A Spectator Halloween
Reading Time: 4 minutes
On a typical Thursday night, you can find Stuyvesant students in their usual anxious and tense state. But this upcoming October 31 is anything from a typical Thursday night.
The Arts and Entertainment Department surveyed students in the grade-wide student Facebook groups, asking about their plans for this Halloween. The results dictate the unique views of high school students who have the additional stress load of work every day, including Halloween. A total of 109 students responded to the survey and shared their opinions on this unique holiday.
When students were asked to reveal their favorite Halloween movie, the first-place title was awarded to Coraline, with Charlie Brown’s Halloween Special and Halloweentown second and third, respectively. Notably, all of the movies are kids movies. In fact, all of the top seven results are rated PG or less, demonstrating the power and influence that nostalgia has on the holiday.
As individuals who often find themselves making last-minute plans on Halloween, we were incredibly interested in what the poll-takers planned to do on the holiday. By far, most responders plan to hang out with friends on Halloween (46.3 percent), but a significant portion also plan to do nothing/schoolwork (34.3 percent), and 22.2 percent plan to go trick or treating. Perhaps the most interesting data point is that a mere five percent of poll-takers said that they plan to go to a Halloween party. In much of modern media (“Mean Girls,” “Hocus Pocus”), high schoolers are portrayed as being big on Halloween parties, but perhaps this is not the case with Stuyvesant. It also could be true that Halloween parties are going out of fashion or that we only obtained results from non-party-going kids. Either way, this number seems astonishingly low.
After this question, students weighed in on the pressing issue of costumes. While we are very pro-costume, we were worried that other students might not reciprocate our affinity for the unique attire. Nearly one-third of poll-takers responded that they, unfortunately, would not dress up in traditional garb this Halloween. However, 33.7 percent of the respondents said that they do plan to wear a costume, both during and after school. A combined 14.5 percent of students said that they would wear a costume either after or during school, but not both. We truly hope that part of the 26.2 percent of undecided voters decide to don a costume, because otherwise our numbers might run a bit scarce, and there’s nothing worse than showing up to school in a costume, only to find that you are a sorrowful outlier.
Halloween is generally known as a day where we celebrate the innocence of children, who dress up as their favorite characters or celebrity and go door to door looking for candy. But one haunting question forever looms: How old is “too old” to trick or treat? When we asked high schoolers for their opinion, the results differed from our expectations. A mere 9.8 percent thought we were too old, while 41.5 percent of voters agreed that high schoolers don’t exceed the age of adolescence. Stuyvesant students clearly disagree with the stigma surrounding teenagers trick or treating, which is peculiar.
But what would Halloween be without the sweet treats? We remember creating a list of the best houses every year to record which people gave out the King Size chocolate bars, as opposed to the Fun Size. To many, the greatest part of Halloween night remains competing with your friends to see who got the best and the most candy. While there are usually dozens of candies to choose from, most people have a definitive favorite that they attempt to trade for every year. We put this to the test and asked the respondents about their favorite Halloween candy. The leading answer, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, was expected. In fact, the answers were all fairly predictable. Kit-Kats, Sour Patch Kids, and Twix came in second, third, and fourth respectively, which makes complete sense. Some candies are just undeniably and universally amazing.
When you think about Halloween, nostalgic memories of crazy costumes or late nights with old friends probably flow into your head. As we grow older, we experience the societal obligation to mature and move away from childish activities. Instead of receiving candy, we may now be tasked with handing out candy to the eager children at our front door. Yes, this survey told us about Stuyvesant students’ favorite candy and movie, but it also demonstrated that no matter how old and mature we may want to be or are told to be, a large part of who we are comes from our childhoods. We must not think of Halloween as an excuse to hang out with friends, but instead as a day to remember and cherish the time of our life where costumes and candy were everything. So regardless of your views, we hope that on October 31 you take the time to commemorate your beginnings and help make Halloween memorable for the kids that knock on your door, exclaiming, “Trick or treat!”