Whether they are in long-distance relationships or they see their significant other on a daily basis, students are choosing to spend Valentine’s Day in different ways this year.
Molly Ham, a junior career and technical education major, plans to celebrate Valentine’s Day this weekend when she goes home to Mt. Sterling to see her long-distance boyfriend, Joel Stinson.
“Joel and I have been together for two and a half years, and every year, we usually celebrate Valentine’s Day by going out to dinner and seeing a movie,” Ham said. “This year, we are going to celebrate this weekend by going out to dinner and just spending quality time together.”
Ham said despite being far from each other, she and Stinson have been able to make their relationship work since she came to Eastern last semester.
“We usually FaceTime and call each other every day,” Ham said. “The hardest part for both of us is finding the time to make the three-hour drive to see each other.”
Taylor Black, a junior health promotion major, said despite her long-distance relationship, she and her boyfriend, Carl Berry, see each other at least three times a week.
“Carl and I have only dated for four months, but in that time we have spent a lot of time together,” Black said. “He drives the hour and a half trip here to see me multiple times a week, and usually is here more than he is at home.”
Berry is coming to Eastern to visit Black on Valentine’s Day.
“We plan to go out for a romantic dinner and then probably come back to my place and just relax,” Black said. “It will be nice to spend more time together.”
For one couple, this year will be their first time spending Valentine’s Day in the United States.
Cholong Choi, a freshman pre-engineering major, and her boyfriend of three months, Sung Kwan Park, a senior political science major, are both from South Korea.
“In Korea, Valentine’s Day is somewhat different than what it is here in the United States,” Choi said.
“The girls give guys gifts in Korea, whereas over here in the United States, it is most common for the guys to give their girlfriends gifts.”
Choi and Park want to commemorate the holiday in a more simple fashion.
“We plan to just have dinner in the Union together,” Park said. “Then, we are going to come back and have a ‘Friends’ marathon.”
Park said Choi is not a fan of chocolate, so he decided on buying her a different type of gift, such as roses.
Ryan Dovgin, a junior biological sciences major and his girlfriend, Theresa Mega, who attends the University of Arizona in Tucson, already spent time together this past weekend when they both returned to Chicago.
“Theresa and I have been together for a year, and last year we did not have the opportunity to spend Valentine’s Day together,” Dovgin said. “This year, we both chose to come home last weekend and we went out to dinner, and I gave her a gift.”
Jake Spinnato and his girlfriend, Jessie Wasserman, both junior psychology majors, are going to go out to dinner Friday evening when they both are out of class, and spend the rest of the weekend together.
“It would be pretty hectic to celebrate it on Wednesday just because of the fact that we are both so swamped with classes,” Spinnato said.
Spinnato and Wasserman met each other last semester at Eastern and have been dating for five months.
“I am so glad that I was able to meet Jake,” Wasserman said. “It is nice being in a relationship with someone who actually goes to the same school as me and lives in the same place.”
Like Wasserman, Katie Bratkovich, a junior history major, is looking forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day this weekend with her boyfriend, Hunter Bowie.
“Hunter and I have been together for two years, and it is hard now because he lives two and a half hours away,” Bratkovich said. “Most of the time we are on opposite schedules, so we usually are able to speak on the phone late at night.”
Bratkovich said most of her dates with Bowie are simple.
“We will probably get some Chinese takeout, go hot-tubbing and watch ‘Star Wars,’” Bratkovich said. “We do not like to have any of our dates over-the-top.”
Andrew Paisley can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]