Halloween dies on graduation day along with your hopes, dreams, and like half your college friendships.
Alright, maybe that was a little dark, and I’d like to make it known I’m fully against any and all ideas that have to do with growing up. And whatever a “mature, responsible adult” is, I’m nothing short of certain that I am nowhere near ready to be one. But, my fellow young men and women in their early 20s we need to be honest with ourselves about something: we must stop trying to celebrate Halloween the way we did while we were in college, it’s over.
When I’ve explored this take in the past I’ve gotten a lot of pushback from my fellow recent college graduates. I want it to be known that I understand their disagreement fully, I really do, because I want to keep as many nights where it’s acceptable to drink too much and make questionable decisions on the calendar as possible. However, as much as I hate to admit it, I’ve come to the realization that Halloween is for kids and college students and everyone else is just kind of fucked.
I’m not telling you to not go out or not celebrate because we are all inevitably going to, because we’re young, we’re depressed, we’re stressed out all the time, we’re developing adult acne for some reason, our love lives are a mess, and our career prospects are.. not (that’s all of us, right?). So of course when October 31strolls around each year, we’re getting fucked up, and I can appreciate that. But don’t expect it to be like it was, don’t expect to feel it did, don’t expect all the work and buildup to be worth whatever strange experience you end up having at a way too crowded bar.
Here are some things I am telling you not do if you’re post-college though. 1) Buy a costume. Depending on what day of the week it falls, Halloween is a 3 to 5 day event in college, do that for 4 years and I promise, you have more than enough costumes and weird shit in your closet than you can throw together to go out with your 3 friends for a disappointing night of drinks when you’re 23. If you’re past the age of 22 and your spending real money on a Halloween costume, A) Can I have a job? And B) What the fuck is the matter with you? The other thing I’m telling you not to do is Halloweekend. Like I said before, in college Halloween is a multiple day event. Post-college this doesn’t need to be the case. If Halloween falls on a Sunday you don’t have to go out Thursday-Sunday. Take a night or two off. I’m not saying go to your one weird friend’s apartment who’s like “we’re gonna drink [insert annoying alcoholic drink here that they’re going to make because it’s a ‘special occasion’ even though we would all just rather be drinking something normal] carve pumpkins, and watch scary movies in our PJ’s!” No. Hey, pumpkin-carvers, fuck you and your pumpkins, no one likes you.
Here’s why I think I have such strong feelings towards post-graduation Halloween, because it’s a metaphor for so many other things in your life that become difficult to navigate once you graduate college. There are so many strange days of celebration, traditions, and holidays that you struggle to figure out in that 23-27 age range. No one wants to do the “adult” version of the day and be responsible and whatnot, fuck you one more time to the pumpkin carvers. But, we also can’t put together 6 different Halloween costumes and go out 6 nights in a row when you’re 25 either. So what do I propose you do for Halloween when you’re in your 20s but graduated college? Go out one or two nights, drink too much, hook up with someone you shouldn’t, complain the next day about how hangovers didn’t use to affect like this, get fat over the holidays, and end the year with another disappointing New Year’s Eve. Cheers.