'New Year's Eve always sucks and we should all just accept it.'

Every year, we like to pretend that New Year's Eve doesn't suck.

That the most hyped-up night of the year can, in fact, end with something other than crushing disappointment, underwhelm or, best-case scenario, bed at 10:30pm.

And every year, we're wrong.

Watch: The horoscopes on their way to the airport (for some outlandish NYE trip, of course). Post continues below video.

Video via Mamamia.

It think it's about time we stop pretending. Because New Year's Eve is a trap.

It's meant to be about celebrating, or gleefully sending off, the year that was, and ushering in the next with good vibes. As a result, New Year's plans are often 'go big of go home'. We go out, because well, we've been told we should. Everyone else does. And it all culminates in the most over-hyped night on the calendar. 

There's so much pressure placed on NYE, from the need to have over-the-top fun to the force of feeling like one evening has to set the tone for your entire year to come. It comes via osmosis from simply functioning in society, or more overtly on social media, where it feels like everyone else in the entire world is having so much fun and therefore, you must too. And then, it comes from the admin of organising your fun. Have you tried planning a New Year trip with a large group of friends? Torture.


Even if your night isn't actually bad – you make it to midnight, the fireworks are fine, your drink of choice hits just right – you're still likely to feel disappointed because we always, always assume we're going to have a better time. The best time.

It never reaches the idyllic heights we want it to, because chasing such a momentary good time only leads to anticlimax.

And you know what? It's not just me and my zero credentials who hypothesised this. I have science on my side.

In 2021, experts at University College London did an experiment resulting in a 'formula for happiness', which found that happiness was not based on how well things are going, but whether they are going better or worse than expected.

Think back to the greatest nights of your life (your wedding is excluded, that is an unfair bar). For me, the highlights are always more low-key. They're more spontaneous, surprising, and were not at all bogged down in the weight of expectation.

And so, I propose the only way to make New Year's Eve not suck: to acknowledge that it sucks.

Only once we're finally able to do that, with our expectations in the bin, can we wake up on January 1 with fond memories, excitement for the year ahead, and... well, probably still a headache. I don't have the cure for that part.

Feature image: Getty.

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