By: Priscilla Ortega
Think back to when you were a kid. It’s Halloween, and you’re excited to parade through your neighborhood to collect candy from every house on the street. You knock on your neighbor’s door and enthusiastically cry out, “Trick or treat!” With a big smile on your face and a bag full of candy, you’re sure that this is the greatest night of your life.
Halloween is the unique holiday during which children in costumes go door to door and receive free candy. To many, the key word here is “children.”
However, teenagers should not be exempt from this and should still be allowed to go trick-or-treating freely.
Adults frequently complain about teenagers being too old to go trick-or-treating, citing Halloween as a kids’ holiday meant to play on children’s imaginations and youthful spirits. But why do adults want teenagers to grow up prematurely? Under California law, teenagers are still minors until the age of 18.
By limiting trick-or-treating to only small children, these adults are asking teenagers to grow up even faster than we already do. This need to be “mature” only results in a lack of fun and candy; it doesn’t help us get a job or a college education.
If teenagers want to dress up as their favorite princess or superhero and parade around with elementary school students, let them. We only have a few more years before the real world hits us. Why cut our childhood shorter than it already is?
Many teens themselves seem to believe that trick-or-treating just isn’t cool enough for them anymore. However, being older just means that teens can think of more creative costumes, get around to more houses in one night, and acquire much more candy than was possible as a young child. What’s not cool about that?
“I think as time passes by we should have the capability to do what we want, even if it is trick-or-treating,” senior Alyssa Acosta said.
Teenagers have a later curfew and can trick-or-treat until they are satisfied with the amount of candy gathered, meaning this is the perfect age to truly maximize the Halloween experience.
At this age, it has become typical to hear excuses like, “But who will I go with?” or “Nobody my age trick-or-treats!” It shouldn’t be difficult to convince your friends. For instance, you can take your friends and go in a group costume for extra candy and compliments. After all, the more, the merrier.
Also, there’s nothing wrong with trick-or-treating with your younger family members. Time spent with your little sister, brother, cousin or neighbor creates lifelong memories. If you’re a teenager worried about your image, you can rest assured that no one will judge you for being too old if you are “chaperoning” your kid sibling.
The bottom line is that there are no excuses for your empty candy bag.
Halloween is the one day of the year where you can be a little kid again without judgment, so don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself. In all honesty, growing up is not as much fun as reliving the nostalgia of dressing up as your idols and eating junk food. Halloween is only as much fun as you make it.
By: Natalie Ramirez
Halloween is almost universally recognized as a day of enjoyment for children to go out into the night to trick-or-treat in hopes of receiving massive amounts of candy. However, the key word here is “children”.
Trick-or-treating most definitely comes with an age limit. It is inappropriate for teenagers to participate in the Halloween tradition because they have developed more mature tastes than the children they would be running around with.
This age limit has even been legally recognized, resulting in cities across the nation passing laws about it. According to the New York Daily News, the mayor of Belleville, Illinois, successfully banned high school aged teens from trick-or-treating in 2008. The NY Daily News also stated that cities in Virginia have banned kids over the age of twelve years old from trick-or-treating since the 1970s. Similar courses of action have been taken in Maryland, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
“I haven’t gone out trick-or-treating since I was ten years old. I really feel like I’m too grown for it,” senior Ramon Gamolo said.
The types of costumes most teenagers wear for Halloween are often not kid friendly. Teenagers are not children, and they are usually more physically developed. Seeing full grown kids dressed up in costumes can easily come off as creepy. A six foot “kid” running around a neighborhood with a scary mask or costume, knocking door to door and demanding candy, doesn’t belong in the same scene of a child-oriented holiday tradition.
As many high schoolers take on part-time jobs, they are also able to acquire their own money to purchase items. Many teenagers can afford their own candy, and they should not feel the need to go out to collect free candy from strangers. Instead of taking all the candy that the younger kids are hoping to receive, teens should just go out to the store and buy their own or stay home and pass on the tradition by handing out candy to children.
The older kids can also be a possible threat to the younger ones. Although not all teenagers are reckless, there are definitely enough of them out there to be a legitimate concern. Stories of egging houses or cars, toilet papering houses, or driving recklessly on Halloween is yet another reason teens should stay home.
“I believe that teenagers can be a possible danger to the children who are out trick-or-treating because some can be greedy, aggressive, and scare them,” English teacher Shayna Arhanian said.
There are many alternative, age-appropriate activities for teenagers to do during the night on Halloween, like staying home to watch a marathon of scary movies. They can also attend any of the countless local Halloween festivals, such as Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, Fright Fest at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Knott’s Scary Farm at Knott’s Berry Farm, and more. If being scared does not sound appealing, then simply helping pass out candy to the children is just as fun.
Halloween is definitely a holiday that all ages can enjoy, especially in having the freedom to dress up as anything or anyone they desire. But as for partaking in the tradition of trick-or-treating, it is time for teenagers to stop ruining the children’s fun and to let them enjoy their own childhoods.