Freshman Findings: Creative Halloween costume options on a college, Ramen noodle budget

Halloween is rapidly approaching, and this means that it is time for sugary sweets, scary movies and of course, costumes.
According to the National Retail Federation’s website, “the average American will spend $75.03 on decorations, costumes and candy for Halloween.” For college students, $75.03 is the average price of a textbook. So, how do we enjoy all that Halloween has to offer on a tight budget? It is much simpler than it seems.
When it comes to costumes, creativity is key. It is typically cheaper to purchase individual pieces that can be added to an already existing wardrobe. Students should find items they already own and build an entire costume around those pieces. For example, one Halloween I waited until the very last minute to purchase a costume. The day before, I rushed to the local party store and spent $10 on a grass skirt, flower for my hair and a lei. I also added my own bikini top, flip-flops and black leggings to complete my hula-dancer look. This costume was affordable and looked great.
The costume possibilities are endless. One inexpensive costume idea is to dress up as a musician. Simply wear a T-shirt and jeans, and place a pair of drumsticks in your back pocket. This costume is geared toward guys, but a girl could also be a musician. Another easy idea is to dress up as a football player. Simply grab a jersey and wear it with jeans. Add a football as a prop and the costume is finished. I don’t think it could get any easier than that. This same idea can be applied for almost any sport.
An even easier idea is to dress up as a college student. Just wear Rider gear and carry a backpack around. An easy costume for girls is to dress up as a cat. Pair a black shirt and pants with inexpensive cat ears from the dollar store. Another frugal idea for anyone would be to dress up as a mummy. Wear a white shirt, pants and shoes, then tape bandages and strips of toilet paper around the outfit. For a unique idea, dress in all green, and decorate yourself for St. Patrick’s Day. This same concept can be applied toward any holiday. If Christmas is your favorite holiday, wear a sweater with mittens and a scarf. Any costume can be awesome if it is completely unique.
College students should continue to dress up because it is entertaining and can make for some memorable photos. Often, we are thinking about our futures and what is in store for us. It is easy to get caught up in the moment. Dressing up is a great way to celebrate our childhoods and reminisce about the past. Costumes celebrate who we wish we could be and they show off our personalities. Halloween is a festive holiday and, with a little bit of cash and creativity, anyone can afford to celebrate, even a broke college student.
-Valerie Bell
Freshman public relations major

Printed in the 10/23/13 edition.

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