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Split the pretzel sticks in half and continue to gently insert them at the creamy sides of the Oreo filling to serve as the legs of the spider. Add frosting to two M&M’s and place them on top of the Oreo cookie to serve as eyes. Ta-da! You’ve made yourself an adorable spider treat to commemorate one of the most commercialized holidays in the U.S.

Despite the unnecessary hype over clichéd costumes, impending disappointment at all of the insensitive costumes you are bound to see, and overpriced decorations, you actually really enjoy Halloween. You enjoy the crunching of leaves beneath your feet even though it’s California and do leaves even change color here? You enjoy the way the wind wraps itself around you as you head to a pumpkin patch with your friends or family to take the usual pumpkin patch picture, but does it matter if everyone has already taken this same exact picture? It makes your Instagram feed look warm and oh my was that pumpkin the size of your best friend’s head. It’s hard for you not to enjoy a holiday— even if it’s one that feeds the capitalist agenda— if it allows you to spend 31 nights with your family watching anything from Paranormal Activity to Hocus Pocus on ABC family (Wait, did that channel change names? I forget.)

Yet, this year feels different, and it’s not just the fact that it feels like a scorching 90 degrees Fahrenheit. You cannot make yourself into a cocoon with your blankets and drink hot chocolate without sweating or overheating. People still don’t believe in climate change? Maybe I should switch costumes and be climate change this Halloween. Now that’s something to be terrified about. But there’s something more that seems odd about this Halloween other than people wearing shorts and flip-flops instead of oversized sweaters and boots, at least to me.

I have cute Halloween decals on my room door. I unfortunately can’t have a pumpkin outside of my dorm room because it goes against policies. Other than that small detail, I’ve tried to incorporate Halloween decorations, but the spirit isn’t there. I barely have time to sleep, let alone watch a Halloween movie or special. I’m sleep deprived to the point of passing as a zombie this Halloween without additional special effects makeup. I am miles away from my family too. We cannot sit around the TV at dinnertime and laugh at silly Halloween movies and the way my little brother attempts to imitate everything he sees. I cannot go to the Halloween Haunt with my younger sister and snicker as she flinches at anything that moves. I won’t hear the voices of young trick-or-treaters knocking at our door for candy.

I will hear the voices of my friends as they knock on my door to celebrate Halloween together. I will dress up this year as I always have even if I cannot accompany my siblings to go trick-or-treating. I might not go to a pumpkin patch this Halloween season, nor watch my favorite Halloween films, but I have realized that this does not mean that Halloween has passed by in vain. This Halloween will simply be different. It will be an all hallow’s eve that feels like a summer eve. It will be a change for me.

Change is spooky and it’s spooky season.

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