HALLOWEEN: Be all you can be (one night only)

By Dana Sotoodeh


   Amidst the chatter concerning term papers, unfair professors and 100-question midterms, Halloween is quite the topic amongst students this month.

A standard adult figure might question the importance of Halloween for college students these days. Then again, your average adult doesn’t understand the concealed purpose Halloween serves to a large amount of overworked and underappreciated students.

Halloween was a holiday I always looked forward to when I was young. My mom sewed our costumes from Simplicity patterns, bought an abundance of candy that was usually never present in our house and of course took us trick-or-treating.

My brother and I would inhale our dinner with the hopes of beginning our hunt early for unnecessary sugar. Once we had collected candy from every neighbor on the block, we would return home and dump it in a massive pile. We would then sit in front of the pile and strategically trade candies as if it mattered who got what. Halloween was my chance to eat too much sugar, stay up past 8 o’clock and wear makeup that my 6-year-old self wasn’t allowed to wear to elementary school.

Now, the meaning of Halloween has completely altered for me. I possess the freedom, as a 21-year-old, to eat candy when I please and wear makeup every day. These coveted privileges no longer feel so sacred but have since been considered part of a daily routine. Now, my makeup is applied, not to look like a princess, but to cover the dark circles under my eyes from staying up too late. Coffee has thankfully replaced candy, so I may be caffeinated enough to maintain my sanity during my study sessions and my dinner often consists of whatever greasy drive-thru is still open on my way home from work at 11 p.m.

So here is an explanation for all those parents, grandparents and professors who can’t understand the purpose of spending the small sum of money we college students have on costumes, drinks and party favors.

Halloween is significant to us because it is the single day out of the year we can escape reality. It is the precious day we can pretend to be something else, instead of the straight A-student we are expected to be. It is a day where we can stay out late in a place other than the library and release the child inside of us, which is very much constrained due to the massive pressures of being an adult. A day where grade point averages, hour-and-a-half lectures and chaotic advising sessions no longer matter. It is our chance to be carefree again.

So this Halloween, break out of your usual too-broke, too-stressed and too-busy college student costume and be what you want. After all, you only get to dress up once a year.


E-mail Sootodeh at sootodeh@student.uiwtx.edu

Dana Sootodeh

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