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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year: spooky season. It’s exciting that Halloween is approaching, however, the holiday season can also make you feel super isolated. You may miss the traditions you were once able to do with your friends and family back home, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create new memories and traditions here or bring the old traditions with you. I have five ideas on how to cope with being homesick this fall and have a great Halloween.  

  1. Decorate your dorm

Decorating your dorm can be a fun and inexpensive way to get into the holiday spirit. The dollar store, Walmart, and Target have so many Halloween decorations that would spice up your room and get you excited for Halloween. Maybe make a day trip out of it with your friends. You could find some adorable tiny pumpkins, spider webs, and orange and black fairy lights. You can even DIY your decorations if you are feeling crafty! Afterward, you could have lunch at a local café and grab a pumpkin spiced latte. 

  1. Watch your favorite movie or discover a new one

Arguably, the best part of Halloween is the scary movies that bring us nostalgia. If you have any free time in between cramming for midterms, take some time to watch your favorite Halloween-themed movies. Put on your comfy PJs and some fuzzy socks, pop some popcorn, and bundle under some blankets for a relaxing night of binge-watching. You can make it a social event by inviting friends and floormates to join you. A few of my favorite Halloween movies that I recommend include Edward Scissorhands, Monster House, Hocus Pocus, and Jennifer’s Body.  

  1. Dress up and go to a Halloween themed party

Halloween is the one night of the year when you can be anything you want! You could experiment with makeup and put together a super cute outfit. Dress up as a fairy, a ghost, or your favorite character and check out a costume party. It’ll be fun to dance amongst ghouls and goblins for the night.  

  1. Visit a haunted site

There are plenty of old buildings in the Normal and Bloomington area—some are even considered to be haunted, including Williams Hall. Go ghost hunting with friends and see if you can find anything scary. Just make sure to be safe. If you don’t want to mess with the supernatural world, you could check out Mindtrap Haunted Attraction in Bloomington!

  1.  Eat lots of Halloween candy

If you do nothing else this Halloween, at least pig out on candy. You can get a family-sized bag of candy for almost nothing! Maybe even make your roommate’s day and offer them some. Personally, I wouldn’t share my Starbursts and mini-Hershey bars.  

These are just some ideas that are easily accessible and relatively inexpensive for the broke college student. You don’t have to spend this fall trapped inside! You can do all these activities with friends or even by yourself. It can be hard to enjoy the holidays when hometown friends and family members aren’t here to celebrate them with you. Hopefully, these tips can help you formulate ideas on how to have fun this spooky season. Take a break from all your midterm exam cramming—you deserve it.

Isabel Crabtree

Illinois State '25

Hello everyone! I am a college freshman at Illinois State University. I love all things music, true crime, and cheesy romance. I write to inspire and share what I've learned. Instagram: Izzy_the_wizzy
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