Like midterm exams, Halloween at Yale lasts longer than it probably should. Halloween falling on a Wednesday has allowed for us to pretend that the preceding weekend and the following weekend both count as Halloweekend. Believe me, I’m not complaining. One of my happiest surprises as a first-year last fall was how seriously Yale takes Halloween. I went all-out. I played the role of Thing Under the Bed in the Silliman Haunted House (super fun, not great for my back), I went out every night I could, and I had a rotating array of makeshift costumes of which I was very proud. I was planning on doing more of the same this year, when I was body-slammed by a stomach virus on Monday.
Suddenly my Halloweek started looking a whole lot more spooky in terms of missed assignments, social isolation, and what can only be described as the “Chicken Tender Gamble.” (Oooooh, what will happen to me if I eat this chicken tender? SpoOOOOoooOky.) Like the scary old lady from Great Expectations, I have been in my room for so long that I am starting to become part of it. When I am seen in public, the crowds whisper, “Is that the ghost of a drowned Victorian child? Where did it find sweatpants?”
The truth is, it is ok to be sick. It is ok to miss things, even if those things include the famous Toad’s Place Halloween party, Hallowoads. I spent Halloween night drinking chicken broth in the Silliman dining hall (which had been decorated beautifully), talking to my brother on the phone, and falling asleep promptly at 9:30pm. Sometimes the scariest thing you can do is take the time to practice self-care. And that is the true meaning of Halloween.