Halloween as a Kid vs. A College Student

Halloween is by far one of my favorite holidays. It’s spooky, silly, fun and brings me back to my childhood. Some of my favorite memories were made running through the dimly-lit streets of my hometown with a pillowcase full of goodies attached to my back. Dressing up was always fun for me and trick-or-treating was even better. As a kid with a crazy sweet tooth, I’d be out way past my bedtime filling my pillowcase so much I could barely carry my weight. But Halloween is different for the average college student like myself. It's not the same as it was way back when.

First off, the costumes are way different. As kids, we’d buy just about everything for the costume - Halloween didn't come with the budget it does in college. As a kid, there were so many different costumes that I could be in the store forever. As a college student with a very limited budget wearing all black and bunny ears is considered a costume. And honestly, no one really takes Halloween costumes as seriously as kids do.

So the question: “What are you for Halloween?” is taken a lot more seriously as a kid. But even college students struggle deciding what to be. And it’s even tougher because in college Halloween is celebrated multiple nights. Kids have one costume and a college student could have anywhere up to 4. That’s a lot for someone on a budget. And of course in college it's not the goal, essentially to look "cute" or have the best costume. And if you dress scary as a college student, you might get asked the same question as Cady did in Mean Girls.

Also, there’s a lot less stress in college to do the Halloween activities. I remember it was the thing for kids to go to haunted houses or forests of fear. But in college, most people celebrate by partying. And that’s the difference. There’s a lot less concern to celebrate the holiday. It just depends on what kind of celebration you’re looking for.

But overall, Halloween is just not the same as a college student. It’s fun in college because Halloween is another excuse to rage, to enjoy the good scares you were too scared to face as a kid. But I miss Halloween - the real Halloween. The late-night trick-or-treating nights. The DIY Halloween snacks I’d make. The stress and excitement of picking costumes as a kid. The candy trading and late nights watching Halloweentown. I miss it, I really do.

So sometimes there’s no shame in celebrating Halloween a little extra in college - buying a bag of “trick-or-treating” candy, going to haunted mansions, even if they’re haunted mansion parties. Of course it won’t be the same as it is as a kid, but Halloween can still be celebrated in college. In so many different ways.