A sweet tradition

Every year around the month of October, college students living in Stegenga Hall and Fern Smith Hall get excited for trick-or-treating. At the start of October, and sometimes even earlier, students begin planning out matching costumes with their roommates and estimating how much candy they should buy.


For what, you might ask? On Halloween, these two dorms are open to kids and their parents for one hour, typically from 6 to 7 p.m., for trick-or-treating. Hundreds of children from Orange City and the surrounding area trek up and down three flights of stairs as candy is handed out.

Two minutes before the start time, the Fern residents hear, “THEY’RE COMING!” Following the signal is an uproar of cheering from the women of Fern. Trick-or-treating in the dorms is like rush hour–wild.

Even though everything is crazy and chaotic, I love getting to see children of all ages running up and down the halls bursting with excitement and bright, joyful smiles. They come and go quickly in order to hit every wing in both dorms.

Very rarely do I see two kids with the same costume. They come up with some pretty clever costumes, which sometimes give us ideas for our costumes the next year. It’s also fun to see familiar faces. NWC’s professors and resident directors walk through with their little ones as well. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to see them dressed up in costume with their families, which gives the college students something fun to talk about before class the next day.

This year, many women on my wing participated in one way or another. About a half-hour into trick-or-treating, Fern’s second east resident assistant, Zoe, turned on her speaker and we jammed to the “High School Musical” soundtrack. As kids and their parents came up the stairs, the first thing they saw were college students jumping around, showing off their outstanding dance moves. The women of Fern Smith Hall are always finding ways to have fun with their wingmates.

At the end of the hour, everyone’s bowls are empty and the halls go quiet again. It’s always nice to take an hour break from studies to hang out and hand out candy to the kids of the area. Their pure smiles and precious laughs are the reason I look forward to trick-or-treating each year.