Georgia LA | Georgia LA | 1,022 day ago

The Politics Of Where To Spend Midnight On New Year's Eve

The Debrief: Why do we put so much effing expectation on what's happening at midnight

Politics are never more prevalent than the night we celebrate having made it through another 365 days… As your crew scrambles to have 'THE-BEST-NIGHT-OF-OUR-LIVES-EVAH!' for New Year's eve. 

Social threads assessing the options have been pinging for weeks, plans have been standard chat among friends for what feels like forever, and you’ve spent most of the Christmas period assessing which sparkly garment to order from the Asos sale from your parents sofa between the odd Quality Street...

You’re still not sure you’re ready to commit to £35 for tickets to your local pub where you normally get in for free anyway

Even though you have no idea where you’re going. And now it's bloody TONIGHT! And you’re still not sure you’re ready to commit to £35 for tickets to that warehouse thing / lift party / your local pub where you normally get in for free anyway. Something better will come along right? And what if one of your pals can’t get a ticket? That Mexican get-away you discussed with your mates and never even almost planned would come in real handy right now. Why eff didn't you just book those tickets? You're in a right tizzy even thinking about it.

Surely this much hype over one evening can statistically only mean disappointment? 'You could say our perceptions are more important to how we feel than what actually happens,' Psychotherapist Dr. Aaron Balick agreees over-egging the anticipation pudding can only lead to downers. 'Over-hyping leads to disappointment for two reasons, you might expect the impossible and then be let down, or you hype the expectation so much that it seems more ideal than it really is, and you’re disappointed when it turns out to not be what you wanted.” So basically, what actually happens on your New Years adventure is less important than how you approach it.

SO why do we do this to ourselves?! From my research (*ahem* Googling) it seems to come down to bigging-up the fact we’re still here a year later… Let’s raise a glass to survival! An eve to assess how we did, pat ourselves on the back, and forget about bad exes or leaving of make-up bags on public transport incidents. All the nice things you did for your mum over Christmas eliminates that stuff karmically anyway right? RIGHT?! The Japanese even hold New Year’s Bonenkai or 'forget-the-year parties' to bid farewell to problems and concerns and prepare for a better one.

Let’s raise a glass to survival, pat ourselves on the back, and forget about bad exes or leaving of make-up bags on public transport incidents

I ask Andy Puddicombe, from mindfullness app Headspace (think a modern take on Buddhist chill-out methods) to suggest a way to avoid getting our knickers in a twist this year; 'Try a different approach, not hoping it will be the best night of your life, nor fearing it will be your worst. Instead, just be present with the process, watching it unfold, enjoying this moment right now, rather than looking to some moment in the future that hasn't even happened.' Ok, so welcoming in 2015 in state of zen to is achievable players! *Deep breath*

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Sadly by the time you've been convinced that you should spend the extra spondoola - all tickets have sold out. And now you've got to beg your mates brothers girlfriend who knows the DJ help you wangle an extra one?! Arrrgh! Luckily you've just heard someones having a house party, phew. It's BYOB and ticket-free fun. But should you spend the whole night there? Another mate has just text about another thing? And it's vital you see as many people as possible!

Maybe you should just see where the night takes you?  'The best way forward is to  have a plan, and that plan should be clear, reasonable and time-bound,' Dr Aaron adds. 'However, a degree of flexibility is also important - we do change our minds, and our plans should be adaptable. You don’t want to be too rigid.' Hmmm… So know where you’re going, but don’t refute an unexpected afterparty  that wasn’t part of the original strategy you say.

You just don't want a repeat of that time you were on the overground as the clock struck 12

In the end as long as you plan where you'll be for the dong everything will be fine. You just don't want a repeat incident of that time you were on the overground going through Willesden Junction with a travel bottle of vodders and cranberry as the clock struck 12 now do we?! Although the camaraderie on public transport is a pretty great vibe.

Let us borrow some wisdom from Roman philospher Seneca (alive in BC lol) who believed anger came from setting unrealistic expectations… If you anticipate less from the eve we squeeze new found festive jelly into some spangle, all great things that do happen are a bonus.

And if you don't fancy that there is of course there’s always the option to stay at home with some bubbles and good company. A bit middle aged? Sure. But at least you don't have to worry about being in the loo que when the clock strikes 12 or losing your pals in the crowd and next thing you're welcoming in the new year by snogging a friendly, anonymous Russian.

Maybe there's something to be said for playing Articulate and dancing round your living room with an elite crew of your fave peeps... Although prepare for smooching your bezzie at midnight if you're single and getting more intoxicated that you ever would have at a bar. 

A last minute unexpected plan will almost always turn out to be the LOLest...

It's kind of a cop-out but like the year ahead, there’s only so much you can do and you kind of have to leave the night to fate... A last minute unexpected plan will almost always turn out to be the LOLest. A spare place in your mates car to the country, or a last minute ticket blag? Yes please. 'The best new years I ever had was when I followed the sound of a bassline into an industrial estate, and had the best rave of my life. I woke up with my head in a cat litter!' says my friend Ben. Amen to that. 

So there we have it. With mates and the right mindset, anything is achievable... Go forth, stay calm, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Liked this? You might also be interested in: 

Goodbye My Friends: Why I Unfriended 43 People On Social Media This Year Because Of The News 

In Defence Of Ditching Your Toxic Mates 

The Unique Complications Of Having A Best Friend With Depression

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Artwork: Eugenia Loli

Tags: Going Out