As a young kid, Halloween was the unique opportunity to stay up late and go out on a school night — granted, “late” meant 8 p.m. and “go out” meant walk around the neighborhood. Still, there was something undeniably special about trick-or-treating. It was so much more than just ringing doorbells and getting candy.
Now that we’re in college, Halloween is no longer a one-day event. “Halloweekend” is a chain of parties filled with last minute costumes and, worst of all, no candy. While it would be outright disturbing to genuinely trick-or-treat as college students, I still yearn for the times when Halloween meant something more than partying. Walking down the street with a group of friends, holding a bulging pillowcase and wearing an overpriced Party City costume was an electric feeling akin to invincibility. Halloween was a night for the youth. We marched house to house while the adults did our bidding. For one night of the year, we were in charge.
The fun continued past the actual process of trick-or-treating. Once our bags were too full to carry without turning into a hunchback, the candy trading began. It was an intense operation that no one took lightly. After all, king-sized candy bars were on the line. As kids, there is so little we actually own — almost nothing is truly our property. Except for Halloween candy. There was a sense of responsibility over candy, an instinctive ownership. Now, I can walk down the street to CVS to pick up a Hershey bar. I don’t have to ring the doorbell. I don’t have to bring a bag. I don’t have to dress up. And it only feels like a snack.
Some of my fondest memories are from Halloweens of years past, many of which involve shoving fistfuls of candy into my bag from an unattended bowl labeled “Please Take One.” While it is safe to say that I may never go trick-or-treating again, I am optimistic that one day I can look back at my new memories of Halloweekend with the same nostalgia I do with trick-or-treating.