Written by Maddie De Pree, Columnist
As October draws to a close, it occurs to me that it is time for my annual meditation on “Halloweekend.” It also has occurred to me that this is my last Halloween as an undergraduate student. My emotions on this range from sadness to a strange relief. I never have much fun on holidays—there’s always too much pressure to have a good time-so I don’t think I’ll miss the Halloweekend hype after I graduate from college. For those unfamiliar with the term, I will define Halloweekend here as the collective bender that takes place each year on the weekend of, well, Halloween. It should be noted, however, that not everyone observes Halloweekend in the same way. Some people crack open a beer, watch a scary movie with their friends, and go to sleep at a respectable hour. Others get plastered all three nights (and in three different costumes.) Still others dress up as Hugh Hefner and enlist their friends to be the Bunnies (shoutout to myself circa freshman year!) Regardless of how Furman students choose to celebrate, I think most everyone would agree that Halloweekend is one of the better weekends of fall semester. Allow me now to guide you, the reader, through a mental exercise. Picture me as a freshman in October of 2016—young, naive, excited for my first Halloweekend. Picture me attending my first frat party that evening (and fleeing within two minutes). Picture me scarcely observing Halloween during the following two years. Now, picture me on Halloween night of my senior year— worldly, poised, smoking a cigar in a tall armchair— staring at the bright-eyed underclassmen through a rainy windowpane. How hopeful they all are. How spry.
All this is not to say that I will be staying in during Halloweekend, but rather to illustrate the ways in which I’ve learned to manage my expectations around virtually any holiday, experience, or event. Whenever I expect too much of anything, I end up disappointed. Going into my final undergraduate Halloween, I’m keeping my expectations low. Who knows. I might be pleasantly surprised.
My final words of wisdom are as follows: stay safe, have fun, don’t accept any wooden nickels (or whatever old people say). As I’ve said, one doesn’t have to party (or even leave the house) to enjoy Halloween. The holiday is, at the very least, an excuse to dress up and hang out with your friends. And who doesn’t love to do that?