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OPINION: Staying Safe and Eating Candy

College students don’t need to be told not to be irresponsible on Halloween.

At this point, most of us have seen the cheesy videos in health classes about the dangers of drinking, and hopefully common sense has developed enough to know when situations go bad.

While most are still young, students are adults who should understand their actions have consequences. More importantly, some of those actions can have consequences that can last years and even affect other people.

College students don’t need to be told what to do, but sometimes they need to be reminded of what could happen.

In 2012, State Farm released a study citing Halloween as the deadliest day of the year for fatalities involving child pedestrians. Between 1990 and 2010, 115 children were killed on Halloween.

It was also determined that drivers between ages 15 and 25 were responsible for nearly one-third of those accidents.

For students thinking about heading to parties and then driving home after, this data may perhaps spark some reconsideration. After all, there are also trick-or-treat events throughout Whatcom County that will have candy-seekers of all ages out in the streets.

If thinking about all the kids out roaming the streets doesn’t put holiday safety into perspective, maybe thinking about your own childhood will do the trick.

When you’re a kid, the most dangerous thing you think can come from Halloween is a cavity or stomach ache. Halloween is about dressing up in the costume you’ve been planning since Fourth of July, getting free sugar and staying up past your bedtime.

While those meanings change as you grow up, the underlying message stays the same: have fun so you can remember it for years to come.

This means that all the warnings and caution are not meant to discourage having a good time. Halloween is still an opportunity to go out with friends, eat good — or bad, depending on your goals — food and have some laughs.

Making time to enjoy some treats with friends is definitely appealing as the second half of the quarter begins rearing its ugly head. So by all means, enjoy it. Just make appropriate plans if your treats include a 21-or-older label.

There’s no shame in calling a cab or asking a friend to crash on their couch. At least you’ll be around afterward to pay them back.

Adulthood is all about finding balance — balance of work, finances, personal life, and more. Celebrating is no different, there’s a balance between having fun and being reckless and stupid.

Listen to the voice that tells you it’s OK to enjoy yourself, but also listen to the voice that reminds you not to go overboard.

Students are at the dawn of their futures; one night of overindulgence isn’t worth throwing away all the work it took to get to that point, not to mention all the opportunities yet to come.

So, while wigs and makeup may transform students into zombies and characters from "Game of Thrones, "they shouldn’t forget who they are and their common sense.

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