Student Life

Don’t Get Spooked by Responsibility: Halloween in College

Cherish Recera, Student Contributor

September 05, 2018

Don’t Get Spooked by Responsibility: Halloween in College
Whatever activities you decide to participate in during Halloween festivities, keep these tips in mind.
Halloween is meant to be an enjoyable night of festivities, even if trick-or-treating doesn’t exist anymore (at least not in the original sense of collecting candy around the neighborhood). Instead, students often opt for homemade costumes that won’t break the bank and go around campus for parties and events. Perhaps you’ll spot a group of La Croix walking down frat row or, even better, a student organization hosting a costumed pet parade before nightfall. Whatever your social taste, there is likely some venue that is hosting a Halloween-themed event to your liking. When October 31st falls mid-week, Halloween will likely not be a one-night event on college campuses. A weeklong schedule of sanctioned events may be advertised by colleges the week prior in order to drum up attention for arguably safer programs.
That being said, universities do acknowledge that students will independently make their decisions as to what to participate in that week. Plenty of the student population opts for partying along frat row and drinking at local bars, but having other options as suggested by the university is always helpful and a relief for some. Whatever activities you decide to participate in during Halloween festivities, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Stay in a Group
You may already be part of a group if you’re with friends who have decided to participate in a group costume, but, generally speaking, going around campus for Halloween events with at least two other people is advisable. Holding each other accountable and keeping track of individuals is helpful as evening comes since visibility decreases over time. If you aren’t comfortable with finding events to do on your own, planning with a group allows you to hear other input and helps begin the creation of a rough schedule of events that you all agree on. Paid admission events may even provide group discounts for certain amounts of people, which works to your advantage if you’re all trying to be money-conscious. If you do decide to venture out on your own, at least tell someone you trust that you are headed out to celebrate. Have your charged phone, an ID, and at least $20 on you in some payment method. Cash is the best option if you’re concerned about losing a credit or debit card in the dark. Set a time for yourself to come back to your residence, or, if you decide to crash at a friend’s place, let your trusted person know that you’re staying elsewhere for the night.
2. Dress for the Weather, Not for the Aesthetic
Depending on where you’re located, the week of Halloween will be warm or cooler, perhaps at around 60℉. One night is not worth getting sick over, so carry a sweater or jacket with you if your costume involves lighter fabrics or short pieces, like cutoff shorts. It’s admittedly bulky to carry around sweatpants, but a long, hooded sweatshirt can do a great job of covering most of your body to keep you warm. If opting for a homemade costume, purposefully design an outfit that involves clothing pieces suited for the expected weather. Searching "cold weather Halloween costumes" on Google is a great place to start for ideas. Be wary of questionable costume ideas. If it feels like you’d be insulting or degrading others with what you’d be wearing, it is highly advisable to not wear it out of respect for those around you. Always remember that layering is a fantastic solution for colder weather. You can always take off layers once you’re out and about if you’d like, but you can’t put on more layers if you’re already far from your dorm or apartment. If you expect people to borrow your jacket or sweater (or if you’d like to be super responsible for everyone in your group and carry extras), write your name on the inside tag to prevent confusion and to get your property back later.
3. Keep Track of Your Drinks
Unsanctioned Halloween events often involve alcohol, and bar hopping is standard practice for some college campuses. If you can legally drink and will be participating in these activities to celebrate, drink responsibly, stay with your group, and consider Uber or Lyft if you are not comfortable with walking or are not able to drive. Apps can be used to track the amount of drinks consumed, such as AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker on Google Play and DrinkControl - Drink Tracker on the App Store. Though some of these apps are geared more towards people fighting against alcohol-related issues, the ability to see how much alcohol you’ve consumed causes you to be more responsible and to acknowledge how much you’re ingesting over time. Additionally, these apps can be used beyond Halloween week if you’re a fan of the bar scene at your university, so they’re beneficial in the long-term if you’re looking to hold yourself more accountable. Collegiate Halloween is a fantastic experience, no matter what events students decide to take part in. Destress with friends, enjoy the evening festivities, and don’t forget to go to class that week!

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