It's that time of year again. The leaves are turning crimson and gold, the air retains a strong scent of burning leaves and all the soccer moms at Martin's have started wearing their finest black cat and googly-eyed spider sweaters. That can only mean one thing: Halloween weekend is upon us.

With the likes of scary late-night movies in the Greek Theatre, Trick or Treat Street and the plethora of costume parties that are being planned as we speak, this weekend is sure to be an interesting one.

I loved Halloween as a kid because it meant one thing: candy. You name it, I had it. If candy were drugs, I would've been the biggest dealer in town. Just ask my cavities.

Now, as a young adult, I smile when I look back on the time when a big hoard of us would head out, dressed like pirates and princesses, cracked out on Snickers screaming "Trick-or-Treat" at an octave rivaling the likes of Mariah Carey.

Halloween as I know it now, in comparison with my fond memories of yesteryear, is like comparing Mother Teresa to Jenna Jameson.

Consider the following hypothetical as a prime example of the all too familiar trend happening on college campuses across the nation. Young Brittany was a cute little witch when she was in the third grade.

Now Brittany, or Brit as she goes by now (that is if she hasn't changed her name to something trendier like Lola or Teacup), is a witch for the second time. But this time around Brit has made some adjustments to her "costume."

Instead of stockings, Brit goes bare-legged. Instead of a long black dress, Brit bought a romper/tank body suit from American Apparel for the price of approximately one blood diamond.

Instead of wearing an orange scarf to cover up her neck (her mom was worried because it was starting to get chilly), Brit wears an orange bra. Because nothing says "I'm a witch" quite like an orange bra.

Brit, Brit, Brit. You're making rookie mistakes. Why did you spend 78 bucks on a piece of spandex the size of your dignity when you could have just worn your costume from the third grade?

It would have had more or less the same effect as the romper. It would have been too small, too tight and instead of having your cute little apple-bottom fanny hidden underneath your dress like you did so modestly in the third grade, now we all get to see when your Natty Light baby is due. Huzzah!

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about female empowerment. So if dressing up like a naughty Girl Scout makes you feel like a real ball-buster, then by all means, go for it.

In fact, I think that particular costume is on sale at Party City, right between the sexed-up Rosie the Riveter getup and the Adrienne Rich-gone-wild costume.

On another note, let us not forget the essentials while participating in Halloween weekend by remembering these simple rules:

1.) Don't take drinks from guys dressed like surgeons.

2.) If your Smarties have an E on them, they're not Smarties.

3.) If the person you're flirting with is wearing a mask or face paint, walk away.

4.) If you're planning on dressing up as the Tickler, don't forget where you live (my roommate sleeps with a screwdriver).

5.) Short on cash? No big deal. All you need to do is drape a sheet over yourself and BAM, you've got yourself a ghost. A ghost with a wet mouth. Because sheets are permeable to liquid. And ghosts tend to be alcoholics.

6.) On a similar note, making your own costume is so much cooler than buying one. There may be 15 slutty vikings, but there sure as hell will only be one Anne Frank. (Oh hey, Kate Houck.)

7.) If this is the third year in a row your boyfriend has dressed up as a girl for Halloween, go out on a limb and ask him if your shirt is orange or mango salmon sunrise.

8.) You can't overdose on candy corn.