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If this is your first year in college, you might be having trouble figuring out how to celebrate Halloween. Between midterms, the process of still making friends, and a lack of personal space — how can you make the best of your first holiday away from home?

Halloween happens to be a great time to put yourself out there. Even if you don’t have space (or permission) to fully decorate your dorm or the money to dress up, there are tons of other ways to celebrate. Let’s look at some of the creative ways you can celebrate Halloween (and maybe even gain points with all your dormmates). 

Leave Out Candy

pass out halloween candy

Sure, we might all be too old to trick or treat, but that doesn’t mean we have to ignore our sweet tooth. Get one of those little pumpkin buckets at your local 99 cent store and toss in a ton of candy. Leave it hanging from your doorknob when you’re gone, or leave the door open and set it just outside.

This is not only a great way to meet new people, but it will keep you and your room in the minds of others that might be looking for a buddy to celebrate with on the big day. 

Host a Halloween movie night

Dorm Room Movie Night

Dorms are short on space, but you probably still have an area or two where students can congregate to watch tv. Pick a few essential Halloween movies (may we suggests classics like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer or Hocus Pocus) and put up flyers letting your dorm mates know you’re hosting a watch party. 

Make it a BYOC (Bring Your Own Candy) kind of affair or split a pizza between the group. Whatever you decide to do, watching movies and making friends is a great way to spend a chill Halloween indoors if it happens to be chilly in your area. 

Head to a haunted house

Haunted House Tours

No matter where you live, chances are there’s a haunted house somewhere nearby. While these usually aren’t free, they are a great way to splurge if you’re in to be scared out of your wits. 

Grab some of your closest friends and make a plan to buddy up for your own personal horror night. This is one surefire way to get you in the Halloween spirit (and scare yourself half to death in the process). 

Go traditional and get dressed up

Dress Up for Halloween

There’s nothing quite as fun as your traditional Halloween celebration.  If you love dressing up, then go all out this year. This is a great way to make an impression with new friends who are equally excited about this spooky holiday.

If you’re doing things on a budget, visit your local Goodwill, shop around on Poshmark, or head to a thrift shop in your area. These options are a lot cheaper than Halloween stores and will help you stand out from all the carbon copy costumes out there. 

Head to a party

Halloween Party

If you’re on a college campus, there’s probably no shortage of fun Halloween parties you can attend. Check around and see if there are any dorm events, campus-wide celebrations, or even restaurants or bars that are hosting a Halloween night. 

Grab a few friends and head out on the town. This could be a great night to meet more like-minded college students, depending on what you decide to get up to. But don’t forget to be responsible and take care of yourself and each other. 

Carve or paint some pumpkins

carving pumpkins

While this might be something you want to do a few days before Halloween, painting and carving pumpkins is a great way to bring a little bit of home to your dorm. A lot of students don’t want to deal with the mess of pumpkin guts all over the dorm, which is where painting can be a little easier to manage. Whatever you decide to do, it might make you forget how much you miss wandering the pumpkin decorated streets of your hometown for a while. 

Halloween is a great excuse to put yourself out there and meet new people during your first year of college. Even if you don’t have the energy for a party or wandering all over campus, there are plenty of things you can organize or participate in from the comfort of your own dorm.

No matter what you decide to do, have a safe and happy Halloween!

We are not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education. Federal Student Aid (FSA), an office of the U.S. Department of Education, makes the Free
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and assistance available to the public for free at fafsa.gov.