Am I too old to trick-or-treat? And other ways to spend Halloween

Kiki Brehmer, Staff Writer

It’s that magical time of year again– and no, I’m not talking about Christmas, I’m talking about everyone’s second favorite holiday, Halloween. Despite the fact that the pumpkin-shaped Trader Joes’ pasta inspires me with thoughts of the spookiest holiday, something is off this year. As the frightful night draws closer, I can’t help thinking that perhaps Halloween doesn’t pack the same punch as it used to. College students occupy somewhat of a liminal space in the realm of Halloween.

When considering how I am going to spend this Halloween, I shy away from trick-or-treating. As a high school freshman some friends and I dressed up in elaborate homemade getups– we had matching “spice girl” costumes complete with spice jar labels. Every other house my friends and I approached was manned by a middle-aged mother who snarked– despite all that preparation and embodiment of the fun spirit of Halloween– “Aren’t you a bit old?” or more effectively, “no teenagers.” If my neighbors didn’t approve of teenagers, how would they react to full-grown adults ringing their doorbell to demand their share of the trove of fun-size candy bars? 

I’ve noticed that being a college student is a time in my life where I’ve outgrown some of the things that I used to enjoy, but I can’t fit into adult life quite yet either. It is no longer socially acceptable to trick-or-treat with the children, but if I try to embrace what is socially acceptable for adults to participate in on Halloween, I’ll be fruitlessly waiting by the door of my dorm room with a bowl of mini Milky Ways for hours. 

There is the fact that faculty housing does encourage Westmonters to trick-or-treat in their exclusive neighborhood, since it is not like we can simply go up to one of the swanky homes surrounding Westmont to intrude on their door. However, I would consider this as outside the norm and perhaps not the hottest destination on Halloween night for college students. Yet it stands that trick-or-treating is not a role that I can easily occupy again at this awkward age.

I suppose clamoring for candy is not all there is to Halloween. Costumes are perhaps the most integral idea of Halloween and approved by Westmont students– while I have been eating bruschetta in the DC I have overheard conversations of costume ideas speckled throughout the typical DC talk. So, if Halloween costumes are sanctioned by the general public here, where do people wear them?

Consistently in the media, college-age students get together to enjoy raging festivities à la Mean Girls. I am not an attendee of these almost mythical events, so I have determined that either they don’t exist in the way the media portrays or I am just oblivious, and either way I erase that off the list. And so, what remains? Because Halloween is on a Monday this year, there are classes to show off a costume in, along with the WAC Spooktacular event Halloween weekend. However, procrastinators may agree, who has their costume early anyways?

There perhaps isn’t a place for college-age students in the societal view of Halloween. Too old to trick-or-treat, too young to hand out candy, but just spirited enough to wear costumes. I find that perhaps at Westmont, there is no instant solution to alleviate this existentialism. However, whatever a Westmonter may participate in on Halloween, I hope they have a safe and spooky night!

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