With chocolates, pick-up lines and balloons abundant, the age-old Valentine’s Day traditions show the multiple meanings that love takes on, right here at Macleans College.

Relationships. Yes, the same thing that blossoms from shared classes, extra-curricular activities, and the many hours put towards academics or studying for exams also becomes a cause for celebration. At its core, our relationships with others extend beyond the confines of school and these relationships will profoundly impact our lives, ranging from platonic banter to flirtatious first loves. 

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Valentine’s Day becomes a reason to celebrate those that we love and care for. It serves as a reminder to cherish and appreciate the people that we connect with—the ones who become lifelong confidants and those that we may sometimes forget. 

It is also a cue to pay attention to self-love and empowerment, one where appreciation should be valued (hence, the pick-up lines on the locker doors). 

Modern expressions of love and appreciation can be seen through Instagram stories, heartfelt texts, or expressions of love under 280 characters. Nonetheless, something much deeper lies beyond the emojis, heart-shaped notes and flowers. 

Because above all else, Valentine’s Day here at Macleans is about giving back. Rutherford’s annual roses tradition is not just about embarrassing a friend with a serenade, nor is it a scheme to get back at the peer support and prefects. It is about altruism, empathy and service to the community. 

With that said Rutherford sold an astounding 793 roses in total (including single roses, serenades and bouquets) and managed to raise over $1,500. 

All proceeds continue to go to Rutherford’s house charity; Hato Hone St. John, which works to provide ambulance services throughout New Zealand. The sizable donation goes towards training paramedics, paying for ambulances, essential life-saving equipment and first aid training programs. 

As tokens of affection are exchanged every year, it is important to remember that beyond the superficial expressions of love lies the importance of giving back.

28th February, 2024
Written by Amelia Hu, edited by Aaron Huang
Photography by Emma Li

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