that many people dread. 

For single people, many find themselves in a puddle of sadness, longing for a significant other to spend the day with. For people in relationships, some get caught up in unnecessary stress at the idea of planning the “perfect” night. 

But to me, Valentine’s Day isn’t all about romance. Relationships can mean more than just being romantically involved with someone. They are simply connections with people, which is something that should be celebrated in the same way as romance. 

Of course it’s wonderful to share a romantic relationship with someone, but what we don’t really talk about on Valentine’s Day are relationships with friends, family, mentors or just with others around us.

I really believe that humans are born with the need to interact and connect with each other. Because of that, it’s important that we nurture the interactions we have with the people we see everyday. We need to learn from them, enjoy them and cherish them. 

There is an inevitable time limit to all relationships, so it’s our obligation to learn as much as we can while we can, as well as passing on that knowledge to others. In a way, humans are just messengers of knowledge. 

Personally, all the moments where I’ve felt most alive have been with others. Whether it’s sitting on a beach in Hawaii and watching the sunset with my family, seeing my favorite band with my best friend or walking the streets of Boston with my boyfriend at night, every moment I’ve felt the happiest and most free have been shared with people. 

To continue learning and experiencing the best (and worst) parts of life, we must put more time and effort into developing relationships with the people around us. It doesn’t matter if you’ve known someone for days or years. Development is constant. Sharing the ups and downs of life with others helps us grow and become better people. 

So, for this Valentine’s Day, whether you spend it with a special someone or not, think about how much the people in your life mean to you. The ones who mean the most will stay until the end and ultimately share moments with us we’ll be able to look back on fondly.