As children, Halloween means trick-or-treating, dressing up and watching scary movies. For many Weber State University students, growing up means traditions change. Trick-or-treating with family is replaced by partying, and robot costumes are replaced with schoolgirl outfits.
“As you get older, Halloween goes from being a fun holiday to more of a sexual holiday,” said WSU sophomore Kurtis Livingston.
Almost all of the WSU students interviewed said they spent Halloween trick-or-treating with their families as children. Other common childhood traditions included carving pumpkins and making their own costumes with help from parents.
“Every year I used to dress up as a different character from ‘Star Wars’,” said WSU senior Whitney Wallis.
Wallis said, her other traditions when she was a child included carving pumpkins with her family and trick-or-treating.
WSU student Taylor Winnie said she has her own specific Halloween traditions.
“I start watching scary movies on Oct. 1, and I only carve (pumpkins) the day of Halloween,” Winnie said, “never the day before.”
Another aspect on trick-or-treating is trunk-or-treating. The few students who said they had been trunk-or-treating said they either do one or the other, never both.
Once in college, though, students’ Halloween plans range from working to watching movies to partying. Although most students interviewed said they stopped trick-or-treating in junior high, a few said they still planned on dressing up and trick-or-treating this Halloween. Others, who have only quit trick-or-treating recently, said it was because someone they trick-or-treated to said they were too old to be trick-or-treating.
“My brother trick-or-treated until he was 22,” Winnie said. “He only stopped when he went to a Buckethead concert instead, and that broke his streak.”
This year, Winnie plans on attending the Night of Fright Drive-in at WSU.
Although students grow and change, for some, the only change in their traditions is the roles they play. They are no longer the trick-or-treaters, but the adults who take children trick-or-treating.
“I’m taking my little brother out for his first Halloween,” said Mario Arroyo, a WSU freshman. “He’s 1. I’m taking him as a little teddy bear.”
Daniel Mendes, another WSU sophomore, said he will go to a party unless he ends up taking his little cousins out trick-or-treating. He said he gets really into character when he takes his cousins out, to the point of army-crawling through front lawns dressed as a soldier one year.
For most students, Halloween has changed from a chance to spend time with family to an opportunity to go out with friends. For these students, the tradition has come full circle.
For WSU student Emanuel Olivas, who was raised not celebrating Halloween, Wednesday night is another chance to study for a test the next day. Other students said having Halloween on a Wednesday means two full weekends of dressing up and partying.