Boo! A blast from your childhood


halloween nostalgiaFor college students, especially those at the University of San Diego, October 31 usually reminds us of the Halloween party scene from Mean Girls.

You know the one: Regina George dresses as a promiscuous bunny to impress the cute boy, Aaron Samuels, from her calculus class. For me, calculus is a horrifying experience on it’s own, but that’s beside the point.

Regina spent countless hours coming up with the perfect costume to compliment her features. Yet Cady Heron, who wore a comedically scary ex-wife costume, was immediately embarrassed. Cady apparently didn’t know that Halloween costumes had changed since her young trick-or-treating days. This is similar to how some students feel the morning after their first Halloween at college.

Remember back when Halloween was seemingly simpler? Halloween used to be the time for a month of scary movie marathons leading to a spectacular night wearing both scary and funny costumes. We all tore up and down the streets of the neighborhood begging our parents to go just one more block for the reward of buckets full of candy. All of this for the fun of sorting, organizing, eating, and eventually ending up in a half-comatose state. Oh, the joy.

I remember that fondly, and, to be honest, I miss those times. I miss racking my mind for the best costume for my personality that year, from a princess to a doctor to Minnie Mouse. I miss strangers giving me copious amounts of free candy in exchange for a cute smile and an awesome costume. I miss when I was young enough to go treat-or-treating with tired and grumpy parents trailing behind a big group of witches, princesses, warlocks, and various Harry Potter characters.

If you’re feeling nostalgic like I am, this is for you. Here’s what you can do to bring back those magic moments and simpler times today.

1. Delight in Halloween films.

Watch those great, albeit cheesy, Halloween movies. Travel to Halloweentown with Marnie and her family of witches. Experience Christmas for the first time with Jack Skellington in the Nightmare Before Christmas. It will not only get you into the spooky mood, but it will also make you want to snuggle up with a dancing skeleton and drink a piping hot cup of witches brew. Need some other movies to consider? Casper the Friendly Ghost, Twitches, and, of course, the 1993 classic Hocus Pocus with Sarah Jessica Parker, pre-Sex and the City.

If you were the more adventurous moviegoer as a child, there also plenty of terrifying movies to rewatch. Paranormal Activity has expanded since the first one terrified us all in 2009. I still remember how scared my middle school was of leaving their foot out a blanket in fear of being pulled into the darkness. We also watched other terrifying movies such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers the Halloween, The Ring series, Nightmare on Elm Street, Night of the Living Dead, the Exorcist, or the classic Silence of the Lambs. Watchers beware: do not watch alone.

2. Indulge in Halloween candy.

While you’re watching movies, eat a lot of candy. This has not changed since childhood. Candy is still great. So go for it on Halloween. Unfortunately, back in the day when I went trick or treating, I had no idea how expensive candy was. Apparently we have exceeded the proper trick-or-treating age. However, that should not stop you from binge eating Tootsie Pops and Snickers bars until you feel nauseous. Splurge.

3. Decorate sugar cookies and carve pumpkins.

Invite some friends over for an intimate party to celebrate the season. Bake some sugar cookies, from scratch or homemade. While you’re waiting for the cookies to bake, get started on the pumpkin carving. Grab a pumpkin and some carving tools, maybe even a stencil too. Empty the pumpkin seeds and flesh, and carve your desired shape. When the cookies are ready, use cookie cutters to make fun fall shapes. Whether you prefer cookies shaped like leaves or pumpkins, buy frosting and some festive sprinkles and decorate. Grab some hot apple cider, sit around a fire, and enjoy each other’s company.

If these ideas don’t reflect your particular nostalgia, feel free to start a tradition with friends reminiscent of your old memories.

College presents its own new and exciting Halloween festivities. Take a moment to relive any of your revered childhood memories. Who knows, it might really uplift your spirits, especially if your midterms were scary enough for three Halloweens this week. Just remember, binge eat candy responsibly. Too much sugar can cause a major sugar rush, and you might regret it in the morning.