Halloween is arguably the most kid-centric major holiday. It is the best day of the year until you’re about 14, when you’re suddenly too old to be trick-or-treating. You did not want to be the only dork in school to wear a costume to the Halloween dance, so instead you smash pumpkins with your friends on Devil’s Night.
When you come to university, however, Halloween is again a major day on the calendar. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone throwing a Halloween party, people attend class in full dress, and the bars are packed with costumed crazies until last call.
Drinking, of course, is a big part of the average university student’s Halloween, just like St. Patrick’s Day, Homecoming, and virtually every special day during the school year. The booze is just part of the Halloween fun, however, as the holiday has taken on a Mardi Gras-esque feeling of debauchery. It is a day when you can throw your inhibitions to the wind; ironically, a day that was once about dressing up has become a prime day to take your clothes off.
What is the reason behind Halloween hook-ups? Obviously, booze plays a role. Also playing a role is the fact that... well, Halloween is all about playing a role; when you dress up as someone or something, it is easy to adopt a different persona. You may feel more confident, and perhaps willing to do things that your regular schlub self would not dare try.
Even creating a costume allows you to express your personality. Wearing a clever costume earns a lot of street cred at a Halloween party; everyone wants to be the cool person wearing something original, rather than the generic pirate or devil outfits.
Then again, generic outfits can be altered by one simple word: “slutty.” Instead of being an angel, a firefighter or a ghost, you can be a slutty angel, a slutty firefighter or a slutty ghost. Both men and women seem to embrace this trend, as there were a lot of half-naked people around town this weekend. If you approach Halloween as a time to pick-up, you might as well show off the merchandise. Unlike during the rest of the year, nobody will judge your scandalous attire since you’re just getting into the holiday spirit.
There will come a time when Halloween stops being fun. You might end up working a stuffy desk job where Halloween parties consist of a few plastic spiders on the water cooler. It might perk up if you have kids of your own, and you take them on a candy hunt, but for the most part, the golden days of Halloween end in your mid-twenties.
So, to all of you who stayed in last night or last weekend, be warned. The scariest part about your university-era Halloweens is that they’re almost over.