By Hannah Meibers, Guest Columnist

Halloween has been my favorite holiday since I could say “boo.” Growing up, I made sure to decorate the ins and outs of my house with cobwebs, skeletons, vultures and crows, gravestones and of course the fog machine as late as October 1. I’d had my costume planned since the last Halloween and my trick-or-treat route mapped out two Halloweens earlier. I knew which houses handed out full-size candy bars and which houses handed out bags of cashews (now that’s spooky). Beyond the traditional festivities of Halloween, the October month also brought fall weather and a Goosebumps rerun marathon.

It’s the first year I’ve been away from home on my favorite holiday. Although I’ve been deprived of decoration and traditional trick-or-treating, my Netflix still has “American Horror Story” and “Scream” saved in my list, ready to watch with the lights off and candy corn in my hand.

I’ve also been planning couple-costumes with my boyfriend since the first week of March. My Amazon shopping cart consists of a butt pad for my Kim Kardashian costume and 60’s vintage dress for my Penny Pingleton from Hairspray costume. However, the girl down the hall wanted my opinion on her Playboy Bunny costume. There wasn’t much to give an opinion on.

Along with costumes containing minimal material, such costumes like the Playboy Bunny are also the result of minimal thought. When I was nine years old, we had just learned about the history of the Pilgrims and Native Americans. My best friend and I couldn’t wait to wear the handmade Pilgrim and Native American costumes our moms made for us. However, the cultural inappropriateness in a nineteen-year-old girl dressing like a Native American with no material covering her rear because “that’s how the Indians did it” is so prominent.

Beyond the lack of sensitivity some students put into their costume planning, some students also partake in the three-day partying that coincides with Halloween. These nights consist of pumpkin flavored alcohol, party hopping to different fraternity houses and horror stories in the morning.

Growing up, I didn’t know Halloween was made up of anything other than trekking through my neighborhood to find the best candy, creating a cemetery in my front yard and carving pumpkins.

Now the atmosphere is filled with skimpy costumes, forgotten nights and more police alerts than a typical weekend. The Halloween spirit may have vanished, but I’m certainly scared for October 31.