A Freshman’s Tale: My First Halloween in Athens

 

October has always been my favorite time of the year. The changing leaves, the crisp
autumn air, the hayrides and the pumpkin picking have always left me feeling cozy and
comfortable. One evening, in the midst of all the seasonal merriment, I received a phone
call from my best friend back home.
 
“Hey, Erica,” she said anxiously. “Is it still okay if I come for Halloween?”
 
Ever since I was accepted to Ohio University, we’d been planning for her to visit during
Halloween. And now that our dream was a reality, I couldn’t wait to introduce her to my
new dorm, my new friends and my new life.
 
The night before Halloween, Meghan arrived in her navy-blue clunker after a 12-hour
trek from New Jersey. She brought trays of baked ziti my mother had prepared, along
with a card reading: “be careful!”
 
Halloween was sure to give her a warm welcome.
 
I woke up on the morning of the Block Party with a sense of nervous excitement. We
spent the whole day primping and finalizing our costume concepts on Pinterest. You
could smell our high expectations more than our potent body sprays. Finally, the clock
struck 10 p.m., and our brigade set out for Court Street.
 
I introduced my best friend to my entire posse: A lumberjack, a lumberjill, Captain
America, Peacock and Snooki. As our heels clicked and clacked in tandem on the
cobblestone, we stumbled across DaveRave, a giant dance party that extended for blocks
and blocks. In the frigid October air, we jived to the dub step until our feet got tired and
we decided to just observe the crowd for a second…
 
It was hard not to notice the abundance of men on stilts, life-size bananas, seductive
cats and “binders full of women.” It seemed as though every crevice of the campus was
teeming with masqueraded students running from one house to another (to another, and
another and another…)
 
Next was Mill Street, where the parties were in full swing all day. Our first stop was a
party at a friend of a friend’s house who had a full-blown dance floor in the middle of his
living room. Neon lights flashed as bodies swiveled to the pulsing beat of the bass line.
However, within minutes of entering, the party was busted.
 
Disappointed, but still eager as hell, my friends and I tried another friend of a friend’s
party that was “The Great Pumpkin” themed. Much to our dismay, there was not one
pumpkin on the premises, just a group of eccentrically decorated Fine Arts majors. In
between the Banksy banter and the jar-garitas, a vision of red and blue flashing lights
alerted us that our time was up. Another party busted.
 
But the authorities would not deter us from an adventurous evening! We were absolutely
determined to have as much fun as possible, even if it meant walking all the way to North
Lancaster Street!
 
So we walked to North Lancaster Street.
All the way up the winding road and the steep rugged hill.
And what did we find?
A party that was ending–the final shots being taken out of the last bottle of vodka.
 
By 3 a.m., the adrenaline and devastation had gotten to all of us. Every one of us
collapsed on my carpet, where our day had begun. We cuddled under fleece blankets and
concluded the holiday with a slap-happy screening of Hocus Pocus.
 
In the end, though, it didn’t matter that two parties got busted. Or that our heels were
covered in mud. Or that we were watching childrens’ movies at 3 a.m. In that moment,
we knew that we were apart of an OU legacy.