1. Pre K and Kindergarten
You don’t quite understand what everyone is getting excited about. At school you’re told to try to cut a heart out of construction paper and trace your hand on it so you comply. Your parent’s act so pleased when you pull that bad boy out of your backpack and hang it on the fridge.
2. First grade
Your mom wakes you up early to give you your Valentines day present: candy, a book and a sweet pink shirt with purple hearts. You put the shirt on immediately to wear to school and grab your box of message hearts to share with your friends on the bus.
3. Second grade
Although you get about 30 valentines, from everyone in your class, if we’re being honest here you threw out all the ones that didn’t contain stickers or lollypops.
4. Third grade
You have your first valentine, you know it’s real because he gave you heart shoelaces and wrote “U R COOL” on your valentine.
5. Fourth grade
You’re actually getting quite good at decorating shoe boxes for Valentines day. You decide to step it up this year by using modge podge to make a college of magazine clippings all over your box, it. looks. awesome.
6. Fifth grade
You forgot to remind your mom to take you to CVS so you go out on the 13th to find that the only valentine card options left are Bob the Builder and Care Bears. You decide that you can try to pull off being funny, grab Bob the Builder and convince you mom to get you extra Valentines candy on the way to the checkout.
7. Sixth grade
Your AIM boyfriend puts your initials in his profile and writes “my valentine” so you counter this with an away message containing lyrics from a love song and his initials.
8. Seventh grade
You convince yourself that you don’t care that you have no valentine while secretly hating the girls that are carrying teddy bears around.
9. Eight grade
You finally got Valentines day plans, a group date to the movies. You and your three girlfriends get dropped off at the movies and meet up with three guys from your class. You don’t actually talk directly to your crush but you do sit next to him and let him hold your hand.
10. Ninth grade
You get asked to the sweethearts school dance by someone you don’t even really like but say yes because it’s better than going alone.
11. Tenth grade
You walk through the hallway looking at all the decorated lockers and secretly hope yours is one of them.
12. Eleventh grade
Your AP Calculus teacher gives you no homework so you can celebrate Valentines day but you don’t actually have plans so you almost wish you had homework.
13. Twelfth grade
High school Valentines day isn’t about what you do for your valentine, it’s about what everyone else knows you did for your valentine. This means the parking lot will be filled with cars decorated with car paint, flowers and stuffed animals.
The four (ish) years of college are some of the most fun Valentines days. If you’re in a relationship, you most likely try to go out to dinner and realize you should have made reservations weeks ago. You decide that making a romantic dinner in your apartment is the best idea and ask your roommates to get lost for the night. If you’re single on Valentines day in college it’s not so sad anymore. You get together with a group of single friends and hit the bar to celebrate, maybe even wear some red or pink in the spirit of the holiday.
Post-grad Valentines day is not very eventful. You probably have to work so by time it’s five, you’re too exhausted to do anything great. If you have a sweetheart, you might grab some dinner exchange some simple gifts and then watch some Netflix. If you’re single, you’ll just watch some Netflix. This pretty much happens consistently until you have kids and then the cycle begins again, but this time you’re the one buying cartoon valentines.
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