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Why I Love Halloween Now, As A Previous Skeptic

Halloween has typically been a hit or miss for me. And what I mean by that is it was mainly a miss. Whatever enthusiasm I had for my costume or holiday activities I had planned was usually masked by insecurity and worry that I was somehow doing the wrong thing. Audrie, you may ask, how do you do the “wrong thing” on Halloween? A few years ago, I would list a million things that could go sideways that preoccupied my mind. Now, I’d tell you otherwise. 

During my childhood, I never believed I belonged on Halloween. It was a holiday for the outgoing kids, the ones who weren’t afraid to act passionately, whereas I felt like I was born into a space that I only hesitatingly took up. Halloween was theatrical, expressive, imaginative, qualities that I felt strange claiming for my own. Yet somehow I was equally as self-conscious about not showing as much holiday spirit as everyone else. For a long time, I believed there was a fine line between doing too little and sticking out or doing too much and sticking out. I didn’t want to take my chances so I avoided the line altogether.

The thing is the line isn’t real. I was always so concerned with how I presented myself and what others thought of me that I didn’t step outside of my box, even for a holiday that exists outside of the box. Coming to college, though, away from my hometown and its judgments, I was able to redefine Halloween for myself. Seeing people uninhibitedly run around Gayley in their costumes, albeit a little drunk, reassured me that that desire to let loose is in all of us. I learned that embracing my creative side, silly side and sexy side is a lot more fun than the box. 

Halloween is, of course, indicative of a greater development I underwent in the last few years. It seems like a trivial example but Halloween was a turning point for me. More than “coming out of my shell,” college gave me a space to figure out who I am and not to be afraid to express that to others. Normally, with Halloween right around the corner, I would feel anxious about walking that imaginary line between caring too much and caring too little, but who really cares about the line? I’m going to wear what I want just as you should wear what you want/ Let’s have a good time. 

Audrie is a third-year student from Honolulu, Hawaii, majoring in Human Biology Society and minoring in Anthropology. Her key interests include environmental sustainability, reproductive health, and education. She also really loves the beach and anything matcha flavored! In her free time, you can catch her shopping for records, books, and Trader Joe's snacks.
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