I have mixed feelings about New Year’s Eve. I want to believe that it’s this glamorous night out with friends — but in reality, it’s this anti-climactic sprint to the finish line that has me wishing I just stayed on the couch instead of spending my entire savings account on an outfit, event, and transportation (looking at you, Uber surge). Why is New Year’s Eve the most over-rated night out? I have a few theories that you might agree with. And if you’re one of the few who has never had a bad NYE experience, teach me your ways.

Version 1

In my head, there are three versions of the classic NYE situation. First, it’s the suckers waiting for hours in the pushy crowds of Times Square, waiting for the ball to drop. Think about it. They’re waiting for a ball to drop.

It’s probably below 30 degrees (plus wind chill) and these people can’t move. They begin camping out in Times Square about 24-48 hours in advance. If they move from their spot, someone will swipe that coveted 12 inches in a heartbeat. So they have to wear adult diapers. I kid you not.

I’ve never camped out in Times Square for NYE, but I constantly wonder if it’s an experience worth having. I’m leaning towards no. But hey, at least they didn’t spend an exuberant amount of money on food and alcohol. Just those diapers. 

Version 2

The second version of NYE is celebrating at a bar, club, or event. This is the version I have the least amount of faith in. The night of NYE takes planning and low expectations. You need to take into account your outfit, transportation, paying for a ticket to the club/bar, and who you’re going to surround yourself with.

The night usually begins great — don’t get me wrong. You’re excited to be dressed up, drinking champagne, and taking pics with your friends. But then it creeps up to 11:45 pm. And you go to the bathroom because that champagne flowed right through you.

Once you walk out of the bathroom, you notice that the sea of people in the club seems to have doubled. And you can’t find your friends anywhere. It’s so packed that you can’t move, and the countdown begins. Before you know it, what was supposed to be a great night just ended with you entering the new year kissing a stranger next to the bathroom. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. You be the judge.

Going out to a bar or a club on New Year's Eve takes the same amount of commitment as the suckers in Times Square. You want to believe so bad that it could be such a great night out, but in reality you’re just in a crowded bar with a bunch of strangers, wishing you were on the couch with Ben & Jerry.

Version 3

The third version of NYE is sitting on the couch, with mom and dad, watching the party happen on TV. You're feeling a mix FOMO, relief, and loneliness. You want to believe you made the right decision by staying in — past experiences have scarred you — but you can’t help but want to be among people celebrating the start of a new year. So you vow never to stay in on NYE ever again. And the vicious cycle continues.

NYE has so much potential to be a great night out. I think it's the high expectations that is its downfall. My suggestion is to be at a house party with your closest friends. That way, the expectations are low and it can be like any other night out. And you won't have to worry about kissing a stranger in the bathroom of a club.