All treats, no tricks: The Laurier Halloween experience

Graphic by Jaime Mere

I’ve always enjoyed Halloween. As a kid, the best part (other than candy, of course) was planning and sewing my costumes with my mom. Being able to pull the last few stitches together and head out with my younger brother and neighbourhood friends year after year was definitely a highlight of my childhood. 

As I grew up, handing out candy to the little princesses, lions, witches and firefighters that knocked on the door of our family home always brought a smile to my face. 

But, having been a university student for the last few years, my experience of Halloween is much different than what it used to be; and as nostalgic as I am about being nagged to brush my teeth while stuffing my face with Rockets and peanut M&Ms, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 

Halloween at university is a really liberating experience. You can go out at whatever time you want, wear whatever you want, and come home at three in the morning without getting hassle from your parents. You can have friends over at any hour to pregame for a house party or a bar night without fear of being told to keep it down. 

In terms of costumes, students can get away with a lot: since we’re going out when there aren’t kids around, we can go out in (literally) cheekier outfits that may not have adhered to the school dress codes we were subject to in our high school days. You can be scary, funny, clever, cute or all of the above. And if you can’t decide on one costume, the unwritten student rule that “Halloweekend” (in the case of this year, a two-time occurrence) lets you change up your attire every night for a continuous three-day partying streak. 

One of the best parts about Halloween at university is that the ladies’ bathrooms at bars, pubs and clubs become some of the most wholesome and uplifting spaces around.

I’ve seen girls give each other their last tissues, Band-Aids and bobby pins just to help another with an unpinned wig, a costume mishap or a blister from uncomfortable high heels. Plus, the compliments girls liberally deliver to each other while waiting for a stall to empty are some of the best verbal exchanges of the year. 

If dressing up and going out isn’t for you, Halloween in Waterloo still gives students plenty of opportunities to experience the best parts of the season. Living here in the fall has its perks – Laurier’s close proximity to nearby farms and orchards means that if pumpkin patch and corn maze photoshoots are your cup of tea, you’re in luck. 

The leaves in Waterloo Park have already turned some beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red, which are even more enjoyable to look at with a hot apple cider in your hand and some good friends by your side.

Also, clearance chocolate. I don’t think that needs an explanation. 

It’s this type of unity that students feel on Halloween that define who and what we are as a community.

Laurier undeniably has the reputation of being a wild party school, but in my two (and nearly three) spooky seasons here so far, I’ve learned that Halloween is one of the best times of the year to bump into old friends and make new ones. Really, it’s all treats over tricks. Here’s hoping that this Halloween is no different. 

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