By Thi Nguyen, Iswarya Vel, Maria Johnson, Zoe Mrozek, Michelle Wheatley, Emily Lehman, Maura Flynn and Gianna Penezic
Thi Nguyen (Biology): Bright yellow, orange and red leaves fall like colorful confetti, as the wind rustles the trees near my best friend’s house. Dressed as a witch in long flowy black, with my fellow princess sister and frog companion brother, I walk on the stone pathway toward the front door. Stopping briefly to admire the ravens, cobwebs, bats and other decorations that adorn the porch, we wonder what costumes our friends will be wearing when we greet them. today, we have the opportunity to fill our afternoon with fun fall activities, including pumpkin carving, a haunted corn maze, hayride and trick-or-treating around the neighborhood after sunset. Some of my favorite Halloween and fall memories as a child have been these festive Halloween gatherings.
Iswarya “Ice” Vel (Biology/Business Analytics, Decision & System Sciences): My favorite Halloween memory was when I went to the local YMCA for their Halloween night with my friends. My family would go every year. The YMCA would have bounce houses, game stations, haunted hallways, face painting, and other fun activities for the kids to have fun taking part in. I remember having a great time playing games and goofing off with my friends while in costume. I also remember the large amounts of candy that I would end up bringing home before the 31st even came around.
Maria Johnson (Biology): A favorite Halloween memory of mine is trick-or-treating with my friends on a particular street near my own neighborhood that housed a lot of families. All the houses would be decorated extravagantly, with jack-o-lanterns, flashing lights, cobwebs and many more fun Halloween decorations, which created a great atmosphere. Within the few blocks of the neighborhood that we went trick-or-treating on, almost every house was open. Even as older kids, the families would welcome me and my friends onto their porch, compliment us on our costumes and give us candy. It really meant a lot for us to all be able to have fun trick-or-treating in such a welcoming environment, and of course bring home lots of candy.
Zoe Mrozek (Biology): My favorite Halloween memories are trick-or-treating every year with my sister and our neighbors. My sister and I would start out trick-or-treating on our street, and then meet up with our neighbors around the block. The six of us, along with our dads and two beaglers, would spend hours getting as much candy as we possibly could. The night always ended by going to the haunted house that a family in our neighborhood would set up in their backyard. One of my favorite costumes from those days was when I was Tinker Bell and my sister was Peter Pan. I have to give my Mom full credit for coordinating these costumes and making them from scratch!
Michelle Wheatley (Mathematics): I don’t necessarily have a favorite Halloween memory, but I love the season in general: the corn mazes, the apple cider donuts, the costumes and of course the candy! Every year, my brother and I would go trick-or-treating as kids, dressing up in some of the craziest costumes. We would walk around the whole neighborhood, and always make sure to go to the haunted house this one family would set up. Then, after a long and exhausting night, we would come home, spread all of our candy on the living room floor, and swap favorites that we had earned from our hours of knocking on doors.
Emily Lehman (Physics/Environmental Science): As a rebellious girl who has grown up to be a rebellious adult, I simply loved to argue with my mom. After she bought me a particularly girly princess costume one year when I was nine or ten, I decided the day before Halloween that I was going to be a pirate instead. She and I battled it out, and we decided that I would wear the princess dress but that I could also wear a beard and carry a sword. The confusion at almost every door I knocked on that evening was–to both my mom and me–PRICELESS! After we went home that night, my little brother and I then ranked our favorite candies, in order to price them for a barter system. Everyone knows that it takes at least four Sweet Tarts to earn a Milky Way. My little brother and I ate candy until we passed out on the living room floor. Best. Halloween. Ever!
Maura Flynn (Biology/Psychology): When I think about Halloween as a kid, I think about learning to negotiate. That’s what happens when you are the youngest child in the house! In my town, there are no year-round residents, so we have to drive over the bridge to the mainland to trick-or-treat. My sisters and I would separate for the night and go trick-or-treating with our friends. Then, we would return home, our feet sore, exhausted by the night of long walks. Why do the houses with the best candy–you know, the king-sized bars–have to be so far apart? But when we all would get home, even though my mother would beg us to just go to bed, we would take our sacks and sit in a circle on the kitchen floor. Then we would start sorting by type and value. Chocolate (particularly Reese’s and Kit Kats) was at the top of everyone’s list. Smarties and Nerds came in last. We would trade away and rank the best costumes we saw. And of course, we would always make a tiny pile of candy for our parents as a thank you for driving us.
Gianna Penezic (Biology): My favorite Halloween memory was trick-or-treating every year with my Dad! I am an only child, so I never had a sibling posse to go out with, but I had my Dad. Not only would he accompany me, but he would dress up in a coordinating costume. Some of my favorite costume pairings were Pop Star and Bodyguard, Ariel and Prince Eric, and Pop Star (for a 2nd time) and Elvis. It meant so much to me that my Dad put so much effort into the holiday for me, especially when he would normally not be the kind of person to dress up.