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

Lauren Gonzalez, Staff Reporter

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.