One of my most memorable Helenes moments was spending time with the Jr. Helenes during Halloween. All of the Helenes and some of the Jr. Helenes were decked out in their Halloween costumes playing fun games and passing snacks around in the courtyard. This experience was extremely special for me because it was only the second time that I had been with that group of Jr. Helenes students. Although I wasn’t particularly close with any of the students at that time, there was a sense of trust and a level of vulnerability that we all comfortably shared. The carefree nature of everyone at the meeting was contagious! Sporting wacky costumes, half costumes, and no costumes for Halloween in front of strangers can be hard for some people, but our group felt like an assemblage of old pals. I looked particularly strange in my Mickey Mouse onesie, Birkenstocks and Miley bun hairstyle, but somehow still felt comfortable!
As everyone shared their trick-or-treating plans, or lack thereof, we bonded over the different ways in which our celebration of the holiday changed as we got older. One of the students belonged to a religion that didn’t celebrate Halloween and it was heartwarming to see a circle of students, in fun costumes, learn about a different perspective from a peer. I have and always will value the experiences that Helenes has afforded me, particularly as it relates to sharing experiences with younger students. Although their perspectives are different from my own, it is also wonderful to find moments where we can share and learn with each other. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and that meeting was the beginning of the weekend of one of my favorite Halloweekends that I spent entirely with Helenes, to date!