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This fall break, I went back to my hometown in Michigan. I had not been home in October since
high school, so it was a bit of a surreal experience. It was also my boyfriend’s first time visiting
with me, which inspired a detailed hometown tour. My family no longer lives in the same house I
grew up in, but I drove him to my old neighborhood. It was my first time seeing it in years.
Walking through the quiet streets I used to take to get to elementary school, I was taken aback by
how little things seemed to have changed. It honestly was even more nostalgic than I expected.

The leaves had started to fall and coat the sidewalks, and nearly every house had at least some
form of Halloween decoration outside. I don’t remember it ever being that festive – it looked
straight out of a movie to me. There certainly were more decorated houses than there were when
I was a kid, and that really gave me an inexplicable wave of hope.

Being in college now, I had started to develop the sense that Halloween is dying out. For some
reason, I had convinced myself that families weren’t really celebrating anymore and that all
that’s left is putting on cat ears and partying in a basement. The past couple years that I’ve been
in school, I had experienced a false feeling of disappointment that Halloween isn’t what it used
to be when I was a kid, that we were the last generation to care about it. Finally going home this
October gave me the shift in perspective I needed.

I feel so relieved seeing there are even more kids in my neighborhood now than when I was
little. It blew my mind how invested people were in decorating, still weeks away from
Halloween night. But most importantly, my resurfaced memories reminded me why Halloween
has always been one of my favorite holidays. I’m almost tempted to go trick-or-treating one
more time ;)

Katherine Raykova is a junior at Purdue University, majoring in Mechanical Engineering and English Literature. She is originally from the suburbs of Detroit, MI. In her free time, Katherine enjoys gardening, reading, and studying astrology & tarot.
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