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Celebrating Halloween as a 21 Year Old is Weird.

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CUA chapter.

This Halloween felt different. Sure, it hasn’t felt like the typical, nostalgic, trick-or-treating type of Halloween in over a decade, but this Halloween felt strange to celebrate. I am currently a senior in college which puts me at the age of 21. While this is by no means old, celebrating holidays now feels like a strange type of magic, not one I’m used to. 

Halloween at 21 years old is flooded with figuring out your plans each night of the week and weekend before the holiday. I had nights with my friends planned down to the minute. Halloween at 21 is filled with matching costumes formulated months in advance. I felt pressure to plan my costumes for this year since last Halloween finished, and while I know I place most of that pressure on myself, it’s real nonetheless. Halloween at 21 is surrounded with juggling fun with school and holidays with life. 

This age of being an adult, but not feeling like an adult, is difficult to navigate normally. There is no trick-or-treating at this stage. I’m no longer going door to door in a witch hat begging for candy, and I am too young to live in a neighborhood where I could hand out candy to little princesses and firefighters. I am at an in-between age for a lot of things it feels like, and Halloween candy has had a much bigger impact on me than I had expected this year. 

I have always loved celebrating holidays. After Christmas (which I believe deserves a full two months of celebration), Halloween is a close second favorite of mine. I love the fall weather, the changing leaves, the spooky decorations, and the horror movie marathons. I do, however, think enjoying and basking in the season of a holiday itself is much more fulfilling than the actual day itself now. October 31st is overhyped for me now. This year, for the first year ever, I did not celebrate Halloween on Halloween.

This year, I had to take a comprehensive exam for my major in order to graduate. This exam took up most of my energy for the weeks leading up to it. Scheduled for November 3rd, I studied all day long for most of the days in October. When the actual day (and night) of Halloween rolled around, I sat in my school’s library reading and studying for hours on end in order to feel prepared.  I honestly forgot it was Halloween because I had been celebrating the season for a month prior; I had already gotten my fill of Halloween fun. 

The day of Halloween may have lost its luster for me this year, but I am in a very specific time in my life. I am in my last year of college in my college apartment. I was able to spend numerous nights out in the city with my friends the weekend before the 31st. I was able to enjoy my time as a student, with no huge responsibilities (minus passing the exam mentioned above). This is an in between time for trick-or-treating, and I am learning to be okay with it. So, while I enjoyed this season of Halloween much more than the actual day this year, I am grateful for where I am and the October I had. Celebrating holidays is changing, but I am thrilled to see what the season of Christmas at the age of 21 has in store for me. 

Ryn is a sophomore English and Media and Communication Studies double major at The Catholic University of America.