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Can We Bring Back Booing? Why We Never Should’ve Stopped “Childish” Rituals

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

As the quarter’s halfway mark approaches, the onset of the holiday season is defined by a very different set of emotions for us now compared to our younger years. We are more likely to associate pumpkin spice and chai scents with the stress of midterms and adulthood, as opposed to the childlike excitement autumn used to bring. 

This week, I was swiftly reminded of joys past when an anonymous friend left a box of festive candy at my doorstep with a note asking that I keep the chain going and do the same for three others. Amidst a stressful week, this unexpected gesture lifted my spirits more than I would have guessed. The tradition, known as “Booing,” used to be the highlight of my elementary school Octobers — my friends and I would eagerly sprint to our doorsteps and see what surprise treat awaited. Now, as an adult, this token of festivity not only put me into the holiday spirit but simultaneously filled me with a deeper sense of love and appreciation for my community of friends. 

Enjoying the chocolatey exploits of my “Boo” harvest, I began to reflect on why such rituals seem to fade throughout adulthood (a time when we arguably need little pockets of joy much more). Hidden under the guise of “maturity,” society convinces us that traditions of a childish nature no longer have value, slowly allowing them and the excitement they bring to fade from our lives. 

Whether or not Halloween is your thing, there’s no doubt that having plans to look forward to, however minuscule, can impart significant benefits for your personal and academic success. Motivation is easier to come by when there’s a spooky surprise at the finish line, and mental health rises when you’re making memories — never underestimate the effect of some good old fashion fun. 

Particularly for university students, the holiday season and its correlated seasonal depression are a very real concern for our well-being. Whether it be from the stress of not being able to see family (or having to see them), the general business of Fall Quarter or even the gloomy weather, our emotions may understandably turn a little spooky. 

Practicing these little rituals of festivity — whether it be booing someone, carving pumpkins, watching your favorite movie or even just trying a new latte — is an unmatched way to reclaim your excitement. Moreover, engaging in such activities can serve as the perfect opportunity to bond with those in your life who likely need the same pick-me-up. Facilitating such environments or extending unexpected kindness shows others you care in an invaluable way. 

Particularly in college, there is extensive pressure for what “fun” should look like; often, going to parties and drinking alcohol feel like the only way to engage in the collegiate social sphere or take a break from work. If you’re like me, these activities are often exhausting and need to be supplemented by something that feeds your inner child, too. 

Little rituals can help us to stop taking this life so seriously and, instead, find the wonder our childhood selves relished. If you have to study for that physics test, you may as well do so dressed as a witch and snacking on a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup, secure in the love of your festive friends. I write here in defense of all things childish, silly, immature, and wonderful, pleading that we bring back happiness in its simplest form this Halloween. 

Claire Smith is an Orange County local studying Human Biology and Society at UCLA. Claire loves to read, try new coffee places, and spend time outdoors with friends.