New Year’s Eve is hands down the most overrated holiday in the existence of holidays. It’s first flaw is that it comes after Christmas. It’s second flaw is that it tries to compete with other party holidays like July 4th and Memorial Day, but those holidays occur when the weather is nice out—not when there are frostbite warnings. It’s third flaw is that it’s trying way too hard. We’re expected to get dressed up to do literally the same thing we do every time we socialize, and we have to drink champagne, which gives me fierce heartburn.
As a 29-year-old female, I can now officially recite the story of “New Year’s Eves of Sam’s Past” and it’s both a scary and relatable tale. Below you will find how I spent each NYE in my 20s. The scene changes but the thought process remains the same. It’s a story of realization and finding one’s true self at the bottom of a couch cushion under a faux fur blanket.
Here is a look at New Year’s Eve at every age in your (I mean my) 20s.
Finding a party when everyone is home for winter break is like being in high school again. All of your friends’ parents are tired from raising kids that are now 20, so that means no house party. You can’t go to a bar because they’re strict on NYE and you could lose your fake ID. You’re left waiting until the day of to make plans, which consist of you and 16 of your friends going to your friends’ friends’ friends’ random off-campus house party at a nearby college where you get drunk, puke, and end up crashing on your friends’ parent’s couch.
You can FINALLY legally go out, but your friends can’t decide on a bar because everyone wants to spend the night differently. You finally decide on a random bar that only has a $20 cover because you’re way too poor to pay the expensive covers at the “real” bars. You get a sparkly dress and a bunch of cheap champagne for the pre-game and spend your night doing the same thing you do every weekend: blacking out at a bar. You get pizza after and assume future NYEs will be better when you can actually afford to go to a cool place.
Your friends decide on a place to pre-game, but don’t decide on a bar because they all cost money and you can’t even afford a $10 cover. After pre-gaming, you wander in to a dive bar where you’re completely overdressed. You get black out drunk and then end up at McDonalds. The next morning you look back on the night before and think, WOW THAT WAS THE BEST NYE EVER, but that’s only because you don’t remember it because you blacked out.
You have some money to spend, so you search online for an awesome bar to go to. Your friends won’t commit to a bar though because they’re all waiting for better plans to come along. You finally say fuck this and get tickets to a bar for $60 with a few friends. You arrive to the bar in a fierce outfit (AKA you upgraded your dress choice from Forever 21 to Urban Outfitters), but you find the passed apps are already gone and the champagne toast is a joke. However, the party favors are lit. You get black out drunk so you assume you had fun, but you remember how crowded it was so you vow to never do one of these lame bar parties on New Year’s Eve ever again.
Here’s me on NYE at 23. Shoutout to the girl who just bought this dress from my Poshmark store.
You won’t go to a bar and no one you know has an apartment that is big enough for a party so you’re left with no plans. Luckily at the last minute, a friend comes through with an invite to an open bar party at a bar. It’s fun, but you felt sick all week because it’s cold out so you don’t get black out. You go home before 1am. You begin to realize New Year’s Eve is not actually that much fun—you’ve just been getting black out drunk on the night every year. Hmmm….
You’re confused about how to celebrate. You’re as close to 20 as you are to 30 so it still acceptable to get black out drunk off of cheap champagne, or should you be classy and get tipsy off a bottle of Dom P? Can you wear a sparkly dress with tights, or should you wear something more appropriate for the weather outside which calls for sixteen layers of sweaters? Do you even want to go out? Do you even have friends that want to go out? Speaking of friends, what happened to all of them??? You wait until the last minute to make plans and go to a nice dinner with a few friends. It’s nothing special, but you are now well aware that NYE is nothing special, so it’s fine. You just wish you had money and friends to go to a black tie party or something. One day…
At the last minute, a friend decides to have people over. You call it a “party” which is funny, because 20 people at a house to you used to be a really tame pre-game. Look at how much you’ve grown! You drink some champagne. You get a little tipsy. But you go home at a decent time after midnight because you don’t want to get screwed by Uber and pay an insane surcharge.
Your friend decides to throw a “party.” However, everyone invited is busy. Why is it that everyone always has all these big plans except you? You make it a resolution to be less free the next year. You question whether or not leaving your apartment to go to this friends’ place will be worth it since no one is going. Is it worth getting stuck with an insane Uber surcharge fee? Is it worth getting dressed instead of staying on the couch in sweatpants? Is it worth drinking calories when your metabolism is slow as fuck now? You decide to go out, but you end up getting too dressed up, eating too much cheese, drinking too much wine, and paying too much for Uber. You feel like you’re getting too old for this shit now. Help.
HEY EVERYONE, COME SEE HOW OVERDRESSED I REALLY WAS ON NYE AT 27. I’m the second one in from the left.
You try to make plans, but the single people don’t want to be around the couples, so you give up. You surrender to a last-minute gathering at a friend’s place with everyone who didn’t have plans, including you, because you still manage to always be free when everyone else is doing cool shit. You don’t drink too much because you want to work out the next day and you’ve been eating shit for the entire week so you feel bloated and gross. The entire time you’re out, you wish you were at home on your couch under a faux fur blanket in sweatpants watching Netflix. You leave immediately after midnight. You don’t even care that the Uber surcharge was 6x. You just want to go home.
Instead of trying to find plans this year, you avoid finding plans. You would love to go out if you had a really cool black tie party to attend or if your friends rented out a bar. The problem: you have no black tie party to attend because you never became wildly rich in your 20s and you literally lost the majority of your friends over the past 10 years so you don’t know enough people to fill a rented bar. All you want to do this year is drink a wine, have a cheese, and wake up the next morning so you can go to SoulCycle and stomach a salad. But next year, you would like to be rich so you can throw a wild black tie party for all the friends you don’t have anymore or go on vacation. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR? IS IT? Maybe NYE gets better and classier in your 30s? I guess we’ll see.