Quest for meaning

Meredith Compton

Many students say time together is more precious than Valentine’s Day gifts

Two Valentine’s Day gifts.

The first, a diamond ring sparkling in a small, velvet-lined box. Second, a hand-painted picture frame with a printed photo of two people, perhaps on a special date or hanging out at their favorite venue.

The dilemma: Which one is better?

When it comes to the question of quality time versus getting gifts, many students prefer spending time with someone to receiving a gift.

Christin Collins, junior biochemistry and pre-med major, said she thinks gifts cannot replace time spent with someone.

“I personally would rather spend time with someone than receive gifts from them in exchange,” she said. “Presents are fun, but laughing, joking, smiling, with friends, a boyfriend or family is so much better. That’s where you make those special kinds of memories you’ll never forget.”

Lauren Young, junior special education major, agreed.

“I’d rather spend only an hour with that person than to get a gift,” she said.

Even when asked about whether it depends on what sort of relationship you have with a person, students’ minds did not change.

“I don’t think it depends on the person,” Collins said. “If your parents don’t have a lot of money, but you know they did what they could to make you happy, or your college boyfriend is on a limited budget and bought you a single rose, anyone can give a cheap gift if they put their heart into it.”

Students also agreed that the amount of money spent on a gift doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s from the heart.

Veronica Pitts, junior justice studies major, thinks gifts are a reminder of how someone feels about another person.

“I feel that gifts and presents are just another way of saying that I am thinking about you and I care,” she said. “And the size or price doesn’t matter, just as long it is unique and something from the heart.”

Lauren Fenton, sophomore human development and family studies major, cited a specific example when she thinks of her favorite gifts.

“I got a picture in a frame of my sister and I from my sister this Christmas,” she said. “It probably didn’t cost a lot at all, but it was one of the best gifts I have ever gotten.”

For most students, spending time with the people they care about is more important than receiving gifts from them.

“I would definitely rather spend time with someone, rather then getting a gift,” Fenton said. “It is more meaningful than someone just handing you a present.”

Young agreed.

“If I had a choice between seeing my boyfriend or getting jewelry, I’d rather see him,” she said. “Jewelry will one day break or you’ll lose it, but the memories you share are priceless.”

Contact features reporter Meredith Compton at [email protected].