The Puzzling College Halloween Mystery

While many people in coastal Rhode Island will likely be spending their Halloween picking up large branches from the lawn, I speculate why the holiday is still popular in college.

As a side note, I hope everyone was unharmed by Superstorm Sandy and any damage done was minimal. With all the commotion and chaos from Sandy over these last couple of days, you deserve to be enlightened by some humorous speculation. So buckle up and enjoy.

It was shortly after 12:30 a.m. the other night and I was just about to fall asleep. Everything seemed fine until I heard booming music being played for all of Milwaukee to hear.

The second I heard it, needless to say, I woke up. I then realized that it must have been a Halloween party and I was simply another victim of noise pollution in the apartment complex.

So what did I do? Got up and started writing this, of course.

The Halloween spirit has long since faded away for me. Not being a Halloween Scrooge, but at about age 14 I quickly lost interest in the same old song and dance. I really preferred not to dress up, and I was much more content handing out candy while watching the Milwaukee Bucks open their season on the road.

In college the Halloween spirit hasn’t faded. In fact, it seems to be that students are more excited about the holiday now than when they were six. My guess is that they learned they can wash down their candy with some adult beverages to make the evening even more interesting, but that’s just a guess.

Halloween is popular because it allows a person to assume an entirely different identity for one night. When Halloween falls on a weeknight, I’m partially grateful for that because it’ll at least keep some of the students inside and not make complete fools of themselves.

Well, not so fast, I say. This brings us back to the beginning of the story. I was awoken by noise late on a Sunday night, days prior to Halloween. Students put their ambitious costumes to the test the weekend before Halloween if it falls on a school night.

At what age do people do away with the costumes and waking up with a hangover while wearing a Batman outfit? Is it after college is over? Does it ever end? Some may say that when a person has a child of their own, that’s when they take a breather on the whole ordeal. For some others, like myself, it diminished long ago.

So what’s the point of this column? Am I upset at the noise? Yes, but it happens pretty much every weekend anyway. Am I disgruntled that 21-year-olds are still parading around town acting ridiculous in even-more-ridiculous getups? Yes, even if it is once a year. 

I just want to know when the whole Halloween thing loses its meaning for students. This is not a call to all college students to put an end to their annual Halloween agenda; it’s the highlight of the semester for some. This whole article may sound something the late Andy Rooney would say during one of his classic curmudgeon-like rants, but I’m trying to avoid that.

It’s now 1:20 a.m., and I have class tomorrow. The music has stopped (for now) and it appears I can rest peacefully. Wednesday is creeping closer, but it won’t be that crazy, right? Right?

Thomas J. Quinn November 02, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Kyle, I just read your Halloween article and had a good laugh. Your amusing take on the festivities reminded me of some of my own experiences at PC where the 'holiday' never seemed to end. My best to you and the family. Mr. Quinn
Victoria Frankovich November 02, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Very interesting! But as a college student myself I can honestly say I love Halloween! But in my opinion everything is better in costume, it gives people a chance to show their creativity! And I've never seen a problem with allowing "a person to assume an entirely different identity for one night"? To me that doesn't sound like something I need to grow out of or as you would say, have it "lose its meaning" You are never too old to dress up and have fun!
Stephen Greenwell November 02, 2012 at 08:26 PM
@ Victoria - You've basically saying you're in favor of ninjas, which is always a dangerous position to take. Tread carefully here, very carefully.
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