It is the Thursday of a long-awaited Halloweekend, and I’m writing this article on the 3rd floor of the business school (what I should be doing: studying for my exam tomorrow morning). Priorities, I guess.
Even though I’m trying to focus on reviewing my quizlet, I feel a gravitational pull towards my backpack. My phone lights up, and I know all my social media platforms are patiently waiting for me to cave and open them. One, two, then twenty minutes pass by. and I catch myself still scrolling mindlessly through Instagram, looking for the best costumes and most fun Halloween parties.
Back to the topic at hand: I have never liked Halloween. As a Libra and October baby, this may come as a surprise to some. I was born in the very month that is known for all things spooky. However, Halloween is quite literally my least favorite holiday. Here’s why:
For starters, I cannot recount more than one or two positive memories from past Halloween nights. On Halloweekend of 2019, I finally mustered up the courage to talk to the boy I thought was cute in my math class. 3 years later, we are still dating. Even though this was a huge development in my life, I did not associate this triumph with Halloween. I may be biased, but I’m not sure the day will come when I give Halloween any positive credit.
I remember many of my previous Halloween experiences like they were yesterday. In 2012, my elementary school held a “Trunk-or-Treat” while the community was rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy. That was one of many years I dressed up as a nerd. I have also been a bunny, biker, firefighter, and basketball player- along with at least ten more “basic” Halloween costumes. I get scared very easily, and never went near Spirit Halloween or Party City in October (hence the lack of creativity in my costume ideas).
Based on all of this, I am sure you are wondering why I choose to come to college in the Crescent City. After all, New Orleans is notorious for its ghost tours, spooky parades, and voodoo legends. I tried to laugh off the ghost stories I heard from my Uber drivers when I visited Tulane as a high school student. Unfortunately, it didn’t completely work.
You may be wondering why you should care about my plain old costumes and Halloween experiences. These factors merely scratch the surface of why I truly do not enjoy Halloween.
If you have seen Mean Girls, you will be able to picture the Halloween scene clearly. If not, here is a Sparknotes version:
Cady Heron transferred to a public high school after being homeschooled by her scientist parents in Africa. She quickly picked up on the ins and outs of high school popularity, cliques, and social standings. Luckily for Cady, the most admired group in school, known as “The Plastics,” took a liking to her. Fast forward to Halloween, innocent Cady was excited to attend her first high school party dressed as a scary bride of some sort. However, Cady’s “friends” never told her the “standard” for a typical Halloween costume in a U.S. suburban town. Cady was humiliated, ashamed, and felt betrayed by the people she thought cared about her. SO not fetch.
This scene has always resonated with my disliking for Halloween for two main reasons. First of all, the standards for Halloween these days are irrational. Teens feel more pressure than ever to look their best, act their best, and get invited to the coolest and most elite parties. This can be very intimidating, and can lead to exclusion. As I previously mentioned, social media plays a huge role nowadays. From personal experience, not being invited to a Halloween party, and then seeing the highlights all over my feed the next day, is extremely hurtful. Additionally, being excluded from a group costume, picture-taking event, or scary movie night advertised on Snapchat, is not fun. I can guarantee that I am not the only person who has experienced this. If you have, I am sorry, because I know how you feel.
Halloween doesn’t have to be like this. It should be an opportunity for people to express themselves, dress up, and have fun with friends. For what it’s worth, it’s just another weekend. It too will pass. That being said, if we do not work to improve the culture of exclusion and cliqueness surrounding Halloween, it will continue to plague children, teens, and even adults. Whatever else you choose to partake in, make sure to prioritize your mental health and internal happiness this weekend. There will always be another party, another chance to dress in costume (Mardi Gras is only 117 days away), or another situation to stuff your face with your favorite candy. Take care of you, and the rest will fall into place.
Oh, and by the way, if you are wondering what my favorite holiday is… it would probably be my birthday. I know, you are probably laughing at me right now. Nonetheless, I am not ashamed to love having the opportunity to spend time with the important people in my life for a whole day. Maybe October isn’t so bad after all.
Featured image via Buzzfeed
Bailey is the Assistant Editor for College Life. She is a Sophomore majoring in Marketing and Management and minoring in Psychology. She loves to write about her experiences and give advice to her peers. When she isn't writing, you can find her at Riley or her favorite New Orleans restaurant Satsuma.