6 Affordable Halloween Ideas for First-Year College Students

Are you a first-year college student wondering how to celebrate Halloween in your new environment? With midterms, making friends, and limited personal space, it can be challenging to make the most out of your first holiday away from home. But fear not! Halloween presents an excellent opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and create some unforgettable experiences. Even if you lack the space or funds to go all out, there are plenty of creative ways to celebrate.

In this article, we’ll explore six affordable Halloween ideas for first-year college students like yourself.

1. Leave out Candy

Sure, we may all be too old for trick-or-treating, but that doesn’t mean we have to ignore our sweet tooth. Purchase a small pumpkin bucket from a local 99 cent store and fill it with an abundance of candies. Hang it from your doorknob when you’re not around, or keep your door open and place it just outside.

This simple gesture not only helps you meet new people but also keeps you and your room in the thoughts of others who may be seeking a Halloween buddy. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to spread some Halloween cheer!

2. Host a Halloween Movie Night

Despite the limited space in dorms, chances are you still have an area or two where students can gather to watch TV. Take advantage of this and host a Halloween movie night for your dorm mates. Put up flyers around your floor or building to let everyone know about the event.

Select a few essential Halloween movies, such as “Scream,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” or the classic “Hocus Pocus.” You can make it a BYOC (Bring Your Own Candy) affair or even split a pizza among the group. Watching movies and making new friends is a great way to spend a cozy Halloween indoors, especially if it’s chilly outside.

3. Visit a Haunted House

No matter where you live, there’s likely a haunted house attraction nearby. While these usually aren’t free, they can be a fantastic splurge if you’re in the mood to be thoroughly scared.

Gather some of your closest friends and plan a trip to experience your own personal horror night. It’s guaranteed to get you in the Halloween spirit and provide plenty of spine-chilling memories.

4. Embrace Tradition and Get Dressed Up

There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as a traditional Halloween celebration. If you enjoy dressing up, go all out this year! Impress your new friends who share your excitement for this spooky holiday. If you’re on a tight budget, consider visiting local thrift shops, Goodwill stores, or browsing platforms like Poshmark.

These options offer more affordable alternatives to Halloween stores, enabling you to stand out from the crowd with a unique and creative costume.

5. Attend a Halloween Party

As a college student, you’ll find no shortage of fun Halloween parties on campus. Explore dorm events, campus-wide celebrations, or local restaurants and bars hosting Halloween nights. Grab a few friends and head out for a night of excitement.

It’s an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and create lasting memories. Remember to be responsible and take care of yourself and your friends while having a fantastic time.

6. Carve or Paint Pumpkins

Although this activity is best done a few days before Halloween, carving or painting pumpkins can bring a touch of home to your dorm room. Many students might shy away from dealing with pumpkin guts in their living space, but painting pumpkins offers a less messy alternative. Regardless of whether you carve spooky faces or create works of art with paint, this activity can momentarily make you forget how much you miss the pumpkin-decorated streets of your hometown.


Halloween provides an excellent excuse to step out of your comfort zone, meet new people, and create unforgettable memories during your first year of college.

Even if you prefer a low-key celebration, there are numerous ways to engage with others and make the most of this Halloween season from the comfort of your own dorm. We hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!

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