New Year’s Eve. The last major holiday of the year. The one that rings in the new year and closes the chapters of the year before.
You might be thinking; why does a young 23-year-old woman hate New Year’s Eve? Big, extravagant parties, fancy attire, flowing alcohol, fireworks, and an exciting countdown — what’s there to hate?
Sure, New Year’s inspires new beginnings, something that I’m sure everyone is ready to embrace after the dumpster fire that was 2020, however, the holiday is overhyped, overpriced, and often ends in a wicked hangover where you’ve wasted a full day recovering from. Of course, this does not have to be your experience, but as a young person, there’s this unshakeable pressure that New Year’s causes that I can’t seem to reconcile.
New Year’s Eve comes with the expectation that you will be attending a wild party, get drunk with your friends, and have the time of your life. However, I always find myself scrambling to make plans in order to ensure that I am attending a party, just to leave the party thinking “I should have just stayed home.” As a result, the pressure to make unforgettable memories and partying hard leads to an anti-climatic night. Always.
The Pressure to get Drunk
New Year’s Eve is not a friendly holiday to individuals who do not drink. I have to be honest, I am not a huge binge drinker myself, but always end up getting drunk. This happens for a variety of reasons (FOMO, fear of being seen as the ‘boring’ friend…). Personally, for me, I don’t enjoy holidays that revolve around alcohol, which New Year’s tends to do.
It’s Too Expensive
If you want to go anywhere for New Year’s, whether it is dinner, a bar, an event, or even a night club, businesses capatilize on the holiday by over charging. To be honest, the whole thing is a scam to get you to spend more money.
Where do you go? Everywhere is Too Crowded
Following up on the last point, even if you are able to afford to go out for New Year’s, there are thousands of people who are thinking the same thing. What ends up happening is that you are in an overcrowded room, struggling to hear the person right next to you or in a 10-minute lineup for the toilet. No thank you.
It’s Too Damn Cold
As a woman, I’ve always felt the pressure to be dressed immaculately on New Year’s Eve. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy dressing up as much as the next person, however, as a Vancouverite living in a city where it rains more than half of the year, the cute mini dress and heels will cause me to be shivering and wet the whole night. What’s the point of spending ALL that money on an outfit, just for it to be covered up by outerwear?
Where’s the Food?
One of my favourite parts about a holiday is the food. However, New Year’s does not seem to have the same focus other holidays have on dinners, special menu items, or appetizers. Most people are eating in order to be able to stomach the copius amounts of alcohol that you will be consuming all night. I think I’ll pass.
The Dreaded New Year’s Kiss at Midnight
There seems to be a lot of pressure on kissing someone to ring in the New Year. I just think it’s a strange tradition — even when I did have a long-term partner. Sure, it can be really cute but I can also see how it can be really awkward if you don’t have someone to kiss or someone you don’t know turns to you in order to kiss you, just for the sake of participating. Not sure how I feel about that.
New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work
Every year, you promise yourself that this year will be different. You’re gonna change your life around, pick up better habits, or learn new skills. This is all great in theory, and I totally support setting tangible goals for yourself, however, New Year’s resolutions end up being a) too broad, b) out of your control, and c) you don’t know how to hold yourself accountable to them. In my opinion, it is more effective to make smaller goals throughout the year to achieve than making these big, grand resolutions at the beginning of year.
Despite my pessimistic view on the holiday itself, I do recognize how New Year’s can be enjoyable. As I reflect on my loathing of the holiday, I recognize that a lot of the things I hate about it are due to my own perceptions and the internalized pressure I put on myself as a young person.
As I get older, I do become less and less hateful towards December 31st because I’m slowly getting better at not caring about the opinions of others as well as learning how to say no. To be honest, this year has made it easier because the respectable and safe thing to do is celebrate New Year’s at home — which I am more than happy to do.
So if you’re like me, who has this unexplainable hatred for New Year’s, I think it’s a good time to treat the day as any other and aim to do what you want to do. Whether that is going out (post-pandemic) or staying in and ordering pizza (which is what I will be doing this year), I think it’s time we stop putting pressure on ourselves to make New Year’s Eve an unforgettable night. It’s just another day.