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Published October 23rd, 2013
Are Teens Too Old to Trick or Treat? Two local teens offer differing opinions on the Halloween tradition

Leave it for the Little Kids
By Youngjoo Ahn
Now in my fourth year of high school, I've learned that life is always hectic. There are constantly more tests, volunteering opportunities, club meetings, and even school dances. This whirlwind of activity never seems to stop for a moment so that we can embrace the child within. Halloween is that one special day where everyone can let loose and celebrate silly fun. There are many ways to enjoy Halloween without going through neighborhoods to find the most candy. Dressing up in costumes for school with friends creates memories to cherish, while teenage trick-or-treating should be taboo.
Many high school students view trick-or-treating as an opportunity to gather loads of free candy, but childhood trick-or-treating remains a fond memory in many of our minds, and should stay that way. Doing something just for the sake of hoarding candy detracts from the adventure.
"As a kid I loved trick-or-treating but now it just feels like something I've out grown. I don't want to tarnish all my cherished childhood memories of Halloween," senior Evan McAvenia said.
"Parents buy candy because they enjoy seeing cute little kids in their costumes, and want to add to the fun of their Halloween. Little kids take Halloween much more seriously. They dream about their costumes weeks in advance. Adults appreciate that excitement," junior Cece Andrews said.
When high school students take to the streets with paper bags or worse yet, pillowcases, they take away from the experience that little kids enjoy," Andrews added.
It's a treat to have adorable little ones at your door, but it feels more like a trick when a band of teens knock.
For teens, I suggest celebrating Halloween without trick-or-treating. Why not dress up in a crazy costume and spend the evening handing out the candy to the children? Or get your friends together for a scary story circle or to watch frightening movies?
If getting lots of candy is the main motivator, pick up bagfuls for a pittance at the spectacular post Halloween candy sales. Leave trick-or-treating to the kiddies.
Youngjoo Ahn, a senior at Miramonte High School, is co-president of Club Be the Star You Are and host of international teen radio Express Yourself. In her free times she enjoys to bake, write, and drink hot chocolate in the fall.

Youngjoo Ahn

Halloween's Fun for Everyone
By Konnie Guo
Trick-or-treating is a timeless tradition that should be for all ages, not just little children. Teenagers are always told to grow up and get ready to be an adult. The pressure they constantly face leaves them with very few opportunities for fun. However, the end of October provides teens with a much welcome escape from their stressful lives.
Some teens enjoy going trick-or-treating simply to have a good time. It's nice to get out and stop stressing about school and grades once in awhile. Chris Ramirez, a junior at Miramonte High School, gave his input on this entertaining holiday: "I really enjoy being able to relax with a night out with my friends on Halloween. Plus, getting lots of candy is a bonus!" At a time when homework and extracurricular activities begin to pile up, the festivities of Halloween allow for a welcome break.
Trick-or-treating can be used as an opportunity to help others. The Orinda Juniorettes Club is a local group of teenage girls who work together to do various acts of community service. This Halloween, they are planning to raise money for charity by participating in "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF." According to UNICEF's website, this campaign has been going on for over 60 years. Instead of getting candy, the Juniorettes will go door-to-door asking for donations for their cause. Trick-or-treating is much more than a simple activity for children. Instead, it can be utilized as a great way to help those who are less fortunate.
Sondra Abruzzo, president of the Juniorettes, explains, "Trick-or-treating is far more important than just getting free candy. Halloween is the perfect time to collect aid for those who need it the most." Abruzzo's compassionate stance on the importance of trick-or-treating takes the activity far beyond some trivial activity.
As Halloween rolls around, don't dismiss it as being too juvenile. Trick-or-treating is an endearing activity with a purpose for everybody, whether it's simply blowing off some steam or helping a greater cause. No matter how old or young someone is, one phrase is certain to be on the lips of many this Halloween: trick-or-treat!
Konnie Guo, a junior at Miramonte High School, is a member of Club Be the Star You Are! She is an avid reader, and during her spare time, enjoys playing the piano and doing volunteer work.

Konnie Guo
Teen Scene is YOUR voice. If you have something to say or have writing skills and want to be part of our Teen Scene team, email our Teen Coach, Cynthia Brian, Cynthia@CynthiaBrian.com.
The opinions expressed in Teen Scene are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Lamorinda Weekly.

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