October is a month that I personally love. September was like the Summer-Autumn transition month, but October (at least in my mind) is sweater weather, all things pumpkin-y, foliage-on-fire branches (thank you UTM for having so many trees everywhere), and my birthday! Of course, for most people, the first thing to come to mind when they think of October is Halloween. Did I celebrate? Heck, yeah! Too old? Too bad!
My high school took Halloween pretty seriously. It was a day of almost everyone getting dressed up in the most creative costumes they could come up with and missing homeroom and first period at a special Halloween breakfast, where there was a costume competition, followed by a parade around the school and photo-ops in the courtyard. The fun continued through the day (most of the time) with teachers and students in costumes eating candy and being in such a festive mood that most classes were kept pretty light. At night, a group of my friends and I would always go trick-or-treating, often to the houses in the complex where one of my friends lives.
This year, I had none of that to look forward to, and that made me pretty un-festive for a while. In fact, I had no idea what my costume would be until I had the panicking realization the weekend before that I had no costume and I asked my sister for ideas. The verdict? Silent film star. Which backfired… miserably. The makeup I got was disgusting and wasn’t enough to cover my arms so I added a gray sweater to my costume at the last minute, and my “trick-or-treat” sign got wet in the rain and started turning a pretty gruesome shade of green. Halloween was rainy, cold, and just kind of a yucky day. And yet, this last week of October, which was very Halloween-themed, was pretty awesome.
I was home the weekend before Halloween, and although we’ve never done autumn-y things in the past, my family went pumpkin picking this year. We didn’t actually pick any pumpkins, but we did enjoy a hay ride on a day that was honestly the epitome of perfect autumn weather. During the following week, residence had Halloween-themed activities. For the first time since I was about six or seven, I got to carve a pumpkin… and froze my fingers in the process, but hey, it’s all good!
On the day before Halloween, I stopped by the Student Centre for the Haunted Carnival, where people were taking pictures, indulging in free food, and watching others compete for tickets to Halloween Pub. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go to the haunted house, but I’ll have to check that out next year, for sure! On the actual day of Halloween, a friend and I went to “Nightmare on Residence Road”, where the Residence Council had games and raffles before taking whoever was willing to brave the rain again out to go trick-or-treating at the principal’s house. The principal took a series of group pictures with all of us on at least 7 or 8 different phones, and quite a few students took selfies with him and even his adorable little dog! My friend and I would have taken a selfie but… well, let’s just say “short people problems”… or, I guess, “short-arm people problems”. Professor Saini then went on to get to know the group and talk to us about how we were finding UTM. He told us quite happily that almost every person who had come trick-or-treating to his house that night was a first year student, which included quite a few people that didn’t come with the Residence Council.
Things like Halloween can be tough in a new environment. Do you dress up for your classes? What events should you go to? If you’re on residence (rez), you have no time restrictions and there are sooo many options, and if you’re a commuter, you may wonder what events are worth sticking around for even if they’re late. I’ve told you about my Halloween on rez, or “Rez-oween”, but these were only some of the events happening around campus on Halloween. I know there were many more and I would love to hear about other events that I missed! So tell me, what did you do for Halloween?