Yes, writing about Halloween as an “adult” just didn’t feel right. When I think of an “adult” Halloween, I think of parents taking their kids trick-or-treating, or a grandmother handing out caramel flavored hard candy while watching Jeopardy. I’m 26 years old, and I only graduated college three years ago. I simply cannot pretend like I have any authority to speak on Halloween as an “adult.”
Changing “adult” to “twentysomething” broke my writer’s block. I realized Halloween is distinctly different for twentysomethings than any other subsection of adults. Here’s three reasons why.
Twentysomethings have one foot in the party scene and the other in the “real” world.
Once you are an adult adult, like above 30, you cross a certain threshold that disqualifies you forever from partying in a college town. Every year after graduation, it becomes less and less acceptable to hit your old college town for a night of mayhem on Halloween weekend. I went back to my college town when I was 25, a mere two years after graduation, and I felt old in those bars.
On the flip side, you’ll feel young at the bars in your town that are hosting Halloween events. It’s like you exist in a limbo between college town life and how to go out like an “adult.”
If you’re younger than 25, I highly suggest considering one last hurrah in your college town. If you’re older than 25, you’ll probably end up feeling old and awkward. Which brings me to reason two.
Reason 2: The FOMO Fallacy
Another reason Halloween as a twentysomething is different than Halloween as an adult is what I call “the FOMO Fallacy.”
See, FOMO, or the Fear of Missing Out, is just your id playing tricks on you. Your id is the “inner child” of your psyche, and it pursues pleasure without considering consequences. FOMO happens when your id creates a false narrative regarding the amazingness of whatever you’re missing. In the case of Halloween, your id will want you to go to a crazy party. It will make you feel like you’re missing the best time.
We may think we have FOMO if we don’t have crazy plans for Halloween, but in reality, that feeling is just the sweet sting of growing up. Twentysomethings inevitably have that moment when they realize Halloween and all of the drinking holidays from college have severely lost their appeal. It’s better to just accept the reality of adulthood rather than chase the ghosts of Halloweens past.
Settled adults in their 30s or 40s probably have a fair amount of “normal” Halloweens under their belt. What they did on Halloween five years ago was probably very similar to what they’re doing this year. For most twentysomethings, Halloween five years ago was probably one of the craziest Halloweens of their lives. I know it was for me. For us twentysomethings, we have to be aware of the FOMO fallacy. Which brings me to reason three.
There’s a struggle between the Dreamer and the Realist for twentysomethings
The Dreamer is the part of you that says you’re taking Halloween off and going crazy at some high-profile event, and the Realist is the part of you that’s saying “why even waste the sick day?”
That’s the reality of Halloween as a twentysomething. It’s a struggle between wanting to live in the past and party like its Freshman year, and accepting your place in the real world. Adult adults have long-since accepted that Halloween is watching “Freeform” (ABC Family)’s 13 Nights of Halloween and daydreaming about the glory days. Will this be the year you accept the inevitable?
What’s your favorite thing to do on Halloween? Go out and drink? DVR Hocus Pocus and watch on repeat? Stare at your black cat and wonder if there’s a Puritan boy’s soul trapped somewhere inside? Let us know in the comments below.