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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Halloween is a couple of weeks away, which means now is the time to start thinking about what we want to be on that very special day.

Halloween has always been one of the best holidays of the year, but celebrating it in college is different than it used to be when we were kids.

Over the years, the jack-o'-lanterns, glow-in-the-dark spider webs and spooky sound effects have slowly been replaced with skanky costumes and Hunch Punch.

Don't get me wrong - I love Halloween parties as much as the next person. It's just that college students seem to have forgotten the true spirit of Halloween.

Let's take a trip to a more innocent time - a time when our costumes were more than just underwear and body paint and when we dressed up in homemade costumes of our favorite, fully-clothed Power Ranger.

Figuring out what we wanted to be was still fun back then, but the real fun was trick-or-treating around the neighborhood with friends.

I don't know about you, but in the years before beer pong, the mounds of free candy were the best part of Halloween.

I'm not one to brag, but I will admit that I was pretty skillful at getting the most candy, mainly because I treated trick or treating like a covert military operation. It didn't matter if I had to suffer through rain, cold weather or blistered feet - I was absolutely determined to fill my entire bag (or pillow case) with hundreds of delicious goodies my mom would never let me eat otherwise.

After a few years of trick-or-treating in the same neighborhood, I could usually predict which houses to hit and which ones to skip. The best houses were the ones that gave out king-sized candy bars or those goody bags filled with different types of candy.

And of course, the worst houses were the ones that gave out crossword puzzles, Dum Dums and, most horrifying of all, toothbrushes.

After a long night of scurrying from house to house, I would come home and take inventory of the massive bag of candy I acquired in the span of a few hours. I usually separated and counted each piece of candy and then ranked it by order of deliciousness. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were usually first, followed by M&M's, Skittles, Butterfinger and then Twix.

After sorting and ranking the sweets, I would set up trade agreements with my brother and sister. "I'll give you five Tootsie Rolls for one Snickers," I would try to negotiate. "Six, and it's a deal" was my older sister's usual response. She was a pretty savvy 7-year-old.

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One thing really scared me about Halloween, though. The haunted houses, ghost stories and cackling witches were pretty spooky, but nothing compared to my mom's warnings to watch out for needles and razors that might be lurking in my chocolate bars.

Oh, Halloween. What a great holiday. It's doubtful anyone really knows why we celebrate it, but it's great that we do. And this year, if you are stressing over which costume to choose or which liquor to buy, just relax, and remember that the party is just half the fun. The other half is being able to act like a kid again.

Colleen Shea is a sophomore majoring in journalism. Her column appears on Fridays.

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