Is Halloween trending or ending for Bucks students?

Crystal Stout, Centurion Staff

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As Halloween draws ever closer, the crisp fall air has students thinking of pumpkins, costumes, and candy. For many college students, the beloved holiday is very different now than when they were young. Halloween has been celebrated around the world for thousands of years, changing all the while. The holiday that started as a Pagan tradition and was later adapted into a Christian celebration, has been modernized into the fun-filled festival that everyone knows and loves today.
The most well-known staple of Halloween is, almost certainly, trick-or-treating. It’s a tradition that nearly every student took part in as a child.
For many, dressing up as a favorite hero or spooky monster and receiving free candy is a treasured childhood memory, but as this generation has gotten older, this once all-important aspect has fallen out of the spotlight.
Out of the 26 students surveyed, only four say they will be trick-or-treating for themselves this year. Most students reported that they gave up trick-or-treating around their early to mid-high school years. This was the case when, as Rachel Harris, 19, an illustration major at Bucks put it, “ I figured out I could just buy my own candy without having to ask strangers for it.”
Gabe Infante, 20, a fine arts major explained,“I stopped at some point in high school when I realized it would just be easier to eat the leftover candy from my house.” Most students, it seems, stopped trick-or-treating around the same time.
Chris Stiles, 21, a Computer Science & Information Technology major, said that as fewer and fewer of his friends went, he stopped as well, saying “We used to trick-or-treat with a large amount of people within the development, but they all grew up and they did other things. Soon it was really only me and brother so we stopped along with them… and tried having Halloween parties with friends instead, or just handed out candy at our grandparents.”
Some said they will be going out with younger siblings or relatives, but will not be receiving their own candy. Others reported that after their younger siblings go out, they will then be taking that candy. Parents can be proud that their college-age students are putting their education to good use, finding ways to eliminate that pesky leg work of trick-or-treating. Younger siblings, however, may not be so thrilled.
Even among the remaining student populace who will not be trick-or-treating, there is still an abundance of Halloween spirit. Some who are opting to stay in say that they will be dishing out the candy this year, in costume or otherwise. Others will be participating in the growingly popular trend of Halloween parties. Stiles says he will be “holding a party with roommates and playing horror video games all night long…and decorating, and handing out candy to any that come knocking.”
With spooky decorations, eery music, and Halloween-themed treats, it’s easy to see why these gatherings are becoming the most popular form of celebration among young adults who are finding themselves too old to trick-or-treat. Haunted house attractions, as well as haunted hayrides and corn mazes are other alternatives for those who are looking for Halloween thrills
Despite many feeling that they’ve outgrown trick-or-treating, it seems that dressing up for Halloween has not lost its appeal. There are drastically different approaches to this among college age students. Some opt for a simple approach, wearing whatever leftover costume still fits from last year, or donning a pair of cat ears and a tail. Others take the costume aspect of Halloween much more seriously, slaving away on handmade costumes for months or displaying professional level makeup skills to transform ordinary people into extraordinary Halloween creatures. Harris explains that “a lot of people who still dress up at this age can do a lot of serious costuming. It’s a lot of fun to dress up and show off hard work that you put into a costume.”
Costumes, be them complex or simplistic, fall across the spectrum from the extremely spooky, to elegant, to humorous. A few trends that have been growing in popularity recently have been zombies, or zombie versions of classic costumes, and superheroes. Students predict seeing many of these sorts of costumes around this year. Benjamin Woodring, 22, says that “I observe people wearing a lot more detailed costumes of horror characters, superheroes seem to be popular, always have been, really.”
With pop culture becoming so intertwined with society, students also predict seeing portrayals of characters from popular TV shows, movies, and comics. Also popular are gag costumes designed not to strike fear, but to evoke laughter. With a generation of clever and talented college students applying their creativity, this Halloween is guaranteed to be frightfully fun!

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