College takes on Halloween

Junior Tia Phillipart poses with a friend after finding the perfect pumpkin.

Taryn Beaufort | Opinion Editor | The USD Vista

Halloween is right around the corner, which brings excitement to people of all ages, including University of San Diego students. The holiday may no longer be filled with trick-or-treating from door-to-door for Toreros, but that doesn’t stop them from celebrating.

As a child, senior Marissa Millender’s favorite part about Halloween was going trick-or-treating.

“I love candy, so I was always stoked to get a pillowcase full of candy,” Millender said. “At the end of the night I would separate all my candy into different piles then trade with my friends.”

Even at the end of her college career, Millender continues to enjoy the holiday but in a different fashion.

“Now my favorite part about Halloween is getting dressed up and going out with my friends,” Millender said. “This year I will probably go out to a bar that has a Halloween theme and hopefully get some discounted drinks.”

It is likely that Millender’s fellow Toreros will join her on Halloween night’s festivities.

“I think Halloween is definitely prevalent in college since it is technically a holiday,” Millender said. “College students will find any reason to get dressed up and party.”

Junior Tia Phillipart looks forward to Halloween every year to kick off her fall traditions.

“Each October since I can remember I’ve gone to a pumpkin patch and picked out the perfect pumpkin,” Phillipart said. “After we carve the pumpkin and make pumpkin seeds. We make a whole night of it, eating fall foods and watching Halloween movies.”

Although Phillipart carried this tradition with her through the years, her actual Halloween plans have evolved.

“I was all about trick-or-treating when I was younger,” Phillipart said. “I would be ready to the second it started getting dark. Now I would still love to go trick-or-treating, but I don’t think that it is age-appropriate anymore. I still enjoy dressing up, but I just go to parties instead.”

There are a wide variety of options for students to celebrate Halloween, besides attending festive soirées. San Diego hosts plenty of activities for non-partygoers.

Students can attend one of the many local haunted houses. The Haunted Hotel is located in downtown San Diego, The Scream Zone is at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, and the Savage House is located at the Westfield Mission Valley parking lot. The prices of haunted house tickets range from $20 to $30. Other options include pumpkin patches, Día De Los Muertos celebrations, or small gatherings with friends.

Senior Dominik Baer acknowledged the temptation of taking advantage of the holiday to attend a party, but doesn’t think he will go to one this year.

“This year I can’t quite find the time to go out,” Baer said. “I will probably still dress up and play some scary video games though.”

Baer was not always fond of the concept of ‘dressing up.’

“I wasn’t a huge fan of costumes,” Baer said. “I accepted that if I wanted a taste of the sugary goodness I needed to wear a costume. Nowadays I actually enjoy the costumes a lot more — it’s a lot of fun to dress up once a year.”

Baer has his own set of beliefs as to why Halloween continues to be prevalent among the college population.

“I think Halloween is prominent in college because it’s another excuse to put off your responsibilities,” Baer said. “Any other weekend you would be seen as non-studious.”

Even with the possibility of reigning in unlimited amounts of candy as a child, junior Kathryn Querner fondly remembered the holiday for the sentimental memories she created.

“My favorite part of Halloween as a child was making pumpkin bread with my mom,” Querner said. “I loved that the house always smelled like pumpkins and cinnamon in the weeks leading up to Halloween. I still make pumpkin bread all the time; I don’t think I will ever stop loving that smell. But now my favorite part is watching spooky movies, especially with my roommates. My favorite movies are ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas.’”

Each year, the Freeform channel puts on ‘13 Nights of Halloween.’ A variety of spooky movies and shows run from Oct. 19 until Oct. 31. Viewers can watch movies ranging from “Hocus Pocus” to “The Addams Family.”

Halloween brings each Torero a different reason to celebrate. Whether it’s dressing up in a spunky costume, or staying in for a night filled with pumpkin-flavored everything, there is something for everyone. Hopefully, every Torero will have a spooky Halloween filled with tricks-or-treats.