Pressure: In elementary school, Halloween was a one-day event that required one costume, usually purchased at Wal-Mart. In a university setting, Halloween is a four-day event. Each day requires a different costume, and each costume must be original and witty.
Cost: If you find your costumes around the house, Halloween can be pretty cheap. But if you pick out four different outfits from American Apparel or a costume store, you’re looking at at least $50 per costume. Inflated event ticket prices and enough alcohol to give you the confidence to wear a spandex jumpsuit only add to this expensive holiday.
Romance: At the club, you thought he looked great in his sunglasses and wig. The next morning, you wish he was still in costume.
Aftermath: Just because you wore a costume doesn’t mean people couldn’t tell who you were. This is clear from the Facebook photos where you’ve been tagged doing a keg stand with your “sexy cowgirl” skirt over your head.
NEW YEAR’S EVE
Pressure: In reality, New Year’s Eve is no different from any other Friday or Saturday night, except there’s a countdown thrown in at midnight. Despite this, there’s intense pressure every year to make it the “best party ever.” For some reason, a night of drinking with your friends on December 31 is supposed to be so much better than every other night. Don’t get me wrong: I like to party as much as any other undergrad, but not when it’s forced.
Cost: Clubs hosting New Year’s Eve events use the evening as a money grab, charging upwards of $50 per ticket. Add drinks, transportation, and a new outfit to that and it’s easy to spend at least $200. Even if you’re just going to a house party, a decent bottle of champagne will set you back $60.
Romance: Along with a forced party, New Year’s Eve also tries to force romance with the midnight kiss. No one wants to be that one awkward person with no one to kiss, so if you’re single at a bar at 11:30, start looking for someone quick before you’re left with the dregs.
Aftermath: Although many people make New Year’s resolutions to “get healthy,” most wake up on January 1st feeling nauseous with a pounding headache, then head for a greasy breakfast to soothe their stomachs. You’re also starting the new year significantly poorer, and with a midnight kisser who won’t stop texting you.
Pressure: Men seem to bear the brunt of the Valentine’s Day pressure. The standard flowers and a box of chocolate gift is trite and unoriginal, so guys are expected to come up with a brilliantly romantic evening for their partner. Between girls, pressure comes when friends compare notes on what wonderful things they and their partner did to celebrate.
Cost: Thai Express isn’t going to cut it for dinner on this night. A nice meal for two with wine at a restaurant, plus a piece of jewelery, will run upwards of $250.
Romance: There’s very little romance in a day created by greeting card companies on which every couple in North America is obligated to acknowledge their love for each other. Shouldn’t this happen every day in healthy relationships? And objects like teddy bears and diamond bracelets don’t necessarily equal love.
Aftermath: Valentine’s Day is a lose-lose situation for many men. If you don’t do enough, or, heaven forbid, do nothing because your partner told you, “Oh, don’t worry, we don’t need to do anything,” you will pay the price for months to come. Alternatively, if you pull out all the stops, you’re only going to have to top that every following year.