Like most college campuses, Montclair State University has given many students the opportunity to meet that special someone while giving them the space to foster those relationships. With Valentine’s Day upon us, couples share their love stories and plans for the holiday.
Family science and human development major Monica Seidle and information technology major Alon Height met while living in Bohn Hall on campus during their freshman year, despite going to the same high school. The juniors appreciate having one another to navigate their college experiences.
“We spend a lot of time together and get to study together and help each other through a lot of things,” Seidle said. “We get to go out together, stay in together if we just want to watch movies, and be there right away whenever one of us needs each other.”
The two plan to spend Valentine’s Day exchanging gifts and having dinner close to campus.
“My favorite thing about her is that she is always there for other people,” Height said. “If she sees that one of her friends is stressing, she always takes the time out of her day to help others.”
Seniors Samantha Soto and Ari Lopez Wei met through a mutual friend after Lopez Wei saw Soto in a Snapchat story during the summer of 2017 and commented. Lopez Wei, a journalism major, was shocked to get a message from an unknown number a few days after. According to the couple, the rest was history.
“My favorite thing about her though is how encouraging she is,” Lopez Wei said. “She believes in me and is always pushing me to follow my passions.”
Despite going to the same university, the two don’t spent a lot of time together while on campus. As a marketing major, Soto typically finds herself on a different schedule than Lopez Wei during the semester.
“I go to the Feliciano business school for all of my classes and Ari stays near the School of Communication,” Soto said. “We only really see each other when we’re going home or for the occasional meal at school. I like the idea that we’re both doing our own thing, focusing on school and yet close at the same time.”
Though the couple’s Valentine’s Day plans are a surprise due to their packed Thursday schedules, they plan on celebrating a little after the holiday.
“If I see him [on the 14th], we may just get heart-shaped chocolate wasted,” Soto said.
Class of 2018 alumni Trevor Cardone and senior family science and human development major Lauren Kaiser have Montclair State to thank for their meeting, as they lived across the hall from one another in Hawk Crossings on campus.
“He lived across the hallway from me in Hawks,” Kaiser said. “Our roommates became friends and introduced us to each other.”
Living on campus allowed the two to spend a lot of time in the Montclair area, including their go-to date spot, Fujiya Ramen.
“Being so close to each other allowed us to hang out a lot and really get to know everything about one another,” Cardone said. “I feel like if we lived farther away, we wouldn’t have hung out as often and it would have created less of a bond between us.”
The couple plans to keep it low-key with a nice dinner this Valentine’s Day.
Sophomore sustainability science major Lauren Willett and senior television & digital media major Aiden Wehrle met working at the Student Recreation Center on campus. The two love going on coffee dates at The Fine Grind in Little Falls and will spend Valentine’s Day enjoying Ethiopian food at Mesob in Montclair.
When asked what their trick was to a successful relationship in college, Wehrle noted that it is a rather simple recipe.
“Listening and communicating,” Wehrle said.” Sounds cliche, but not enough couples do that.”
Willett added that going to the same university has simplified their relationship.
“Campus rec has been the main contributor to our relationship,” Willett said. “We work together and enjoy being able to relate and experience things through the department.”
Willett expressed how easy the relationship is with the help of living on campus.
“Also living on campus makes everything in our relationship easier,” Willett said. “We’re always within a certain proximity of one another, and it makes our schedules more flexible.”
Class of 2018 alumnus Ricky Mitra and senior family science and human development major Aly Smith are two years strong. The two met through Greek Life here at Montclair State and are glad to have been at the same college at the same time.
“I’m so thankful I met Ricky through Montclair [State],” Smith said. “He’s made my college experience so memorable.”
The couple’s Valentine’s day plans are a surprise, but they enjoy going to Cuban Pete’s right in town.
“Attending college with Aly was fun,” Mitra said. “Being able to share a group of friends and always sharing experiences together made it that much more meaningful.”
Seniors Rachel Wilkins and Kenneth Dwyer have been dating since high school and have been together for six years. While high school band brought them together, their time at Montclair State has been a good way to stay connected.
“It’s great that we ended up at the same university,” Wilkins said. “We didn’t plan to go to the same place like some high school couples do, it just worked out that way because of the programs we were pursuing, but I’m glad we ended up at the same university.”
Dwyer, a film major, is happy to have had the opportunity to share the college experience with Wilkins, a women, sexuality, and gender studies major.
“We got to experience college together, had some classes together and made friends together,” Dywer said. “It was easier for us to share moments and experiences because we were so close.”
The couple plans to spend the night off campus with a stay-cation in a hotel.
Whether it’s a night out on the town, staying in or spending the night somewhere romantic, Montclair State is feeling the love this Valentine’s Day.