The basics
THE UK: Once you arrive

'Time to be creative': Halloween

Read about how Halloween is celebrated in the UK, through the ideas of one international student: our blogger Stessy, from the University of Bristol. Why should you definitely go out on the night? And what are the rules to what you can and cannot


Stessy takes us through her first Halloween in the UK, and tells us why international stiudents should go out on the night, and why it's even better than Freshers' Week...

‘Boo! Don’t be scared yet: you’ve seen nothing if you’ve not experienced Halloween in Bristol! For me, who was born and raised far from the UK and the Western world, Halloween has always brought up the funny-scary, awesome night picture as depicted in movies. Indeed, Halloween reality in Bristol is not far from what I’ve seen millions of times on TV. And I dare say it’s even better!

Nothing’s crazy enough around here and I shall always remember last year’s first one ever! It shall definitely come down as one of my best university nights in some years to come when I’ll take a stroll along memory lane. But why on earth am I praising that night so much you’d ask, right? Well, as a new international student, you’ve barely survived the Freshers’ week. Now that you’ve settled in to your accommodation, made awesome friends (many whose names you’ve probably forgotten), you’ve only barely started to get the feel of university work and bam! It’s Halloween. It’s already time to take a break and to have fun like crazy.

For me, Halloween was way better than Freshers’ week because by then you’ve gotten to know people and it’s easier to hang out and have a really good time with them. And one MAJOR difference is that while during the Freshers’ week different events take place, for Halloween you most probably have all the students gathered at the same venue (or should I say in the same club!); and believe me, you’ve got to be there to know what I mean when I say: you’ll party the night away!

What struck me during that night was that absolutely nothing coincided with my idea of the conventional Halloween: simply because Halloween in itself is not conventional. While I thought I’d be seeing people dressed as vampires, sorcerers, traditional zombies and the like, I only saw deeply bruised skin-ripped blood-covered individuals in torn clothes who seemed to have come out of a hardcore boxing event. No doubt here, Halloween is becoming a lot more gory, and people are definitely more daring and inventive when it comes to costumes and fake injuries. And you can understand why when you see how many Halloween make-up video tutorials can be found online. Yeah… and I was just dressed as a cat last year but well, I guess I can make it scarier this time!

Don’t stay in! Go out and have fun! I’ve seen many students do so, especially international students who prefer to skip Halloween because it’s an alien event and they’re not used to it; but that’s so sad because they’re just missing out on one of the best moments of university life. If you want to fully settle in and mingle among the rest of the students, you’ve got to embrace the culture. Come out of your comfort zone!

It’s time to be creative! You’ve got it, so show it!’



Read Stessy's other blog posts here

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About Author

Currently a Law and French undergraduate in her 2nd year (as of Aug 2013) at the University of Bristol, and also an International Ambassador.


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