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PHOTO COURTESY GIANSY PAUL AURORA AND THE FROG — The chance to become Princess Aurora, with her little brother Sandler as the frog, was the kind of experience that triggered a lifetime fondness for the Halloween holiday in Stetson University student Giansy Paul. Giansy is pursuing a minor in journalism and a double major in political science and public management. She is currently interning with The Beacon.

When the leaves stay the same, a cool breeze is detectable for two weeks, and 31 Nights of Halloween begins on the cable television channel Freeform — that’s when I know fall has arrived.

Oct. 1 marks the best month of each of my 21 years of life. Specifically, Halloween, which is on the 31st. Halloween is my favorite day in my favorite season. The holiday has been celebrated for centuries, deriving from ancient festivals and religious rituals.

In other places, including Latin America, Halloween is a celebration of the dead – Dias de los Muertos. In North America, the celebration does not look the same. 

Children celebrate with trick-or-treating and costumes. As adults, we can still wear costumes, but we include partying and nostalgia. My first memory of the holiday will always be shared with my brother.

At about 8 years old, I was able to transform myself into what I have always wanted to be and what I am: a princess. I managed to convince my whole family of my plan, and my brother Sandler got the privilege of being my frog. 

Ahead of my time, I unintentionally created the movie we know now as The Princess and the Frog. Consumed in my happiness, I didn’t realize Halloween also allowed for my family to take pictures and giggle at the accuracy of my costume.

Years later, I am surprised to find that my childhood nickname — Sleeping Beauty — is what inspired my mom that year to pick a pretty pink princess costume referencing the movie Sleeping Beauty

It seems that the joke was not only on my brother that night, but also on me. However, it did not stop the joy I felt bouncing from house to house. I beamed from ear to ear the whole night, ready to collect my prize of chocolate bars. 

My royal lieges consisted of my mother, father and brother, who followed me around the neighborhood, helping mark the day and season as my favorite.

This year, I will transition from the celebration of Halloween with costumes and trick-or-treating. I will still dress up in a costume, but I will be sure to include the other adult forms of celebration. 

I will be paying tribute to the first Halloween I can remember. I, of course, will be what I believe I am: a princess. This time, the joke will not be on me.

I will be the accurate princess, but this time I will be looking for my frog. Everything will remain the same. My parents and brother will still be members of my royal liege. 

This time, I will be able to party with other people from different fairy tales. Halloween will allow a temporary escape from reality. And when my favorite holiday comes to an end, I will count down until its return. 

And when my favorite season comes to an end, I will count down until its return.

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