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Halloween At AU: Expectations vs. Reality

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at American chapter.

When you were a child, Halloween was that time of year when you dressed up in a gaudy costume from Party City, walked around the neighborhood and begged strangers for free candy. You might’ve thought that you would outgrow the excitement of Halloween once you grew up. But now that you’re in college, you’re probably just as pumped for the holiday as you were as a child, maybe even more so. You’ve heard so many fun stories of Halloween parties in college, and have probably spent times procrastinating creating on Pinterest looking up college Halloween costumes.

However, like everything in life, reality doesn’t usually match up exactly to our expectations. While Halloween in college can be a fun opportunity to let loose and have fun dressing up, it might not be the over-the-top party that you might expect it to be. 

Expectation: You and your friends with all wear the perfect matching costumes, completely Pinterest-worthy. You will be a force to be reckoned with. #SquadGoals

Reality: Let’s be honest with ourselves. You’re a college student. You probably don’t have the money or the time to put together an elaborate Taylor Swift “Bad Blood: music video costume ensemble or whatever other extravagant group costumes you have found on Pinterest. You’ll probably find yourself rooting through your closet the day of Halloween, trying to find anything that might somewhat resemble a costume. You give up and just tape something on the front of your shirt.

Expectation: Your week is going to be one big party. You’re going to turn up harder than they did in the Great Gatsby.

Reality: You’ll probabaly end up at some frat party, secretly wishing you could go home and watch Netflix

Expectation: Suddenly, all of your worries will disappear for a week. You’re going to party all weekend long. Who cares about homework and tests? It’s Halloween!

Reality: Professors aren’t suddenly going to stop assigning work just because it’s Halloween. Although you’ll probably get to go out one or two nights during the weekend, you might end up spending more time in Club Lib than you hoped to.

Expectation: When you first decided to come to college in Washington, D.C., one of the perks they probably told you about was that you could go trick-or-treating on Embassy Row. You’re going to get so much foreign candy! It’ll be so cool.

Reality: While it’ll be super cool getting to visit the different embassies (some will even let you tour the inside!), don’t expect to collect a bag full of foreign candy. Many embassies either won’t participate, or won’t give out any candy. The embassies that do give out candy will most likely only give a small piece of candy, such as a gumball. Last year when I went, one foreign embassy literally gave out miniature pieces of Hershey candies.

Even if Halloween isn’t as extravagant or perfect as you might’ve planned, we still hope you have a fun weekend!


Photo Credits: 1, 2, 34, 5, 6, 789

Lauren is currently a Junior at American University and is pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a Finance specialization. As a previous communications student, Lauren is a long-time writer for Her Campus. She believes every student, no matter what major, can benefit from learning about business and finance. Her goal is to share some of the information she has learned as a business student to empower other young people to prepare for financial success. Lauren writes articles focused mainly on personal finance, business and career prep.