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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Halloween: Not just for kids

The end of October is near, and that means Halloween and its ghoulish delights are right around the corner. Though the holiday is closely associated with childhood, students like sophomore neurobiology, physiology and behavior major Kristi Kwan still enjoy participating in Halloween festivities.

“I love Halloween. Although perhaps not as much as other holidays, I still think it is fun to get dressed up, watch scary movies and especially eat all the candy,” Kwan said.

College students grappling with their new “adult” status can find themselves in a predicament: how to celebrate Halloween. Is trick-or-treating off-limits? Should candy be replaced by cocktails? And are costumes still cool, or just lame?

Halloween is senior psychology major Ralph Aguilar’s favorite holiday and is one of the few times a year he can wear a costume and not feel like an idiot, since everyone else is doing it. Due to a weekend-long ROTC training exercise, he plans to only hand out candy to trick-or-treaters in his neighborhood. However, many other UC Davis students plan to enjoy other forms of Halloween activities.

For many, Halloween has become a night for partying and drinking with friends. Geoffrey Munch, a senior psychology major, said he intends on drinking heavily this Halloween. For sophomore mathematics major Molly Fries, this holiday means dressing up as Supergirl and celebrating with friends.

Junior economics and political science double major Dylan Schaefer always tries to participate in Halloween activities each year. Like Aguilar, he enjoys the fact that this is the one time of year when it is socially acceptable to dress up in creative costumes. To him, wearing costumes becomes more fun as you get older. This year, Schaefer is part of an organizing committee for a Davis haunted house.

“This year I’m helping organize a haunted house that will be running downtown at 336 C Street Friday and Saturday before Halloween,” Schaefer said. “It’s a phenomenal effort put together by a number of campus organizations and we’ll be giving all of the proceeds back to the local schools and charitable organizations.”

Though Halloween activities vary from student to student, many student agreed that trick-or-treating is off-limits to their age group. Sophomore biochemistry major Baktazh Azizi stopped trick-or-treating at the age of 15 because it became awkward asking old people for candy.

“It gets incredibly awkward as you near the age of a person whose door you are knocking on and you stand out hugely from the other little children,” Azizi said. “It gives the impression that you are as immature as a child.”

Maytte Gutierrez, first-year clinical nutrition major, disagreed with Azizi’s take on trick-or-treating. Gutierrez plans on trick-or-treating in addition to attending a party.

“I don’t think you can put an age limit on someone who wants to get free candy,” said senior environmental science and management major Jennifer Lee.

Although there are many students who will participate in Halloween festivities and enjoy doing so, there are some, like senior psychology major Jane Johnson, who will not.

“I despise the holiday. The origin, and what it remains today is immoral,” Johnson said. “It’s an excuse to look sexy, nasty, different and get drunk. If I want to dress up as a princess, I don’t need a holiday for it. I can look dumb whenever I want.”

Nonetheless, Azizi said the fun of Halloween is different yet equal for adult and children. As a child, you can go with your friends and get loads of free candy, but as an adult, you can have Halloween parties, hang out with your friends and still get free candy without embarrassing yourself, Azizi said.

“Eating candy until you get sick? Definitely more fun as a kid. Getting wasted with Where’s Waldo, Woody from Toy Story and Charlie Sheen? More fun as an adult,” Schaefer said.

PRISCILLA WONG can be reached at features@theaggie.org.


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