A word of caution for Halloween tricks, treats

Nicole Stejskal

While the leaves may be turning bright shades of red and orange, one would hardly guess that it’s fall in Kansas. It seems as though Mother Nature skipped right over fall and went straight into winter with cold, harsh winds and damp, dreary days. The weather alone is enough to make any student lose motivation midway through the semester.

Despite missing the season of fall, there is one thing students won’t be skipping out on this month: Halloween. While it may not be the most popular national holiday, Halloween gives students a reason to celebrate mid-semester, all while having a little fun and regaining the motivation to finish the rest of the semester.

Halloween is also the one holiday this time of year that doesn’t carry a family-time obligation with it. Now don’t get me wrong – I think spending time with family is extremely important. But I have to admit, it’s nice to share the holiday spirit with the other group of people that knows you best – your friends.

Although the weather might be cold, Halloween has never seemed to be the appropriate holiday for layers, especially among college-aged celebrants. In fact, the lack of clothing worn for costumes amazes me. Last year, when I was required to dress up for my waitressing job, I found it difficult to purchase a costume that didn’t make me appear ready to work another job after I finished at the restaurant (if you know what I mean).

As we’ve grown older, the tradition of trick-or-treating has died out, much like the need for appropriate costumes. What have taken its place are the traditional college parties, amped up in scale by the holiday celebration. Both traditions, each with its pros and cons, ultimately end in the same fashion: an overconsumption of calories, and a lingering feeling of regret.

No matter how you choose to spend the fall holiday, I encourage you to enjoy the time and have fun. If you spend the evening dressed up as a clown while trick-or-treating with your kid sister, more power to you (we’re college students after all – we like free stuff too). And if you choose to pursue the party route (I’m not going to deny that it doesn’t happen), remember that the scene might offer some nasty tricks, without the treats.

Finally, I urge you all to be cautious with the places you go and the pictures you take. Without a Facebook policy on our campus, anything is game for our administration. A careless photo can turn into a serious nightmare, whether you were in the wrong or not. In no way do I support illegal behavior, so I’m not telling you to not get caught. However, something as small as an empty beer can appearing in the background of your profile picture can land you somewhere other than Washburn’s campus, and I don’t want innocent people to become victims.

On a final note, I wish you all a very Happy Halloween. Be safe, enjoy yourselves and have fun.