There’s an unwritten rule about Halloween parties, which says that ye with the best costume shall be granted free drinks and numerous high-fives. You’re guaranteed instant friendships and a night full of compliments, because everyone who sees you thinks you are automatically awesome. Which you are.
But as a student living in residence, it can be hard to think of a good costume you can scrounge together quickly and for little expense. Many of us are sitting here in front of our textbooks, wondering, “what could I be?”, googling “funny halloween costumes university” … or even (god forbid) posting the question to your friends as a facebook status. You’ll likely get some witty replies. But are any of them actually feasible?
If your mum is like mine, she packed you a mini sewing kit against your will. If that’s the case, then you’re already in luck. Hit up the SPCA thrift store or the Salvation Army on West Broadway. The doors to the costume world have been opened for you. However, for those of you lacking the needle-and-thread advantage, here are a couple of ideas for a quick throw-together costume this weekend:
1) A Lab TA – if you’re in Sciences, simply whip out the ol’ white lab coat and wear your safety glasses all night. Bonus points if you bought a pair of the full-on goggles. Fill your pocket with pens. Carry a clipboard if you wish.
2) The Vancouverite – gather all of you and your roommates’ rain gear, running gear, and yoga clothes. Wear it all, and make yourself look ridiculous. Carry a bottle of water. Props if you bring a bike. When people ask you what your costume is, just tell them you’re from Vancity.
3) Mitt Romney – If you were expecting to go to at least one formal event in the year, chances are you have a suit with you. Wear it. Grab an old binder and fill it with pictures of your favourite females. Label it “Women”. Keep an annoying grin on your face and thumbs-up people the whole night.
4) Pillowcase – If you have an old one to spare, or even just steal one from your neighbours who always party too hard, cut two holes in the sides and one in the top. Wear it like a dress. Stuff yourself with a real pillow if you feel so inclined. Maybe this is better reserved for frat parties, unless you find yourself a modest, XXXL pillowcase that reaches your knees.
5) Get an old white t-shirt, and draw a red E on the front and the back with a sharpie. Let people deface you all night long.
If you still have cardboard boxes that came from your printer or mini fridge, consider this costume. It goes without saying, though, that there are things you shouldn’t stray near when you’re thinking about costume ideas. Here are a couple thoughts on what NOT to dress up as for Halloween:
1) A colour – (“Hey, why are you all dressed in green?” “I’m the colour green!” “…oh”) Most people could do better.
2) PSY – At least one person at every party will be doing Gangnam Style in the back corner. It’ll get old reaallly quickly.
3) “Sexy” anything – ladies, reserve your lingerie for the bedroom. Once you hit Sexy Plumber or Sexy Axe-Murderer, you’ve gone too far.
4) Cultural or religious icons – Remember, you’re at an international university now. What people in your hometown wouldn’t have thought twice about, could now be taken as insulting to someone from a different background than yours. Try to be respectful in your decisions. Keep it in mind before you dress up as someone’s deity and start taking shots.
But, you know, Halloween is Halloween, and it’s a time to become whatever or whoever you want to be, usually without judgement. Go out there and have fun, be yourself, be outrageous. If your social skills haven’t skyrocketed since being at university already, there are plenty of events organized by your Res Life coordinators to keep you occupied during the weekend.
thecalendar.ca is also a good resource and has listed a bunch of events (though most are usually reserved for 19+). If anything, just take stock of your dorm room, put on a costume and go stand in the hallway. Someone will find you and bring you to hang out.
These costume suggestions might not win you the perks of being that guy with the best costume, but at least you won’t be the dude who just shows up as “himself”.