Terry Dogbey looks over at his girlfriend with his arm draped over her shoulders, brown eyes shining under the lights of the Robert. C. Gillett Student Commons.
“I’m thinking of taking her to the Rideau Canal, then dinner,” says Dogbey, 19, a first year business marketing student. “I don’t know which order yet though.”
He and first year pre-health student Michelle Terveld, 18, met through a friend on the first day of classes at Algonquin, but didn’t become romantically involved until December.
Dogbey says he usually does something depending on what the girl would like. In this case, the choice is ice skating, despite the fact that Terveld claims she cannot skate. Dogbey knows that it would be a lot of fun and that they would both enjoy it; however, when in doubt he explains he would take his girl to dinner.
For her part, family is a part of the celebration of love.
“My mum sets the table up with Valentine’s Day stuff,” Terveld says. “The table is full of Valentine’s Day themed napkins and decorations.”
That reflects an acceptance that while most people who celebrate Valentine’s Day do it with chocolate or a dinner, traditions don’t always need to be romantic.
“I noticed that everyone was doing something so I wanted to do something for myself.” Puneet Bhandal, 19, a first year respiratory therapy student, says. For her, that means heading to Starbucks or Tim Hortons to buy something Valentine’s Day-themed.
“I got a heart-shaped sugar cookie from Starbucks,” Bhandal says. “I didn’t realize it was a tradition until now.”