Long gone are the days of trick-or-treating within a mile radius of your childhood home, dressing up in costume for the elementary school parade, and binging on candy for weeks after Halloween. But don’t fret, Halloween exists in a new form on college campuses, though it is a whole different animal than what it was when you were a kid. Blue-prynt is here to tell you exactly what to expect.
In college, Halloween spans much longer than one day. You may find yourself dressing up the weekend before the holiday, on the days leading up to it, the day of, and maybe even a day or two after. To survive and thrive during Halloween on campus, it is important to be prepared and know what you’re getting yourself into.
First and foremost: costumes. To answer your burning question, yes, you will need multiple attires for the week-long event. And those outfits all have to be Instagram-worthy, right? Wrong. Chances are, there will be tiers of parties and therefore tiers of costumes. For example, a mid-week frat-party may require black jeans and cat ears, but a Saturday night out could be your time to shine. Focus on ONE good costume — something witty and relevant that you pump your monthly allowance into. For a second, dress up with a group of friends. Matching shirts are a good way to look cute on a budget. For the rest, work with what you have and trade outfits with friends. The latter method ensures multiple killer costumes while only having to stress over one, the perfect method for Halloween success.
Though Halloween as a college student may seem like it requires a ton of money to be spent on costumes, there are ways stay economical and practical.
“I would say that trading costumes with friends is super common. No one wants to drop $100 on a costume for one night. Realistically, you could only have two costumes and be set. It’s easy to trade around and still have a fresh costume idea,” said Sydney Crawford, a sophomore at the University of Maryland.
Now that the finances have been taken care of, it’s important to gauge what exactly one should wear on Halloween.
“Students here are enthusiastic about Halloween. Everyone goes out and dresses up… People dress up in usually fairly low-maintenance costumes, mainly a mixture between things [they] already own mixed with things off Amazon Prime. I’ve seen a lot of Playboy Bunnies, boxers, rappers, and group costumes mainly,” said Casey Smith, a sophomore at Boston University.
There’s also room for creativity. Tap into what’s popular in culture and entertainment and focus on that for a costume idea. There are always a ton of celebrity couples and movie and TV characters. Channel your inner Kardashian or Game of Thrones to rack up those Instagram likes the next day.
The idea isn’t everything. Girls: this one’s for you. Remember that less is NOT always more. You can still look cute and creative without all of your skin showing. Sometimes, a costume that is more clever but covers more gets a better reaction than booty shorts and a crop top. Also, October is cold in a lot of places, so bundle up!
Finding your costume isn’t the entire battle in college. The whole week is intense and requires a lot of prep. Looking at the week as a whole, tap into that annoying idea your mom always reminds you of: it’s a sprint, not a marathon. Halloween is no excuse to do anything you haven’t done before. Treat it as a normal party, or even treat it more cautiously, considering the intensity of the week ahead. Also, it is okay to skip a night or two. It’s normal to not be able to party all week. Plus, that means one fewer costume to worry about.
“Halloween on campus is hectic because I have to get all of my work done before the celebrations start, so I can feel good about going out. Overall, it is crazy and chaotic, but so worth it,” said Gittee Benhamou, a sophomore at Santa Monica College.
Halloween in college is meant to be a fun and enjoyable time with your friends. It is not all about having the best costume and going out every single night, rather it is a time to experience an old tradition in a drastically different way. Hopefully, this guide prepare you for what’s to come, and you enjoy your first college Halloween, even though there is drastically less candy.
*Disclaimer: some students spoken to in this post are friends of the author.