It’s seconds from midnight. The year is coming to an end and you find yourself doing the same routine over and over again – at some bro bar celebrating life. You look into the distance to check on your best friend. You spot her, and per usual, she is drunk and with a guy she had just met moments ago. You’re drunk too, and just conscious enough to comprehend the mistake you’ve made by going out – yet not sober enough to call it a night.

The countdown strikes midnight. People cheer, confetti drops, drinks spill, and overzealous inebriated bros try to sneak their kisses in. You glance over once more to make sure your friend is doing alright. She promised you that this year, she was going to contain herself and behave – and perhaps give you a chance to have fun. Nope. She’s maniacally hammered and making out with Joe, Jeff, whatever his name was.

This is not your scene, not any more at least. People are loud, you have to shout your drink order, you don’t know anyone, your personal space is crowded – yet you’ve never felt so alone before. Rather than enjoying yourself, you’re playing babysitter. Reality then hits: the night has just begun.

Hours pass and your night is finally wrapping up. You’ve lost your friend, she probably went home with her random hook up. She’s not responding to your texts, perhaps her phone is lost or her battery is dead. In any case, you are totally over the evening and ready to go home.

You wobble over to the bar and notice you’ve lost your heel. Great. You calculate how much it’s going to cost to replace your missing heel and the cost to repair the one you’ve got. You shout over to the bartender, who’s drunk himself, for the bill. The bill is four times the cost of what you’ve budgeted, and loaded with drinks you never ordered. No sense in arguing the bill, you calculate your ability to afford this bill. You lean over the bar to sign your check and you feel someone grab your rear. You calculate how many times this has happened over the course of the evening.

Tired, broke, drunk, and violated, your 4:30 am dejected-ass walks barefoot, with one heel in hand, out of the bar looking for a cab. Good luck. You don’t have a choice, but to pay for the wallet-raping surge charge that Uber likes to hit you with, to get back home. Your night ends with you saying the same exact thing you’ve said three years in a row, “I will never do this again.”

HAPPY NEW YEAR! NEW YEAR NEW YOU THOUGH, RIGHT?

Do your sanity a favor and stay home.

Netflix is as low as $7.99 a month. Catch up on some shows and buy a nice bottle of champagne. Dinner? A fraction of the cost for more than what you’d expect. Going out on NYE will cost you a minimum of $50 a person, just to walk through the door of any bar or restaurant. Hundreds of dollars later, you’re literally left in the cold with bad memories. Build your own seafood tower, grill up a steak, or just buy pre-made stuff from Mariano’s or Whole Foods.

Not exciting enough? Then throw a party and have a potluck – people bring food and booze. No Uber, no surprising bills, and hopefully you’re ending your night with some dignity. You’re safe at home, mostly. What’s the worse that can happen? That same best friend of yours from earlier, remember her? You’ll probably be holding her hair over your toilet. Not so bad, right?

Going out for NYE is for rookies. You’ve learned this time and time again. I promise, you won’t find me at midnight. Cheers.

-Jais