Opinion: Wear your Halloween costume to class today

College students underappreciate Halloween, but it should be our favorite holiday of the year.


Manasa Gudavalli

Wear your costume to class. You know you secretly want to. (Illustration by Manasa Gudavalli)

Jules Roscoe, Opinion Editor

Today marks the end of spooky season. The extensive costume planning and horror movie marathons will culminate tonight as Halloween — one of the United States’ most popular holidays — comes to a close. The National Retail Foundation estimates that 69% of the population will celebrate, and spend around $10.1 billion in doing so. This is a time for us to indulge in candy, parties and shameless fashion choices, and it deserves to be celebrated to the fullest extent. 

Except Halloween is on a Monday this year, and you’re an NYU student with a midterm this afternoon. You’re becoming an adult in the real world, so you should take yourself seriously. Your outfit must reflect the academic rigor this university is so renowned for. Right?

Not necessarily. Halloween belongs everywhere, including in the classroom. 

Wearing a costume is the perfect conversation starter. Maybe there’s a classmate or a little crush you’ve been meaning to talk to, but there is simply nothing interesting to talk about. If you go as a polyester banana, you’ll be sure to catch their eye. The awkwardness is part of it, believe me. Or, if you have a beautiful hand-made crochet mermaid costume, they’ll talk to you about your craftsmanship, and you can be impressive instead of awkward. If you bring your personal Halloween into the classroom, you’ll build an identity for yourself, and people will learn your name. 

Plus, if enough people participate, a costume-full class builds solidarity. You can collectively admire one another’s costumes, and even have a mini costume contest if your professor is so inclined. If someone else shows up in a polyester banana costume, you can upstage them. Laughter is the best way to bring people together, and Halloween affords us the perfect opportunity to do that. 

If you care at all about Halloween, you probably put a lot of effort into getting your costume together. Sure, the time to celebrate is usually after 11 p.m., and the parties were mostly this past weekend. But why waste your effort? Showcase your creativity to your classmates and earn yourself a name in NYU fashion. You won’t get a socially acceptable chance to wear your polyester banana costume until next year, after all. 

And if your costume is of the lingerie-and-various-animal-ears variety, that’s okay too — Halloween is the one day nobody can say anything about it. You deserve to live in this judgment-free moment.

These are all good reasons. But I’ll be honest. I have a personal vendetta against Halloween which might explain why I’m so adamant this year. 

This is the first Halloween I have properly celebrated in three years. The past two, of course, were tainted with health concerns about the pandemic. New York City is steadily regaining its vibrant nightlife, and this was the first time I’ve been able to witness the nighttime energy the city is known for. In 2019, I did not celebrate for a different reason that was entirely my fault — a lovely little case of pneumonia and strep throat at the same time. That was the day my college applications were due, too. It was rough. 

This year’s celebration is personal to me. So I will stand strong today. I will wear my polyester banana costume with confidence when I walk into recitation. I will look my teaching assistant in the eye and ask her what she did for Halloweekend. I will sit in the front row to assert banana dominance. So I ask you to join me in my endeavor to bring Halloween back to the classroom. Wear your costumes with pride to any classes, recitations or one-on-one meetings you may have. 

Even if I’ll be better dressed than all of you.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer.

Contact Jules Roscoe at [email protected].