Spooky season is officially upon us and Halloween is just around the corner! For those of us on college campuses this time of year, Halloween is a calendar event anticipated by many and enjoyed by some. As talk of coordinating costumes and party hosting starts to buzz more and more across campus, I’ve been reminiscing about what the holiday used to be like for us kids. So here it is: a reimagining of the Halloween season, then vs. now.
Then: Planning your Halloween costume was half of the excitement for the month of October and maybe even the entire Fall. Whether you chose to buy a costume or made them from scratch, whittling down the list of options and finally seeing your costume in full the night of trick-or-treating was thrilling!
Now: Perhaps the light-heartedness of costume selection has been lost for all of us since college. The pressures of needing interesting, flattering, and clever costumes for not just one night, but multiple days and nights definitely takes some of the fun out of costume creation. Despite the added difficulties though, costume sizes still remain the same ;).
Then: “Trick-or-trunk” and “trick-or-treat-street” are the social events of the spooky season during childhood. Who you are going with, what you are wearing, and who else will be there is the talk of the school hallways for weeks leading up to the date. The fresh additions to regularly scheduled elementary programming are much too exciting to pass up, and everyone knows just how special these parties are.
Now: College Halloween is also an excuse to diverge from the routineness of the Wednesday/Weekend social schedule. Any reason to spice up an average night on St. Cathy’s with themed decor, drinks, and dress is a good reason! A Halloween party now might not be as revered as it would be when we were younger, but it still gets everyone hyped up for a good time.
Then: Childhood expectations are high; we know that the night promises chasing friends through the neighborhood from door to door and a pillowcase full of candy to bring home.
Now: College expectations are still high, though they might not be met as often as they once did. And instead of a mountain of candy, you only get a pair of muddy shoes, a sweat-soaked costume, and maybe a morning hangover to take home with you.
Then: You had your eyes on the prize during childhood Halloween: October 31st. There may have been some Halloween activities planned for other days, but every kid knows to keep their focus on the real deal during October. As a kid, it’s one night of fun, frights, and sugar-highs that leave you completely satisfied.
Now: In college, Halloween is (sometimes painfully) elongated. “Halloweekend” or even “Halloweek” if the 31st happens to unfortunately fall on a Wednesday at Bucknell, replaces the one night of candy and fun we remember as kids. The addition of two or three more days of scary festivities seems all the more enjoyable in theory, but after piecing together your fourth costume the holiday burnout gets real.