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I'm a 19-year-old college student depressed on Halloween. I noticed this happening last year. I think it's postpartum Halloween depression. Simply put, I miss Halloween as a child. I'm a normal college student. I go out to parties with friends and everything so it's not like I'm lonely around this time. I miss all of the festivities leading up to Halloween and of course, the biggest day of the month, Halloween itself.

I guess I had a great childhood and I can't seem to let go of those memories during this time of the year. This is the way for Christmas. Right now, I'm sitting at home doing homework and I can't stop thinking about this day. I didn't go to a fun costume parties, didn't carve pumpkins, somewhat decorated the house (but I live in a gated house so no one even stops by on Halloween). I didn't get to do any fun community festivities like go to community halloween events, go to a haunted house, or a pumpkin patch. My best friends are also away at college in different towns, which makes everything suckier.

I did try and do some festive things. Decorated the house a bit. Watched some of my favorite childhood halloween movie (Halloweentown!), made some decoartive festive Halloween foods but that still didn't help much.

Does anyone else get depressed during this time of the year?
 

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It's normal to feel sadness about something that once gave you great joy as both emotions are so inextricably intertwined: without sorrow you wouldn't be able to appreciate joy and vice versa. College is a time to learn new things, meet new people, and have fun. It is a time to break out and form new traditions for things that may seem lost or fledgling. It's also a time where you truly start to understand who you are and what you value. Don't mourn the loss of Halloween as you once experienced it but instead take solace in the fact that maybe one day you can go trick or treating with your own children or share all of the things that made you so joyful with others in the community. It wasn't until I started doing my own displays and seeing the enthusiasm and joy that they could bring others that I felt like I truly recaptured the very feeling that you miss. Keep your head up, it gets better!
 

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Operative word here might just be student...very busy and intense period of time in one's life and can be pretty stressful. So just know that its a temporary situation and a valuable investment in the future. Meanwhile, you can still plan, research, practice technique and build small scale haunts or props to keep you in the groove. Besides, nothing says there has to be a season for Halloween,,,all year long you can be playing around with it as time permits, It can be a full year hobby. By the time the big day rolls around. all of those little fun-time projects can roll up into a pretty good collective display. Not to mention that there 's always the chocolate! Hang in there! Your best years are just ahead!
 

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Jumpin' Jack Flash
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one of the most depressing nights of my life was halloween my freshman year of college. i went out with some friends to a haunted house or something, but it was so different than all the halloweens i'd had growing up; 17 years later i still remember lying in my dorm bed thinking about how much my life overall was changing. that may have been the first real indicator to me that my life was much different than it had been even a few months earlier.

the good news is, it gets better. by the following year or two, i was accepting my adulthood and learning to enjoy the way the holiday was changing as i got older. all these years later, i still miss the way it was when i was a kid and a teenager, but even though the way i celebrate has changed, the feeling has not, and it's still one of my favorite days of the year.
 

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Omg I was you! I'm in my middle twenties and still trying to find that Halloween magic again. My parents would decorate inside the house and a little outside. We carved pumpkins. We watched all the Halloween shows. My mom would take us trick-or-treating and play the Halloween cassette.

When I was too old for trick-or-treating, I was so sad. Our house never got more than 20 TOTs, so staying home on Halloween was boring. Going to college was even worse because no one was as into it as I was. They had a dance but only played rap...NOTHING to do with Halloween. But we dressed up and the party was a little decorated, so I took what I could get. I actually found and joined the Forum out of my desire to connect with fellow Halloween-enthusiasts.

Now, I still watch all my Halloween movies, still carve pumpkins, and decorate my apartment. That all helps with the spirit. And our tradition for the past two years has been to visit a haunted walkthrough and a pumpkin patch or apple orchard. It is fun to start your own traditions! I am yearning for a house so I can have a yard to decorate and trick-or-treaters (I want to see the costumes).

Even today my Halloween fell short of expectations, which made me, like you, miss the Halloween of my youth. However, I am glad I had a great experience with Halloween as a child that gave me a great appreciation for the holiday. (Not to mention high expectations.) Getting older gives us opportunities to share our excitement for Halloween with others. Especially if you want to have children one day (then you get to live Halloween through your children!).
My advice is to do the traditional activities of your youth like carving and decorating. Not everyone decorates so it's a big deal when someone does! Volunteer at a Halloween event in town so you can see the decor and little children in their costumes and you will revel in the Halloween-themed festivities (one year I volunteered at the haunted mall...they had a trick-or-treat station, a pumpkin painting station, and so on. I enjoyed seeing the children so excited about the holiday and their costumes. Even some parents were dressed up!) Check out the area for any fall or Halloween things to do. Put your enthusiasm for Halloween to good use because, golly, the world could use some more Halloween cheer. =)

(Side note: Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney is a GREAT place to go for Halloween. The park has Halloween/fall-themed decor. EVERYONE can dress up and trick-or-treat - totally did! There is a special parade, special show, special foods, and special fireworks. If you ever get the opportunity, go. The atmosphere is amazing for holidays.)
 

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I'm so sorry that things aren't seeming all that bright right now. It can be a very lonely feeling being in a new place with new people on days like today. But as others said, as you get older and start to find who you are things will get better. Maybe next year you can get involved with a local haunt, or set up a spot in a trunk or treat, or help out with some of the festivals/parties/carnivals that are hosted around Halloween. Sometimes it is better to be the giver instead of the receiver. Find some way, to help create fond memories for the youngers and keep the cycle of fun going.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I can definitely also say that last year which was my freshman year of college was even worse. I guess a lot of this has a lot to do with accepting my adulthood. Halloween time is just one of those few days of the year where it's okay to act like a kid again. Thanks for the advice!
 

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Thanks for the advice! It really helps to see I'm not the only one who's been in this position before. I'll definitely try and find another way to get into the festivities next year. As for now, hopefully I can find ways to be festive for christmas!

I actually went to Disneyland last year during Halloween time and it was absolutely amazing! Made me feel like a kid again during Halloween. Too bad I didn't make it this year, hopefully next year though.
 

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Thanks for the advice! It really helps to see I'm not the only one who's been in this position before. I'll definitely try and find another way to get into the festivities next year. As for now, hopefully I can find ways to be festive for christmas!

I actually went to Disneyland last year during Halloween time and it was absolutely amazing! Made me feel like a kid again during Halloween. Too bad I didn't make it this year, hopefully next year though.
First I can tell you dealing with depression is a tough battle period. When something sparks it then the battle is on. Look forward to what you can do and try
to be happy. I had depression mess with me a couple years ago and did not build one prop or even get into Halloween as I always have my whole life.
But then the next year I made sure to build props and go all out. I stuck to it and have fun now. When the Halloween season comes I get excited and that over rules any feelings I might get or have of depression. It is tough but I seem to push hard to win and have fun. So look forward every year, maybe make plans with friends and stuff. Stick to them as well.
 

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Great news! I found your problem? "Right now, I'm sitting at home doing homework and I can't stop thinking about this day. I didn't go to a fun costume parties, didn't carve pumpkins, somewhat decorated the house (but I live in a gated house so no one even stops by on Halloween). I didn't get to do any fun community festivities like go to community Halloween events, go to a haunted house, or a pumpkin patch." Bad news is, your problem is you. Good news is it's an easy problem to fix. :)

We have a huge event every year, with hundreds and hundreds of visitors, but we only have it because "we" make it happen. We got to events, we go to haunted houses, and we do our haunt, and if we couldn't do it at our house we would find someplace we could do it. As for haunts, everyone goes through the same deal... you do it the first year and not many people come by. Then year two, word of mouth gets around and more people come, then more and more each year. But the greatest Halloween events always start with someone saying "I'm going to do this! :)
 

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I used to struggle with Halloween depression but it was because as a child, I lost a close relative a few days before Halloween.
Now, I simply experience disappointment that many people have abandoned the holiday.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Definitely agree with what Kimba said. The decorating helps keep the experience going.

My son is a senior in high school and going through what you're dealing with. When he decided not to ToT I told him about what I did back in the day. I went to my girlfriend's house (where they got tons of ToTers) dressed like a scarecrow, sat there with the candy in my lap and scared the hell out of as many kids as I could. :) Never the little ones, of course, but the older ones who LOVED it of course! It was a new world where I made the Halloween experience and others enjoyed it. Then I started designing props and things grew from there.

You also experience it again through your kids. You get the excitement they feel, and the fun as you walk with them. But since that may be a ways off, see if you can join up with other family members giving out treats and dress up like my son did last night, and had a ball. :)
 

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Thanks for the advice! It really helps to see I'm not the only one who's been in this position before. I'll definitely try and find another way to get into the festivities next year. As for now, hopefully I can find ways to be festive for christmas!

I actually went to Disneyland last year during Halloween time and it was absolutely amazing! Made me feel like a kid again during Halloween. Too bad I didn't make it this year, hopefully next year though.
I think you hit the nail on the head for most of us. Halloween and Christmas are times when most of us can feel like a kid again. Being adults and adulting all the time can be hard and stressful so a lot of us look forward to the one or 2 times a year where we can be kids again, be goofy and weird. So it is disappointing and depressing when we are unable to do so, or feel free to do so.
Being that we are now adults, TOTing is pretty much out of the question, which I think we should be able to TOT at any age, so a lot of us have had to find other ways to enjoy Halloween. Putting on haunts, decorating our yards, being actors in pro haunts, helping with parties and festivals and so on. We can still be kids or let our kid like imaginations run wild by doing any one of these things.
I bet there were other kids at your college who were/are feeling much the same way you are/were, but don't know where to reach out, or how to reach out. Maybe you could start some kind of group where you all figure out ways to be involved with Halloween or Christmas. Maybe talk to the Dean or college staff and see if you can start a decorating committee and you all can decorate your campus or dorms or sororities. Maybe see about hosting some kind of campus TOTing. You never know what kind of ball you could get rolling and what sort of new tradition you could start that would be a place for college students who are finding themselves overwhelmed with adulthood can act like kids again.
 

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I think you hit the nail on the head for most of us. Halloween and Christmas are times when most of us can feel like a kid again. Being adults and adulting all the time can be hard and stressful so a lot of us look forward to the one or 2 times a year where we can be kids again, be goofy and weird. So it is disappointing and depressing when we are unable to do so, or feel free to do so.
Being that we are now adults, TOTing is pretty much out of the question, which I think we should be able to TOT at any age, so a lot of us have had to find other ways to enjoy Halloween. Putting on haunts, decorating our yards, being actors in pro haunts, helping with parties and festivals and so on. We can still be kids or let our kid like imaginations run wild by doing any one of these things.
I bet there were other kids at your college who were/are feeling much the same way you are/were, but don't know where to reach out, or how to reach out. Maybe you could start some kind of group where you all figure out ways to be involved with Halloween or Christmas. Maybe talk to the Dean or college staff and see if you can start a decorating committee and you all can decorate your campus or dorms or sororities. Maybe see about hosting some kind of campus TOTing. You never know what kind of ball you could get rolling and what sort of new tradition you could start that would be a place for college students who are finding themselves overwhelmed with adulthood can act like kids again.
I agree, there are lots of opportunities for Halloween festivities on a college campus. Or maybe you and your friends can dress up and visit a childrens hospital or nursing home on Halloween. You have time to talk to others and plan before next year. I always get a little depressed after Halloween and planning for next year really helps.
 

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Seasonal depression is a thing for many, for many different reasons. Right now, college takes time to adjust. BUT the good news is you can get involved on campus, I'm sure plenty of clubs are out there if you look. I would think being a part of a local Trunk or Treat would be fun (and maybe something worth suggesting to different clubs or organizations.) Maybe getting involved with a local haunt or Halloween party would be an outlet. When I was in colege I helped organize a dorm-wide haunted house. It's amazing what bored/and or broke college students will come up with. It was so well done and many ppl joined in on the fun.

In addition to watching your favorite movies or shows, I would say YouTube has a wealth of videos to get you into the spirit. Halloween House tours, Halloween Decor Hauls, Halloween D-I-Y's and much more. Good Luck, but remember these days have the potential to be some of your best and when those student loans kick in after you graduate, you'll wish you made the most out of your college years :D
 

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In hindsight, the way I felt on Halloween my first year in college should have been more obvious that I had depression for real. I was miserable, and it was obvious. Halloween has been the one thing that I consistently care and am enthusiastic about, even when it's stressful or the weather is bad. Having that outlet is very healthy.

Halloween has its way of calling, I think. You're either Halloween people or you aren't.


Good thing is, you can come back to it. The holiday won't ever be what it was when you were a child, no. But you can give that to others! And get a little of the flipside of that spirit for yourself. Halloween is big on nostalgia, as evidenced by the popularity of vintage decorations like blow-molds and Beistle paper decor. So figure out what it is that you love and try to do some of that. Decorate. Pull out some of the stuff you had as a kid, like pumpkin bucket or toys or old decorations. Carve a jack o lantern. Throw a party, or organize something at your school/dorm/department. Work at a haunted house, they always need people for Halloween night since a lot of the regulars will step out to be with their own kids. Or just go out to a haunted house (or several). As an adult, you might not want to "officially" ToT but you can absolutely still dress up and go around looking at people's decorations (some of us will def still give you candy) - I have plenty of adults who come by themselves. That thing about "be the change you want to see..."?? It's true, nothing ever happens unless somebody makes it happen.

Halloween is also much about community, so if you're feeling isolated that doesn't help.

Me? I went full tilt on the yard haunt, and I can't imagine NOT doing this. It's an enormous amount of planning and work, but it's very satisfying.

The post-Halloween depression syndrome is real though.
 

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I hardly got to do Halloween at all in college. I'm pretty much depressed year round, it gets worse in hot months, I am very sad there won't be Halloween things in stores now and I started missing Halloween like a week ago.
 

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I know the feeling. I kn ow you are in college, but there you can still participate. Local haunted houses need cheap labor. It's fun, and you can make friends and get ideas for the future. When I was your age, I had one single fake light up pumpkin. It was just a reminder... I still have it! I'd recommend trying to go to a party, or maybe even host one!

When I finally got a place of my own, I filled spare time planning and building props. I LIVED on this forum in it's heyday. Making tombstones, animatronics, all kinds of fun things. You could easily pick a project (The flying crank ghost was always a great way to get started!) to occupy your brain.

Oh yeah - I still watch all the Halloween Home Improvement and Roseanne HW episodes (except the last season, yech) all year. Our kids love them, too!
 
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