Michelle Mardis

Seven fun, creative ways to spend Valentine’s Day

By Michelle Mardis

Valentine’s Day is about celebrating your loved ones. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a significant other on Valentine’s Day to have fun. Here are some ways that you can have fun while single or in a relationship on Valentine’s Day.

  1. The Five Dollar Date

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Take your friends to the dollar store. Everyone gets to pick out five things, and when you’re done, you make a date out of it! This can be a fun time to create memories with your friends without having to overthink about impressing someone. A piece of your personality will show with this fun idea for you and your friends.

If you are in a relationship, take this time to get to know the other person. Trust me, you can learn a lot of things about a person based on what they choose. It may seem surprising, but it’s a fun and quirky way to get to know a person.

2.The Build-A-Bear Date


Photo courtesy of Facebook

Make a bear with your friends! You can even personalize it by adding a voice, heartbeat and/or a scent. You and your friends will feel like you are reliving childhood with your new furry friend! There are so many options to choose from, and this will make lasting memories.

In a relationship and want a personalized date? Look no further; this date idea will allow you to get to know how well your personalities match. Are you looking for someone who wants to do quirky dates with you or someone more serious? This date will show what side your significant other is on.

3.The Typical Dinner and a Movie Date


Photo courtesy of Facebook

Have you and your friends been dying to see that new movie that just came out? Make it a group outing with a nice dinner on the side. There is no harm in going to dinner and a movie with some good friends.

In a relationship? I highly recommend avoiding this date as a first one. Half of the date will lack getting to know one another since you will be sitting in a quiet theater. Maybe use this as a second or third date if things went well on the first.

4..The Roller Skating Date


Photo courtesy of Facebook

You and your friends will laugh together when one of you falls (which is bound to happen). This is a fun way to create memories with your friends that will last a lifetime. It’s not only inexpensive but fun as well. Most places give you two hours of open skate per session.

Get to know your significant other by watching each other fail to skate or skate to impress. You will be able to really get to know each other through skating. This is a chance to be vulnerable around your significant other. By trying something new, you are showing an adventurous side.

5. The Bowling Date

Are you the competitive type? If so, this is the time for you to shine. Having your friends join you for some competitive fun can be both exhausting and a great time. Create funny names on the computer that will show your score and just lay back and have fun.


Photo courtesy of Facebook

In a relationship and looking for something both active and fun to do? Bowling is one of the best dates for those active couples. It’s a nice time to talk and spend time together without many distractions. Many bowling places also have laser tag so you would be getting a two in one date.

6. The Disney/Brand Themed Date


Photo courtesy of Facebook

You can replace Disney with anything you’d like. This is kind of like the dollar store date except you will have a specific theme to it. Go to Party City and have all of your friends pitch in for a few things related to your theme and throw a party. Have each person in your friend group invite one to two people and enjoy Valentine’s Day with friends.

As for a date, find something that you are both passionate about and create a night out of it. Head over to party city and pick out some themed items, such as a Disney tablecloth, and make a sweet date out of it. For example, you could use the Disney tablecloth to set up a romantic dinner or decorate your room. There are so many possibilities for this date.

7. The Stay-at-Home Date


Photo courtesy of Facebook

Invite your friends over and enjoy a night of movies, popcorn, and fun. You can play games just like you did when you were younger. It is a great way to reconnect with old friends.

Do you not have a lot of money to go out? If this is the case, stay in and cuddle up with your loved one. You can enjoy a candle-lit dinner or even watch a movie together.

Valentine’s Day is about appreciating the loved ones in your life. We can turn Valentine’s Day into a day to remember by picking the right people to spend it with. That right person does not have to be a significant other. I hope everyone has a happy and fun Valentine’s Day!

CCM parking lots ranked from the bottom to the top

By: Michelle Mardis

“Hey, are you leaving? Can I take your spot?” This is a common statement made by County College of Morris students. Now, you might be wondering, how are we going to rank this? Well, It’s based on convenience, location, and availability. We won’t even go into Lot 10. I personally don’t even count it as a lot. Lot 10 is the Public Safety lot and really isn’t used for students to park throughout the day.

  1. Lot Eight

Photos by: Brian Schnell

As a student, you can’t park there. It’s just there to taunt your soul as you struggle to find parking. As professors casually stroll in at any time of the day, you are having close call accidents in Lot Seven. Parking is hard for us students.

  1. Lot Five


Yes, you can park here but after 5 p.m. By that time, you aren’t even struggling to find a spot anymore! It’s as simple as that. It’s not even that convenient. It’s in the middle of nowhere, basically. You have to walk to get to the academic buildings. The only place this it’s convenient for is Henderson Hall, and who goes there other than administration and one or two classes?

  1. Lot One

This lot, situated below “Cardiac Attack Hill,”


is meant for those special individuals who enjoy running out of breath or simply don’t mind hills as a whole. They park here and never break a sweat. I applaud them immensely. I am in no way, shape, or form ready to take on that hill. I avoid it at all costs.

  1. Lot Two


You think you’re going a shorter distance compared to Lot One, but you’re actually going up the same dang hill. Think about it for a moment and time yourself, if you dare to do so. This requires actually parking in Lots One and Two for experimental purposes.

  1. Lot Three

    Steps, steps, and more steps.


If you enjoy trudging up flights of steps and then back down at the end of the day, this is surely the lot for you! Not for me, but for you! Enjoy those steps; that’s all I have to say.




4.Lot Four

You still did not hit the jackpot by parking here.


You avoided a flight of stairs. That’s impressive, but you still have ways to go. Best of luck to you.


3. Lot Nine


    Yes, it’s a walk, but there are no hills.

9It’s a perfectly relaxing walk to your designated destination. How nice is that? As long as you aren’t late for class, I highly recommend this lot.

  1. Lot Seven

This lot is hard to get a spot in at certain parts of the day; if you’re lucky, you will find someone who is leaving and take their spot. It’s all about timing.


My recommendation is to arrive when classes are just getting out. You will always find someone leaving in this case.

  1. Lot Six

    If you get a spot in this lot at any point in the day, you have hit the jackpot. Right in front of the Student Community Center, it is a perfect location that leads you directly to where you need to be!


It is very rare to get a decent spot but Lot Six is the absolute best location across campus. If you see a spot there, go get it. Don’t waste any time because some people will disregard the one-way signs just to get that spot. Follow the rules, but get there as quickly as you can.

You may or may not agree with what order these are in, but you have to agree with at least one thing on this list. “Are you leaving?” is necessary, but it is annoying if you are on the receiving end of the question. We all do it, but at the end of the day, do you fight for a spot or park far away? Each lot has its positives and negatives. It’s up to each individual to decide; which lot will it be?