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Ana Lunaparra

Trick-or-treating is one of the staple activities that comes with Halloween, but should teens be allowed to do it?

Should high school students be allowed to trick or treat?

October 29, 2022

Yes, high school students should be allowed to trick-or-treat

You’ve probably heard the cliche multiple times by now: being a kid is hard. As silly as that may sound, there is some truth to it. Being a kid in a world saturated with technology and social media is, simply put, not easy. Combine that with the demands of high school life, which has become a juggling act of academics, extra-curricular activities, work and the usual stresses of adolescence. 

Enter Halloween, the one night a year when teenagers have the opportunity to relax and have fun like they did when they were carefree elementary school students. 

Every year, as the leaves turn orange and the days colder, the debate about whether high school students should be allowed to trick-or-treat resurfaces.

While teenagers might be a little older than their elementary school selves, Halloween can still be a special day — a chance to dress up, decorate pumpkins and most importantly, trick-or-treat. 

Yes, trick-or-treating is meant for little children, but it wouldn’t be in the spirit of Halloween to keep older kids from participating. Halloween is not only about pumpkins, buckets of candy and scary costumes; it is also about inclusivity, community, and face-to-face connection in an increasingly digital world. 

That being said, I understand the argument that teenagers shouldn’t be allowed to trick-or-treat because they will be rowdy, loud, and pose a threat to younger children. 

But it’s not fair to stop teens from trick-or-treating when some of them look forward to Halloween every year as a chance to dress up in costume, walk around the neighborhood and collect candy.

Why should we strip teenagers, who deserve a fun night, of the opportunity to trick-or-treat, especially at a time when they need it most? 

It’s important to keep in mind that it’s been a while since children and teenagers experienced a normal Halloween. In October 2020, we were attending school online, and the majority of Halloween celebrations were small-scale gatherings.

Last year was an awkward in-between year, as people weren’t sure what festivities would be taking place. 

But this year, even on Burlingame’s campus, there is excitement and anticipation coursing through the hallways. Teachers are decking out their classroom doors in orange and black. Students are scrambling to make plans. Festive decorations are plastered over every inch of wall space. Halloween is magical, and it would be unfair to restrict teenagers from trick-or-treating when they’ve missed out on two valuable years of that magic.

The last time a current high school freshman went pre-pandemic trick-or-treating was in their sixth grade year. By letting high school students trick-or-treat, we are giving them a chance to make up for missed opportunities. 

However, trick-or-treating is a privilege, even for older kids. Teenagers are smart enough to understand the rules and expectations of Halloween. If you break rules and ruin the experience for everyone else, then no, you shouldn’t be allowed to trick-or-treat.

If teenagers abuse the privilege of trick-or-treating and misbehave, the privilege should be taken away from them. 

Teens — if you want to experience the fun and excitement of Halloween, and the opportunity to trick-or-treat as high schoolers, don’t abuse the privilege. Be respectful of others, take appropriate amounts of candy and don’t disrupt homes that have gone to sleep.

If teenagers prove they can’t be trusted, the privilege of trick-or-treating can and should be stripped away. 

Be careful teens — this debate depends on you. 

Your chance to celebrate Halloween depends on you. Don’t mess it up. 

You’re only a kid once, so take advantage of the valuable time before it gets taken away.

About the Writer
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Zachary Newman, Sports Editor

Zachary Newman is a junior and second-year journalism student. He is excited to be the B's sports editor this year and continue to improve the sports coverage...

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No, high school students should not be allowed to trick-or-treat

As Halloween approaches — amidst the pumpkin spice craze and the divisive return of candy corn to store shelves — the decades-old debate over whether teens should trick-or-treat does as well.

While some claim parents shouldn’t shame candy-craving adolescents with an abrasive  “You’re too old for this,” let’s be honest: those parents aren’t wrong.

Although it may be painful to acknowledge, trick-or-treating is an activity that is meant for kids.

As teenagers, we are in that funny age where we might not be adults just yet, but we’re definitely not children either. Technically, we could get away with acting like younger children occasionally. But, at the end of the day, do you want to grow up or regress? 

For 364 days of the year, I’ll leave that choice up to you — but on Halloween, leave the candy for the kids.

While some might find it entertaining to see mobs of rowdy teenagers scavenging for candy and greedily emptying a vulnerable candy bowl while blatantly ignoring the sign that says “Take one,” parents may not find it as amusing — especially not when their children are sobbing over another missed opportunity to get candy.

The main objective, maybe even the sole purpose, of trick-or-treating is to get free candy. I get that: I, just like most of the people my age, love free stuff and have a major sweet tooth. There’s nothing wrong with a piece of candy.

But there is not an unlimited supply of candy on Halloween. No one can deny that teens are typically the ones who steal all the candy, and that leaves none for the younger kids who have been looking forward to Halloween for months, maybe even since the start of the pandemic. 

You can probably afford to buy your own candy, but a kid’s ruined trick-or-treating experience isn’t so easily remedied.

Here’s what it ultimately comes down to: Teens have already had their fun. It’s been a great few years, but now it’s time to move along.

I’m not saying teens shouldn’t celebrate Halloween at all. Even adults, although you won’t see any of them trick-or-treating or stealing candy, find ways to enjoy the day.

In fact, there’s plenty of other, better things to do that are more fun than walking for miles in the freezing cold just to get a handful of sugar.

One fun, age-appropriate alternative is passing out candy. Spread the love from the comfort of your own home! Give to the children what you received as a child, and watch their faces light up at the sight of a fun-sized Kit Kat.

If you aren’t ready to give up trick-or-treating just yet, you can take your younger siblings or relatives and kill two birds with one stone. You get to have some of the experience while earning brownie points for babysitting. And you might be able to get some candy for yourself while you’re at it. Parents are usually kinder to teens who trick-or-treat if they do so alongside younger children.

Host a Halloween party. Enjoy a scary movie marathon. Carve a pumpkin. Paint a pumpkin. Visit a haunted house wearing a fun costume — the opportunities are endless! Just don’t ruin the night for the kids.

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