Halloween Assembly – Is it Time for a Change? An Editorial

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Halloween Assembly – Is it Time for a Change? An Editorial

Clare Shanahan, Editor-in-Chief

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Unleashed welcomes editorials from all students. If you feel strongly about an issue, please share your ideas with us @unleashed.bancroftschool.org. Comments and response articles are encouraged.

Picture it: it’s your first semester of senior year,  there’s one week until Halloween and you are scrambling to finish four college applications — including 5 essays of varying lengths — balancing several AP and honors classes, and leading multiple clubs. For many people this is the typical Bancroft experience, but that does not mean it is easy in any sense of the word. School does not stop so we can apply to college, and for this reason as Early Application time rolls around seniors are just getting busier and busier, most people riding on the edge of their breaking point. Now imagine, in addition to all of that, you are asked to write and produce a Halloween skit for the whole school as well as a Halloween celebration for lower schoolers. 

Halloween at Bancroft is a time honored tradition, and one that I personally hold close to my heart. I remember my first Halloween here, I wasn’t yet a student, but my parents pulled me out of my middle school for the morning because they knew I just had to see it. I loved everything about it and I remember thinking, “This is Halloween at school done right.” I remember, not least of all, admiring the skit put on by the seniors. When I came to Bancroft as a freshman, I could not wait to be part of the Halloween festivities for the first time, and every year I have enjoyed picking themes, planning costumes with my friends, and admiring all of the silly and creative costumes put together by students and teachers alike. 

With all that said, I believe that it does not make sense to put the planning of the Halloween skit and festival on the shoulders of the seniors. In my experience so far and what I have heard from others before me, the week of Halloween is one of the busiest weeks of senior year as a majority of early action and decision applications are due on November first. These are applications which require hours of time and effort from each student, and we do not take them lightly. If you haven’t had the pleasure of applying to college yourself, just imagine what it would feel like to put the entire weight of your future on a 650 word essay. It is an incredibly stressful time and requiring students to also build in time to write, plan, and rehearse the Halloween skit only adds to that stress and cuts down on time students have to work on their applications. 

Beyond my concern about the conflict with college applications, as someone who loves and has always loved Halloween assembly, I was extremely disappointed to spend my last year on the outside of the whole celebration. Not being able to participate in the events of the assembly — like I had for the prior three years — made me feel as though I was missing out on Halloween altogether and losing my last chance to be part of that experience. It made me extremely sad to know that while I was hiding and waiting for my 5 seconds of Halloween skit fame, the assembly which I loved so much was going on without me. I think it would be extremely valuable for seniors to experience their final Halloween at Bancroft in the way they always have. 

Now, I know it’s hard to simply cut out the Halloween skit altogether, like I said I still remember absolutely loving my first Halloween assembly. However, I feel that it could be adapted to better serve the community as a whole. For example, I think there is no reason why it should specifically be a senior skit, when it could instead be put on by another class or classes. I recognize that all students are under their own extreme levels of stress, after all I was in their shoes very recently; however, while they may be taking extremely hard classes, playing sports, and participating in and leading clubs, seniors are doing all of this in addition to applying to college. Having another class in charge of the Halloween skit and lower school celebration would not only greatly help the seniors, but it would improve the overall quality of the events by involving students with more time and energy to invest.