New Years’ Eve is upon us – the night where the peaks and troughs of the year gone by culminate in one last letting loose, hair down, Jaeger bomb and tequila shot filled explosion of fun and fanatics. Or so they say.
For many, 2015 has been quite the year and naturally there are grounds to celebrate and reflect on this. However, as the years go by, my desire to do anything at all on what some declare the night of the year is ever-fading. I wouldn’t want to start 2016 with such a “glass half-empty” attitude or to tarnish the minds of the optimists with my cynicism, but I feel I’m not the only person who is relatively unmoved by the fateful New Years’ Eve. So as the epitome of organised fun edges ever nearer, I really do wonder – what is all the fuss?
As students, there is a lot of pressure placed on going out and most of us accept this. It’s good to socialise, it’s healthy (though the drinking that accompanies might not be) but when a night, like New Year’s Eve, is given an infinite list of expectations it simply cannot live up to, it does make sense to question why we do it.
To me, it seems that it is only another attempt for hideously overpriced clubs to live up to their stereotypes. The nights promise “free shots” or “European DJs” and a spectacular countdown to the new year, but I do feel capable enough of counting from one to ten myself. Indeed, I would rather be listening to my dad’s iPod with some shop-bought Huzzar, or glued to Netflix with close friends and wine, than fund these awful institutions which exist only to leave me with a serious dent in my bank account, diminished faith in humanity and a few awkwardly posed, over-exposed photos to prove on Facebook that I really did have such a good time.
I would rather be listening to my dad’s iPod with some shop-bought Huzzar, or glued to Netflix with close friends and wine, than fund these awful institutions which exist only to leave me with a serious dent in my bank account
Of course, if the expectation of the night hasn’t already wrecked your nervous system there is always midnight’s kiss to give rise to some added anxiety. Even if you have made peace with the fact your intimacy for the evening probably won’t stretch further than your glass of Vodka and Coke, there’s always that glimmer of hope that maybe, after the aches and pains of 2015, you might find that special person in these last few hours. But let’s face it, if you’ve had no luck the rest of the year, the odds are the hours from 10 pm until midnight won’t prove any more fruitful. I’m ready to be proved wrong, of course.
Not only that, but on a darker note, it doesn’t quite seem the climate for overpopulating a city centre, both figuratively and literally. The storms and their poorly chosen names (more suited to the members of a geriatric book club) aren’t stopping and Gertrude is on her way, promising horrendous traffic, extortionately priced taxis and perhaps an accident or two for those that brave their six-inch heels. And of course, as a Londoner, there is some rather uneasy feelings that crowds in the city centre, especially ones enjoying such “Western decadence” might be under watch from the number one enemy of the year – the dreaded Islamic State. An extreme thought, perhaps, but these are extreme people and, with celebrations in Brussels already cancelled, the mind does wander.
If the night itself isn’t enough to put you off, the morning after should be. Waking up face down on someone else’s sofa, or even in your own bed still in last night’s tights, grappling for liquids to cure a severe case of Sahara mouth, manically emptying your bag to check you still have your belongings even if they include a phone with several calls to a decidedly uninterested ex-lover and a wallet bursting with last nights’ receipts. Is this really how you would like to start the whole “new year, new me ” of 2016?
Having said all this, as nice as a glass of my parents’ good wine and a jigsaw/Netflix session sound, I think I will head out this year. But this time I’m sticking to close friends and a cosy home, with sticky club floors and lost cloakroom tickets hopefully remaining distant memories of a misguided past. All in all, the case for staying in is rather strong, and those opting out from the hype, I salute you.