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

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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