There is no greater paradox than the American college student. The culmination of 13 years of receiving numbers (note: the lack of the verb learning) that separate the intelligent from the blank all just to go to an institution that continues to coddle the man-children of the world in a final, four-year hurrah. Of course, as the brain doesn’t fully develop until 25 years of age, the boys here truly are more children than man, but that doesn’t stop people from perpetuating their delusions of grandeur by claiming to be ‘adults.’
Frankly, growing up is realizing that even the professors 20 years our senior still don’t know what the fuck is going on, so why should we? They’re not grown, they’re just dying. With every failed joke and misunderstanding of slang comes the realization that it is less that they are highly specialized in their field and more that they are exclusively specialized in it. Aside from the professors in the education department; their degrees aren’t even in teaching! The best we can do is hope these highly intelligent people were also working on their social skills as they were working for that tenure.
With that in mind, it is only natural that certain members of the student body have lingering desires to go trick-or-treating. After all, the initial reason people stopped in the first place was good old-fashioned peer pressure, and the same can be said for why most of them want to pick it up again in college. But between the students I’ve personally spoken to, there generally seems to be two camps of people that yearn to relive this night. There are those whose desire is merely an extension of their life in the bubble of their college town and are equally as motivated to show up to their class in sweats as they are to show up to someone’s front door with a sack for sweets; and then there are regular, stand-up Americans that recognize how based the institution of Halloween truly is.
At our age, we can recognize this night for its community aspect. Plus, we’re at the age where the 1 candy bar rule would truly be honored. Then again, I shoplift from literally any chain store I’m forced to be in, so the wealthy suburban families leaving their candy bowls of indifference shouldn’t be safe either. That being said, there is this sneaking suspicion in me that kids our age would flat-out ruin Halloween for the poor little iPad cherubs. If someone wasn’t letting the secret of the Great Pumpkin out of the bag, I could easily see someone’s slutty hippie costume (a.k.a your avarge UVM student) be the exposure one little tike needs to abandon their family and join the Bread and Puppet theatre. Yeesh. But even worse, imagine a costume so nuanced and niche even the adults don’t get it. That is the last time I dress up as the regional manager of the factory that makes Gwenyth Paltrow’s vagina candles.
Because of that, I’ve even heard people suggest a separate day specifically dedicated to students. Picture it: symbols on each house marking which families are willing to accept the student body with open arms, like LGBT safe space stickers on middle school art teachers’ doors. Each door the chance for some genuine goodies, like alcohol. I would even accept candy laced with weed. One man’s suburban rumor fueled by the anxieties of never truly being able to trust your neighbor is another man’s treasure! However, there truly would be no treasure more coveted than the prospect of sexy single parents in your area. Perhaps in those instances could the sexy hippie come out and play, but if meeting students on Halloweekend is your thing, maybe looking for a SPILF should just stay as a fantasy.
Unfortunately, with heavy consideration, the Halloween dilemma remains a topic only reserved to those with enough free time on their hands to contemplate such powerful questions regarding our existence as manbabies, womanbabies, theybabies or however the fuck you want to imply that no amount of money from our families will take away from the screaming Id that fuels all of our impulsive, immature decisions. But honestly I don’t know another holiday better suited for all these impulses anyway.