Illustration by Leona Novio/Nevada Sagebrush

Illustration by Leona Novio/Nevada Sagebrush

By Maddison Cervantes

Dinner. Dancing. Lake Tahoe. Spongebob Squarepants. For Valentine’s Day 2015, students throughout the University of Nevada, Reno are finding unique ways to celebrate their love for each other in all forms, whether they are in a relationship or thriving on their independence.

Senior couple Chandler Isaac and Pierson Souza are preparing for an artistic holiday. For Isaac, though, much of the planning remains a secret.

“It’s all a surprise!” Isaac said about Souza’s Valentine’s Day intentions. “I think he got us a hotel for the weekend, and I know we are painting pottery, so I’m excited.”

While secrets tend to ruin friendships, Isaac claims that they make for a pleased girlfriend.

Trips out of town are also the choice of long-distance couples such as sophomore Elise Lebenn and boyfriend Nick Dumke. The two have plans to meet halfway between Reno and Granite Bay, California for an afternoon in North Shore Lake Tahoe. Lebenn and Dumke enjoy the outdoors, and are looking forward to a bike ride and a hike down one of their favorite trails in the area.

“We’ll probably get Front Street Pizza for lunch, then head back to Reno for the night, see ‘50 Shades of Grey’ and have dinner,” Lebenn said.

After all, what would Valentine’s Day be without the latest love story in theaters?

While some are looking for a romantic getaway, sophomore Krista Plamondon is looking forward to a festive evening with boyfriend and freshman Stabler Young. The couple is planning a formal evening after enjoying Young’s fraternity dinner party.

“We usually just go to dinner, watch a movie and be kind of basic,” Plamondon said. “We normally don’t do much so I’m excited to get dressed up and have a fun night out.”

Some students prefer to disregard the romance and spend the holiday enjoying the company of their close friends.

For one group of roommates in Sterling Sierra, this means cuddling up on the couch with pastries from Starbucks and Spongebob Squarepants reruns.

“Why have a boyfriend when you have your best friends, free Starbs pastries and unlimited Spongebob episodes to stream from an illegal website?” said sophomore Katie Vierra.

Sophomore and Starbucks barista Brenna Dwyer plans to bring home multiple bags full of muffins and scones to roommates Vierra and sophomore Hannah Richmond this Saturday evening.

Vierra explained that because she has not found the right personality in a man, she would much rather spend the evening in the comfort of her camouflage pajamas.

Richmond also stated that after previous Valentine’s Day experiences, she prefers Vierra and Dwyer’s company to flowers and chocolate. As for Dwyer, she seconds Richmond’s anti-romantic opinion.

“I see myself with a tall handsome man in the future, but until then I’ll stick with Hannah and Katie,” Dwyer said.

Maddison Cervantes can be reached at and on Twitter @madcervantes.