It’s the spookiest time of the year… but is it the same “spooky” our younger selves once considered it to be? Halloween is only a few short days away and many uni students are gathering their costume essentials together for what is certainly one of the most epic holidays on the calendar. However, all fun and frights aside—there are some pretty interesting theories to ponder about the evolution of the spirit surrounding the 31st of October.
What Halloween once was…
Gone are the days of walking around the neighbourhood trick-or-treating with your friends dressed in that cat costume your mother sewed you, with a flood of parents just feet behind you. Halloween has now turned into a night full of parties and celebrations, with some intriguing social implications that can be examined. For many uni students, we can be safe to assume the cat costume your mother once made for you might still be put to use... but not necessarily because it’s still your favourite animal. The meaning of costumes has transitioned from dressing what up as something you’re passionate about to what will appear as the “coolest” or “trendiest” outfit to your social group.
We no longer care about stuffing our candy bags to the brim and racing home to pour out our “candy haul” and trade amongst our friends to get our favourite treats. We no longer beg our parents to get us the best costume the internet can buy, but rather go to the efforts of making our own Amazon accounts so our parents can’t see the potentially scandalous Halloween accessories we’re purchasing via Prime. We no longer lay out our Halloween costumes the night before in preparation for our classroom Halloween party among our peers, but instead, we ignore the holiday throughout the day and bring out the spirit throughout the night. Halloween once was a night full of friends, family and most importantly—candy. So… what does it consist of now?
What Halloween has become for uni students
Besides becoming more commercialised, Halloween has definitely become more and more about personal image as the years have rolled on. We’ve spent the valuable change on a costume we will never wear again (it seems to be a sin to be the same thing two years in a row!), expensive drinks, candy, and all the other “essentials” needed for Halloween. But when we take a step back, are we really to blame?
Think about how much your parents once spent on your costume to make sure you won that contest at school. Or what about the money they also spent on candy to make sure you had the best candy in your neighbourhood to handout? When you think about it, we really have just started spending that money on ourselves, rather than relying on our parents to do so for us. That being said, has much really changed?
Whether you’ll be attending a small hangout, a house party, a themed pub night, or going all out and heading to the club, there’s bound to be some sort of gettogether among friends. That’s definitely a change from the family-friendly company you were once surrounded with. In addition, the amount of candy you could intake on Halloween has now turned into a measurement of the amount of alcohol you can consume without passing out. Considering this, Halloween has undoubtedly changed as we’ve grown up.
Be that as it may, just how much has it changed? Do we as students celebrate Halloween because we like dressing up and enjoy the spirit surrounding the holiday like we once did? Or do we purely just want an excuse to get a little drunker than the usual with our friends? The answer varies for everyone. Yet, no matter what your implications behind celebrating are and no matter how much they’ve evolved to fit our new lifestyles and extracurriculars as uni students, isn’t it impressive that we as a generation have somewhat managed to keep the pumpkin-themed holiday alive despite outgrowing our original traditions?
The Importance of Keeping it Alive
Despite the fact Halloween night has turned into one of the biggest social events of the year, the Halloween season is full of traditions that might never change. That is certainly something to appreciate. Can we say that we necessarily enjoy having a terrible night’s sleep after visiting that haunted house where we’re being haunted by the nightmare of confronting a vicious demon? Probably not. We barely get enough rest as it is through all of our late nights at the library, clubbing, and binge-watching Netflix’s newest releases. However, haunted houses are a part of the October’s festivities, just as much as hanging out with friends is Halloween night.
The month of October is about embracing what scares us and that’s what makes this time of year different from the rest. The memories we make every October add up and turn into moments we will share with our kids and family as our traditions continue to grow and change as we get older.
What once was the month full of partying and visiting haunted houses will eventually be a month full of preparing our own kids and family by getting them costumes, buying them candy, and parading them around the block to make sure they fill up their buckets. The beauty of Halloween it is a holiday we can grow with and celebrate forever.
There you go. Just some candy for thought for you there.
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