Alternative Valentine's Day gift ideas

    Since we go to school at what was once called the “ninth most dateable college in America,” students on campus are probably feeling a lot of pressure to find the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for that special someone. Luckily, we have compiled a practical guide for what to get all the different kinds of people in your life, from your bff who “isn’t looking for anything serious right now” to the couple you’re definitely getting a wedding invitation from within the next two years. This Valentine’s Day, treat yourself or someone else to a perfectly prescribed gift!

    For new beginnings

    Invisimatte Blotting Paper, $16

    If you need to fix your “first date, kind of nervous” forehead sweat, at least do it in style. Sephora’s description of this product is “Blotting paper is sexy, said no one ever – until now.” Rihanna has truly done the impossible and made blotting paper sexy, y’all.If you’re anything like my friend from high school who used paper towels from the bathroom instead of blotting papers, treat yourself this Valentine’s Day and upgrade to Fenty because we are grown now.

    Invisimatte Blotting Paper by Fenty Beauty. Photo By Sephora.

    For the friend who’s not looking for a relationship

    High-waisted shorts with detachable zipper cosmetics case, $97

    Is your friend tired of being left without makeup wipes the morning after a one night stand? Then these bad boys with a built-in case for self-care essentials are perfect for them! “Hey, remember that drop-down toiletry bag you used to pack for summer camp? What if we attached that to a pair of CREAM, CORDUROY shorts and priced it at $100? For the YOUTHS?” is definitely a conversation that went down at this clothing company. If you don’t want to give your hard-earned cash to this expensive Australian online boutique (who would?), you can achieve a similar effect with these more moderately priced fanny packs. These would also be pretty good for Dillo Day – if your friend is okay with stains on light fabric and looking like they’re carrying illegal goods.

    High-waisted shorts with detachable zipper cosmetics case. Photo By My Mum Made It.

    For your favorite dating app addict

    Modern Romance Crew Socks, $14

    Although these socks have “Read at 11:34 p.m.” written under the iPhone-esque message design, it always seems to be closer to 2:34 a.m., right? The dating app addict in your life will appreciate how Nordstrom managed to throw major shade at our generation with these comfy millennial pink socks.

    Modern Romance Crew Socks. Photo By Nordstrom.

    For the problematic boo in your life

    Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay, $12.99

    Picture this: You’re with Chad at his frat house on Valentine’s day. “I brought you something,” you whisper seductively. You bring a Victoria’s Secret bag out from behind your back and take out… AN EXTREMELY WOKE BOOK. That’s right. I firmly believe everyone should read at least one book a year, and a collection of feminist essays is all the better for a problematic bae.

    Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay. Photo by Amazon.

    For the couple who’s getting engaged first thing after graduation

    Customizable Wedding Scrapbook, $18.03

    Long-term lovebirds love announcing their dedication to each other on inanimate objects, from engraving their initials into the desks at Main to spray-painting proposals onto Lakefill rocks. Why not add a custom wedding scrapbook to prepare them for the ultimate dedication? You can even get them started with suggestions for their wedding theme! My personal favorites? “Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson,” “In this economy?” and “Northwestern-Branded Pantone Purple.”

    Customizable Wedding Scrapbook. Photo by Etsy.

    For the Long Distance couple

    Blossom Heart Letterpress Valentine Set, $10.50

    When I was little, I sent my friend a “shipwrecked” letter in a plastic bottle by mail, which was cute until her mom almost threw it out because she thought it was trash. The moral of the story is that snail mail can be really exciting – if it’s done right. I know some people’s handwriting hasn’t improved since the second grade, but just think how much more romantic words of affection will look like on paper instead of text message, especially for soulmates who live far away from each other!

    Blossom Heart Letterpress Valentine Set. Photo by Paper Source.

    For your fancy friend or lover

    Signature Heart Assortment from Burdick Chocolates, $52

    It’s me, I am your fancy friend or lover. The acclaimed L.A. Burdick Chocolates opened in Chicago in 2017, but one of their original locations is in Boston. That’s where I was born, which means I have practically been drinking their premium hot chocolate since birth. The Signature Heart Assortment is sold for $52, which I know is pricey, but listen – it’s Valentine’s Day. So bring a babe or a bestie this Thursday to sample luxurious treats at the Chicago location. Valentine’s Day is only once a year, and you’re worth it.


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