This Halloween, peer pressure has created a new tradition for teenagers rather than the typical festivities: drinking and partying.
Are high schoolers still enjoying the classic Halloween spirit or has a new ritual become the mandate for teenagers? “In high school it’s more about Halloween parties,” said NHS junior Ryan Bredin, “where you’re drinking and it’s not the Halloween where you are just trick-or-treating anymore.”
It seems it is common at a certain age to ditch the classic costumes and trick-or-treating and resort to other methods of fun. From asking a wide variety of people, older and younger, the overall switch in Halloween happens at the end of middle school. “They’re getting to the age where maybe that’s not cool anymore,” said NHS faculty Mr. Boyd. One of his two sons is approaching the last couple years of middle school and Boyd is noticing a change in his Halloween spirit.
The hype of partying starts in middle school. JFK 8th grader Juliette Long said she would take up any offer to go to a Halloween party and that her friend said that she could come with him to a party next year. “He’ll be a senior next year,” she added.
Peer pressure and a group shift also makes teen agers hesitant to celebrate Halloween. There seems to be some judgement around going all out with your costume and even Bredin said he was given dirty looks for trick-or-treating at his age.
So if high schoolers can’t trick-or-treat, what are they supposed to do? The unfortunate answer usually involves partying, drinking, and drugs. NHS freshman Ariana Clark said, “most high schoolers who drink do so the most often on Halloween. It’s the first major holiday of the year, so I think people definitely wait for this night.”
As a suggestion, Clark said that letting parents know about teen drinking could help educate and prevent issues on Halloween, though Bredin said there isn’t anything to be done.
So what are some alternative options to drinking? NHS junior Jemma Fisher gave suggestions such as telling ghost stories and watching scary movies. She also suggested going to a “creepy place” and having a seance.
There is a need to ensure safety on Halloween for both teenagers and young kids out at night. “I think [Halloween] used to be a lot safer,” said Boyd. “Now I wouldn’t let my kids out trick-or-treating without an adult with them.”