Alireza Shahabi was dressed up so that he could attend a Halloween party for American Language Program (ALP) students. Shahabi said he bought his Julius Caesar costume from Party City and that he was excited to have the chance to wear it.
“It’s easy, and a little bit near to my culture, because I’m Persian,” Shahabi said. “I like this one because it’s different.”
It’s hard to imagine for many college students who are used to childhoods spent trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns and choosing costumes. However, Shababi, who is 32 years old, doesn’t have any Halloween traditions that he participates in every year. He arrived in the U.S. only three months ago and this is his first time celebrating the holiday.
“I’ve never experienced Halloween before, but I just ask about it and read about it on the internet,” Shahabi said.
He said that the U.S. is fun because people dress up for fun, not just for superstitious reasons. The ALP party, which provided refreshments, games and even costumes for people who forgot to bring their own, was the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Noor Almandil was on campus sporting a stylish unicorn costume. Almandil’s costume was complete with both a horn and wings, she said some people weren’t sure what she was supposed to be.
“Some people were trying to guess what I was, but they couldn’t tell because this (her hood) wasn’t up,” Almandil said.
However, she said the proof of her unicorn hood was in the costume itself.
“On the little tag it says that I was a unicorn,” Almandil said.
She also said that she dresses up for Halloween every year, but she has never dressed up for school. Since this is her senior year as a CTVA major, it seemed like a good time to debut the fantasy creature look for campus.
Almandil said she didn’t necessarily have any annual Halloween traditions besides dressing up. Last year, she went to a Halloween party that one of her coworkers threw.
This year, though, she is facing something many college students would agree is more sinister and scary than any horror movie or haunted house. This year, she said she wouldn’t be going out for Halloween at all.
“I have too much homework,” Almandil said.
Mercedes Shroyer, a speech language pathology major, was sporting a puppy onesie. Her friend Monika Prokes, a communicative disorders graduate student, was wearing a minion version of the same garment.
“Onesies are comfortable,” Shroyer said about the simplicity of her costume.
Shroyer said she dresses up every year, and Prokes said that she dresses up almost every year. When it comes to their holiday traditions, they like to keep it simple. Shroyer said that most years, she likes to watch scary movies and eat candy corn, the traditional Halloween treat. For this year’s Halloween, she was planning to carry on the tradition with her boyfriend.
“We’re going to watch ‘The Witch,’” Shroyer said. “(It’s) pretty much just like a different horror movie (every year).”
Prokes said that she usually spends her Halloween the same way. Although this year, she was going to help a family friend by taking her children trick-or-treating, it’s usually all about the candy corn. After all, what other day has so much candy not only available, but acceptable, to eat?
“Usually I just do the same thing, like watch movies with friends and eat a bunch of candy, because it’s an excuse to,” Prokes said.