The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Five reasons I hate Halloween

Halloween is a highlight for some college students, but for others it is just an overrated time period on the calendar.
Zoe Yarbrough

Before we cap off a month filled with college football, cooler weather and all things spooky-season, we end with one of the biggest days on the calendar of a college student: Halloween. 

Many students can’t wait to pick a fun costume, carve a pumpkin and enjoy a night with friends, but I am not one of them. Halloween belongs in the grave under a tacky plastic headstone, and here is why. 

1) Picking a costume is stressful (and other costume woes)

Picture this: it is five days before Halloween, and I still do not have a costume. Instead of taking notes in my statistics class, I frantically text my mom for costume ideas that I can pull from my tiny dorm closet. I wanted something comfortable, yet stylish, unique and easy to put together. What costume falls between black shirt and cat ears and Violet Beauregarde from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (aka the best movie ever)? 

If you hail from the Midwest like myself, you are most likely familiar with this next costume woe. Once you have picked a costume that has a perfect balance of humor and originality, it is most likely incapable of going against the cold. As a kid trick-or-treating in the cold Midwest night, your adorable Spider-Man or Cinderella costume was always ruined by your mom’s insistence to put a giant puffer coat over top. How are the people passing out candy supposed to give you a nice sized helping of candy if they think you are dressed as Batman wearing a jacket?

2) Pumpkin carving usually goes wrong 

Pumpkin carving is a great way to show off your artistic talents in a spooky way. You can carve or paint anything from a traditional jack-o’-lantern to a Disney character. But, one wrong cut and your entire design is ruined. The triangle nose of your jack-o’-lantern might be closer to a droopy blob, or an intricate haunted house may actually look like a square with character. Not to mention the danger of stabbing a knife into a solid gourd all while saving your fingers from a Halloween disaster. Pumpkins are also a favorite treat of squirrels and other creatures, and with Vanderbilt’s 3:1 squirrel-to-student ratio, you will have to keep your finished project inside to avoid the damage. 

3) Paying for artificial fear is a waste

My biggest fear is jump scares. Heights are nothing and public speaking doesn’t make me flinch. But, jump scares are just too much. What comes along with the spooky season? Taking a trip to a haunted house, filled with artificial fear. I fully understand that all characters in the haunted house are merely characters, and that all fear is in fact artificial. However, that does not make the trip any less scary. Fake bats flying overhead, fog machines and zombies chasing you does not seem like the definition of fun to me, and I certainly would not pay to face my biggest fear. 

4) Seasonal candy is nonsense

I will never stop defending pumpkin spice and all its glory, and I am here once again petitioning for pumpkin to be a year-round flavor. One thing that I do love about Halloween is the candy and sweet treats it brings along. Ghost shaped Reese’s cups, caramel apples and, obviously, pumpkin spice lattes are a few of my favorites. But, why must these delicacies be seasonal? Flavors like vanilla, hazelnut and caramel are available year round, so why is the pumpkin spice flavor seasonal? Once Halloween has past you have about two days to scour the grocery store markdowns until the pumpkin spice glory leaves us for another year. 

5) The expectation to have fun is too high 

Much like any other holiday, Halloween carries a lot of pressure with its spooky trail. You have to pick a costume, celebrate with a fun fall activity like going to a pumpkin patch and have a good time going out with friends. College students may be considered lucky because there are endless options to celebrate Halloween. There’s student groups hosting pumpkin decoration events, costume contests, haunted houses and Halloween parties. However, there can be too much to choose from, and it can be overwhelming to coordinate with friends where to go and what to see, leading to social burnout. But if you choose not to go out, that fear of missing out sets in and you begin to wonder if spooky season is worth it after all. Whether you celebrate all Halloweekend long, or spend the weekend watching non-spooky TikToks in your room, just remember that the winter holidays are less than two months away. 

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About the Contributors
Jorie Fawcett, Editor-in-Chief
Jorie Fawcett ('25) is from Tiffin, Ohio, and studies secondary education and sociology in Peabody College. She previously served as Managing Editor and Life Editor. When not writing for The Hustler, you can find her teaching, reading or pretending to study at Local Java or Suzie's. You can reach her at [email protected].
Zoe Yarbrough, Former Deputy Social Media Director
Zoe Yarbrough (2024) is a student in Peabody College double majoring in German and Child Studies. She served as Deputy Social Media Director. When not designing graphics for The Hustler, she is watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, figure skating or drinking coffee. You can reach her at [email protected].
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The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
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1 year ago

Halloween is a disgrace