The meaning of Halloween is different for college students

Halloween is about trick-or-treating and racking up as much candy as possible. But once you outgrow that phase what is there to do?

For most college students and adults, the treat becomes alcohol instead of candy.

Like most national holidays, Halloween also gives adults another excuse to host a party to get drunk and dress up as their favorite superhero, television character, movie character, etc. It is common knowledge, but the amount of alcohol consumed is often not known.

According to Psychology Today, the amount of alcohol consumed overall for this holiday increases by about 30%.

Whenever an anti-depressant like alcohol is involved, dangers are created, especially in college. Personally, Halloween weekend at colleges is something that college students nationwide look forward to but have to be extremely careful.

I think the biggest reason why is because in order to get to college parties, most students walk because they know they will be intoxicated and do not want to run the risk of drunk driving. At the same time, more so at bigger academic institutions, students run the risk of pedestrian accidents due to the simple fact that more students come out to party on Halloween weekend more than most weekends.

This is even a problem for children that go trick-or-treating as nationwide pedestrians are 35% more likely to be hit by a car during Halloween week than the rest of the year (Psychology Today). So by adding alcohol to that equation for college students, they add to their chances of being injured.

The question that must be asked is why is Halloween such a popular for college students when they can just have a themed party that they can dress up for any weekend that they want? I believe the answer to that is nostalgia.

If you were born and raised in the U.S., as a child, there was nothing cooler than dressing up as anything that you went, then walk around town from house to house making people give up their candy that you would later dump all over your bed so your parents can help you separate the “good” candy from the “bad” ones.

After getting rid of those bad ones, you would start eating the good ones then go into school the next day to brag to your friends about how much candy you got. As well as trading candy with friends and family.

That nostalgia effect is ultimately why I believe Halloween hits for so many college students, as well as adults.

According to the New York Times, Nostalgia has been shown to counteract loneliness, boredom and anxiety and it makes people more generous to strangers and more tolerant of outsiders.

Based on those findings alone about the effects of nostalgia, it is not hard to see why a nostalgic holiday like Halloween can bring many college students together, even though many of them prefer consuming alcohol instead of consuming candy.