A Harvardian take on some costume classics.

Do not blame yourself for not realizing Halloween is only a few days away, considering you had to ask for an extension on a paper and slept through your midterm already this semester. With all your assignments, extracurriculars, and applications, it is easy to forget that the rest of the world continues to exist outside of the Harvard bubble.

Have no fear (save that for the actual day!), the Indy has you covered with some easy and relatable costumes:


No, not like the “Boo, look at this sheet that I bought solely for this but plan on using because you know I haven’t done laundry in weeks” look. This is really more of a couple (er…anti-couple?) costume: find a friend to spend the whole night ignoring! To take it up a notch, have them wear a shirt that says “wyd?” or “u up?” and be sure to spend the night standing next to them with a shirt that reads “Read 2:01pm.”


There is truly nothing scarier, or, rather, more stress-inducing than the dreaded midterm. Regardless of the context, the word alone brings thoughts of fleeing and a spike in your heart rate. To complete the costume, tape blank pieces of paper to yourself. This look is inspired by the exact blankness of your own midterm when you turned it in after an hour of laughing to yourself about how little the review session mapped onto the actual test. Bring it home by wearing those really baggy sweat-pants you fell asleep in at Lamont after staying up all night studying, and unbrushed hair because you are literally running straight over from your room when you realized you had overslept and were already late.

Section Kid

This costume gives plenty freedom in expressing what section kid looks like to you. For example, for the “Devil’s Advocate” look only requires a headband with red horns and business attire (because if you are not dressed formally, people might think you believe the racist things you say to spark debate). If the “I did the recommended reading even though it was longer than what my classmates read from the actual course-pack this week” look is your ultimate goal, simply bring along a few of the books you were assigned to read, because Section Kid would show up to a party with their assigned reading in tow.

Final Club Bouncer

This may be the most elaborate and potentially expensive option, but this is because it requires a tuxedo.  Once you are dressed up in the finest tux you can find, print out a long list of stereotypical WASP-y female names (there should be at least fifteen Katherines) and go around the party asking people if they are on ~the list~.  If they are not, ensure that those peasants get out of your very exclusive and highly elite party!


Find enough dark eye shadow to make you shudder at the memories of those angsty, emo middle school days. Make sure to really accentuate those dark under-eye bags to the point that they’re damn near designer. Next, don’t go to a single Halloween event, or actually any party for that matter. Really commit to the bit. Lose all sense of social skills and constantly remind people that you are an engineer before running away to work on a problem set.

Safe Space

This is actually a group costume. Grab your whole blocking group and each person picks a planet to dress up as. Bonus: You can even have a Pluto if you include that one person with whom you almost blocked but then, through a painfully awkward conversation, eliminated from the group. The final detail that brings it all together is kneepads! Everyone needs kneepads and a helmet to appropriately convey the message: “I first and foremost am concerned about safety but that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to have a good time.” Be aware that you will have to spend the whole night explaining why you are so important to have on campus and, if you are really lucky, you will even be removed because you make people who don’t understand you uncomfortable.


Spend the night staring at your phone, constantly muttering something about missing the shuttle just like the White Rabbit with its watch in Alice in Wonderland. Complete the look with a giant backpack full of everything you could possibly need for the day and then some because you should always assume you may be stranded with no hope of return. Leave a note for your roommates so they know you cherished your time with them (and also to delete your internet history to preserve your memory).


Unlike the Quadling, the Riverling can be seen sneaking off hurriedly to call their roommate begging them to find someplace else to sleep for the night because there is a chance that cute person from the party, who looked over at you when you were blocking the bar, might have missed their shuttle back to the quad and will be sticking around for a while. To really sell this look, just be sure to never flinch at any of the costumes you see because living with the strange bugs and giant rats at the river has worn you down, and you fear nothing but senior year still in *shudder* n–1 housing.

Hunter Richards (hrichards@college.harvard.edu) is excited to see what costume she manages to throw together an hour before a Halloween party this weekend.