Point: High schoolers are not too old to trick-or-treat
By Dani Almase
Halloween is the night of Oct. 31, which is commonly celebrated by children who dress in all different types of costumes. They cheer for candy or other treats from house to house around their neighborhood shouting, “trick or treat.” However the spooky holiday should not just be celebrated by young children, but by people of all ages including high schoolers. The night should be a recognition of the whole community coming together as one and being involved in something heartening and pleasurable.
Teenagers are always associated with the stereotype that they’re always addicted to their phones, but Halloween provides a social interaction to converse with their neighbors face to face. Trick-or-treating does not require any technology, so it gets them to look up from their screens and hold an actual conversation with another person.
Furthermore, there are worse things that high schoolers could be doing on Halloween than trick-or-treating such as illegal activities: drinking, smoking, or vandalizing. Toilet papering is a common Halloween shenanigan that teenagers like to do on the scary night. Would you like to wake up on Nov. 1 with rolls of toilet paper decorating your yard? Talk about a hassle to clean up. Trick-or-treating ensures that the ‘misfit teenagers’ will be doing something safe and kid friendly. Halloween makes sure that the teen’s responsibilities will be in good hands, and not the preceding negative alternatives.
On the other hand, one can argue that high schoolers might spoil trick-or-treating for younger kids by taking all the candy or being inappropriate. While this may be true in some cases, I believe that it is the right of the person to decide what they want to do. If a high schooler wants to spend their Halloween trick-or-treating to cherish their youth, why should people judge them? Why is it up to society to decide if they can or cannot? It is their right to trick-or-treat. Moreover, the legal age of adulthood is 18 years old. The majority of high schoolers are under the age of 18, meaning that they are still considered kids. Everyone is always trying to speed up the aging process for teenagers, so it is a good thing for teenagers to be young again for once before they have to take on the responsibility of an adult.
In addition, dressing up and trick-or-treating is an expressive way that teens can be unique without the judgement of others. Costumes provide them the opportunity to be what or whoever they want for that one single night. They can be a rockstar, famous athlete, or even a princess for an entire evening.
Halloween is a celebration of fun. I believe that the holiday should not be bounded by rules and regulations on how kids should spend it. Rules and limits ruin the point of festivities for positive amusement. Halloween is an enjoyable activity that should be a social gathering for all ages, including teenagers.
Counterpoint: It is Time for High School Students to Hang up the Costume
by Tommy Layden
Every year millions of people come together to celebrate Halloween on Oct. 31. It is something that most of us grew up doing every year. Each year of my childhood I would go crazy in anticipation of the decorating, the scary stories, the costumes, and most importantly the candy. At the end of each Halloween I would return to my house and marvel at what I had plundered in my Jack Sparrow costume earlier that night. By the time I had gotten in bed my stomach throbbed from eating as much candy as I could get my hands on. All of these details are things I look back on and smile about. But there was always someone out of place here or there. I would go out on my route with my cousins and we would see other trick or treaters who had clearly hit their expiration date.
Some had costumes that were too scary or inappropriate, the rest had no costumes at all. In one instance I remembered seeing this type of group take someone’s pumpkins and smash them in the street. When I would ask my parents why they acted so violent and crazy, the response was almost always: “they are just some teenagers who are too old to be out here.” The issue of teens being too old goes far beyond some smashed pumpkins, their behavior can set the wrong example for younger children that are trick or treating and it can cause the youngest children to feel uncomfortable. The solution is teenagers should not go trick or treating.
Although one can argue that having teens trick or treating is a better option than underage drinking. That should not mean that on the 31rst the only thing they can do is trick or treat. Some teens may go to parties with adult supervision, or go and see a movie. The ways to have good clean fun are endless and trick or treating is just that, but when you are having fun at the expense of your younger peers it is not okay. Certain teens can even decide to go along with siblings to supervise or help the kids have fun, but in no way should that have to involve disrespectful or dangerous behavior. The most important thing, regardless of your opinion, should be having fun in a way that makes yourself and others feel comfortable and safe on Halloween. That means high schoolers should skip the 3 mile loop and just find another way to have fun this year on Halloween. Perhaps just watch movies or just go to a supervised party, but most importantly do not ruin it for the little kids.