The week of costumes, candy, and “tricks” is upon us. Halloween is the second biggest social event (after Homecoming) of the Fall semester. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to showcase your creative costume, engage in alcohol/drugs, and overall make bad decisions. People like to use Halloween as their scapegoat for bad decision making. We want you to be prepared, equipped with the right information, and safely enjoy your Halloween experience while in college. Here are a few things to consider:
- Costume Choice: Be creative in your choice. You want something that will be fun, cheap, and not offensive. Try visiting your closet to see what you can pull together to create the look you want to achieve. Then explore thrift shops for cheap finds. Lastly, recruit the talents of your friends; there may be make-up artist and stylist among other talents. When picking your costume try to avoid stereotypes, mocking other cultures, and poking at touchy subjects. Group costumes are fun and allow you the opportunity to bond with others.
- Alcohol/Drugs: Be careful with the type of parties you choose to attend. Some will be heavily supplied with alcohol and drug activity. Make the decision on who will serve as a designated driver and party in pairs. While at the party you should always keep an eye on your partner and know where they are and what they are doing at all times. Be sure to watch beverages and never leave them unattended, parties are the perfect time to slip something into your unsuspecting drink. Try to avoid binge drinking games such as beer pong and power hour. These games are dangerous in nature as they require a person to consume large amounts of alcohol in a short amount of time. If you think something is wrong err on the safe side and assume something is wrong. If your partner has been gone for a while, assume they need your help and go find them. If someone needs medical attention, do not assume they will be okay in the morning, take them to a professional right away to make the determination. If you do not feel comfortable with what is happening at a party, trust your gut and leave. Alcohol and Drugs do not constitute having a good time. Find ways to have fun that do not require you to alter your frame of mind.
- Bad Decisions: The nature of Halloween allows people to dress-up and live the night as someone else. Taking on an alter ego and having the ability to escape your day-to-day life for one night can be an exhilarating idea. Keep in mind what you do in that one night can have to potential to affect the rest of your life. Disorderly conduct, pranks, and unprotected sex can all lead to unfavorable consequences. A night of fun can wind up being a night in jail, a suspension (or expulsion) from school, a STD or unplanned pregnancy.
Make the most of Halloween, it is a fun time and there are a variety of things you can do to celebrate. Haunted Houses, community service projects for neighborhood kids, a movie night with friends, pumpkin carving and fun treats are all safe and fun ways to celebrate Halloween. Whatever you choose to do to celebrate, make sure you make wise decisions and enjoy what the night has to offer. The iRAs are here to answer any questions you may have about Halloween festivities.