Growing up, Halloween was all about the candy. The night of October 31st revolved around strategy planning, how to hit all of the important neighborhood spots. Everyone knew the house with the king-sized candy bars and the few with spooky, haunted house setups. Later, after organizing your hundreds of fun-sized candy bars into respective piles, it was time to negotiate and trade your least favorite sweets for your top picks. The night ended with a smile, a stomach ache and a giant pillowcase filled with sweet treats hidden in your closet.

Now that we’re in college, Halloween is no longer about fearing cavities. Like most holidays in college, Halloween has become just another excuse to drink… typically in excess. In Ann Arbor, people started celebrating Halloween last weekend, a full week before October 31st. Halloween celebrations have turned into a week long event.

Instead of collecting candy, students collect various alcoholic beverages, usually accompanied by a hefty bar tab. Bars around Ann Arbor open their doors to sexy cats, cops, devils and various pop-culture references excited to show off their clever costume (which lets be honest, usually aren’t that clever).

As a kid, I wore whatever costume my mom picked up at the store, which was usually a Disney princess or a cheesy “decade” outfit. In college, the pressure for the perfectly cute or punny Halloween costume is on. Students are faced with two options: first, the boring route (costumes like a bunny, hippie, or athlete) or second, the creative route (pop culture references and puns galore). While the creative route is usually more difficult to pull off, it’s usually better received by our (often smart-ass) peers.

I miss the simplicity of old Halloween, when my day revolved around chocolate and the haunted houses were still scary (who am I kidding, I still hate haunted houses). But just because we’re in college doesn’t mean we have to give up old habits. Buy a bunch of candy on sale for you and your friends, or spend an embarrassing amount of time perfecting your costume. Make cool Halloween themed treats and classy drinks. Halloween doesn’t have to be just another excuse to party…even though you’re probably going to do that anyway.