A PSA for Everyone Who Survived NYE

Everyone is back from break, and the usual small talk is happening: What did you do for New Year’s? “I stayed home and fell asleep before midnight.” The room falls silent, as everyone turns to stare at this strange person who missed the turn of the new year. It's apparently abnormal to stay in on New Year’s Eve instead of going out, drinking and celebrating loudly.

Luckily, things are different now. Certain rules are being enforced, but we’re all having fun playing by the rules. Here are the (strict) guidelines for celebrating New Year’s Eve these days:

  1. Everyone has to go out to a bar or club and drink until the world falls away from their feet.

  2. Everyone has to stay out until at least 1 a.m.

  3. All of the fun being had must be supported by hard evidence either in the form of a Facebook post, filtered Instagram pictures with at least three hashtags (for good luck, of course) or a Snapchat story (minimum of 30 seconds).

These were necessary implementations to make sure no more social outcasts were created. Just like school uniforms, the strict celebrations allow everyone to remain equal and avoid the social pressure of finding an activity to top everyone else’s. The world can’t handle those who were lazy or comfortable on such an important night. After all, it’s unfair to those who put time and effort into preparing for December 31. Why should those who wear sweatpants or watch a movie be rewarded with the same new year as those who follow the ritual closely? What would these social slackers talk about for the next few days that followed January 1? It just made things awkward for all parties involved. To make the social transition into the next year smoother, everyone has to do the same thing. This way, no one is ostracized and no one can be jealous, because we all did what we were supposed to do.

Okay, so that was all a little dramatic. But hopefully it demonstrates my point nicely. FOMO and social media competitions run amok in our college world. We live in fear that our posts won’t show we’re having more fun than anyone else out there. We feel the need to prove to our “friends” that we have friends — friends we can do exciting things with that will stir jealousy in the hearts of all who bear witness. We laugh louder, smile bigger and have more fun than anyone else. But if we don’t have evidence, did it even happen? This competition riddles us with anxiety during the holidays, trying to create New Year’s Eve plans to rival those of celebrities.

All I want to do on New Year’s Eve is eat a great meal with good company, and then sleep off my food coma — and that’s exactly what I did. I know a lot of you reading this would love nothing more than to kick off the high heels, pull up those sweats and curl up with your cat (or bae) on New Year’s Eve. We pretend to follow the ideology that we do what we want, but  what we want is sometimes confused with our desire to be filled up with useless adoration from people we barely know. It is, however, a dangerous game to try and tailor your night to societal specifications. We’re desperate for that high we receive from getting "likes" on our social media outlets.

But why let the "likes" drive your passion for fun in life? Are you really worth the amount of "likes" you receive on your Facebook page or Instagram photos? Does the amount of times someone watches your Snapchat story really make you a cooler person? Your friends are your friends for you — not because you drank all that champagne and yelled “whoo-hoo!” a lot. If your idea of fun corresponds to going out, then by all means, go out and do you. But if your subconscious is begging you to stay in because you’re craving an entire season of The Office, stay in and feel zero guilt for doing so. There’s always next year to try something exciting. In fact, there’s always tomorrow. New Year’s Eve is just another day as far as I’m concerned.

Photo Credits: themangrovecafe.com