In October, there is anxiety in the air prompted by the pressures to have Halloween plans. We find ourselves bombarded with questions about parties and events.
To most, Halloween is a time to socialize. But for some, Halloween calls for a Tim Burton movie marathon, candy corn and the act of bundling up under warm blankets as a chilled breeze sneaks through an open window.
Don’t get me wrong, Halloween is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a wild night, but there are alternative ways to spend this spooky holiday.
Who’s to say you can’t stay in on the 31st? After all, it is a Sunday this year. Indulge yourself with scented autumn candles and a cozy bubble bath. Rather than scrolling through your Instagram feed overwhelmed with FOMO (fear of missing out), turn on the scariest movie you can think of, pop some Pillsbury pumpkin sugar cookies in the oven and let your room fill up with the scent of warmth.
Halloween has become so synonymous with partying, the holiday is often stretched over two weekends so college students and young adults can squeeze in as many parties as possible. For those who are willing to participate, I imagine it must take a lot of costume planning. Halloween should be scary, not stressful.
Even during the height of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic last year, my social media feed was littered with groups of friends in costumes and many others holding red solo cups. There is a buzzing desire to connect on this day socially, but this does not mean we are obligated to do so.
The transition from trick-or-treating to partying is abrupt. Early teenagers face a tough decision. “Are we too old for trick or treating? What do we do now?” Rarely do they choose to spend the night passing out candy and telling ghost stories. But isn’t that what Halloween is all about?
Here are a few ideas if you’re looking to spend a cozy night in. For crafty people, pumpkin carving is a messy and tedious project. Instead, buy some mini pumpkins and use acrylics to paint faces on them with your friends. When finished, put them outside your front door on display for trick-or-treaters or roommates.
Food and beverages are crucial for game night and movie marathons. Bake a pumpkin pie or mix candy corn into your cookie batter. Heat up some apple cider in your microwave and sprinkle cinnamon on top. While you munch with friends or family, blow the dust off an old board game or deck of cards.
For movie lovers, get into your pajamas and watch a new horror movie; hundreds of horror movies are released every year. Halloween is the perfect opportunity to binge them. Over the summer, “Candyman,” written by Jordan Peele, was released. Peele also wrote other highly-rated horror movies such as “Get Out” and “Us,” any of which would be a great way to kick off Halloween night.
To the students who enjoy going out on Halloween night, it’s important that you stay safe and know your resources. Stay in groups as much as possible and make sure your phone is charged.
Download the Rave Guardian app to stay connected with Montclair State University Police and quickly report suspicious activity. Montclair State is a Blue Light Campus; emergency call boxes are located throughout the campus and can be recognized by the blue light above the phone.
Lastly, if you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can report it to the Sexual Assault Response Team, who can be reached through University Police at 973-655-5222 or the University Health Center at 973-655-3459.
Whatever you’re doing this Halloween, have fun, and most importantly, stay safe.