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Don’t drop the ball by staying in

By the time the new year rolls around, you’ve probably spent enough time with your relatives that another night watching TV with them as they fall asleep on the couch hardly seems appealing. 

Maybe there once was nothing more exciting than seeing the ball drop at midnight, but honestly it’s probably the same way you’ll spend Dec. 31 when you’re in your ‘50s, weighed down by the responsibilities of life. You have to take advantage of your college years, and New Year’s Eve presents a great opportunity to do so without having to worry about homework due the next day.

If you just want to hang out in a restaurant with friends, you’ll be able to do so on a night when everyone’s relatively stress-free. You could also hit up a club and dance the year away, surrounded by handsome strangers just as eager to have a good time. And if you’re looking for a midnight smooch, a party is the best place for a no-strings-attached kiss when the clock strikes 12.

New Year’s celebrations are all about starting on a good note. Whether that means deciding to hang out as a group in a pizza parlour or hitting up all the bars in the ByWard Market, make sure you don’t have any regrets about the way you close out 2014. So be part of the celebration—don’t just watch it. 

—Héloïse Rodriguez-Qizilbash

Bringing down the house

While blowing out one’s knees dancing at a club may be a stylish way for some to ring in the New Year, I’ve always leaned more toward partying with folks I know. 

Nothing beats a house party. First of all, instead of spending your hard-earned cash on over-priced drinks, you’re able to purchase all your liquor at the LCBO for a night of cheap cocktails or delicious, inexpensive brews. Champagne is $12 per bottle, instead of $12 for a glass at the bar, and for the price of four vodka sodas I can buy a whole bottle of the stuff.

You’ll also notice your friendly neighbourhood nightclubs bump up their cover prices just because so many people are willing to pay. But Dec. 31 is no excuse to charge $40 cover, regardless of how groovy you say your party will be. Entry to a house party is normally free, and if it’s not, you can check Facebook for a multitude of other soiree options. 

I’ve stayed home with friends and family and watched movies before, and all of us ended up bored and a bit disappointed we didn’t search for something fun to do. Instead of freezing your fussied-up buns off in line for a lame club, or passing out on the couch by 11:30, brush up on your flip-cup skills and opt for a fun-filled night of bringing down the house. 

—Tori Dudys

Your parents know how to party

Last year, I had the best New Year’s Eve of my life. I turned down the clubbing invitations from friends, kindly refused the Facebook events for house parties, and decided it was not the year to hit up Blue Mountain with the significant other. Instead, I accepted an invitation to hang out with my family.

Spending this holiday with your family shouldn’t be a last resort. You have not lived until you’ve seen the serious adults in your family pulling out the best of their ‘70s dance moves to the worst hits of 2014. The bonds you will make laughing at Dad’s recycled groaners or Mom’s attempts at letting loose to the hits of her childhood will last forever. And the best part is you don’t have to leave your house.

You have 364 days of the year to hang out in sweaty clubs wondering what possessed you to go there in the first place. And there are endless occasions left to drink cheap beer while hearing “that” couple have their umpteenth fight on the couch next to you while you stress about who to mack with at midnight.

But how many times do you get to hang out with the people who send you free sweaters and overfeed you every time you go back home? You know, those awesome people you forget to call or text back on a regular basis, but who love you unconditionally anyway. 

A New Year’s night out typically ends up with a lost personal item, an empty wallet, or a boat-full of regrets. But a night with the family is one that will never be forgotten and definitely never regretted. So, call up your cousins, crank up the Bee Gees, drink up that homemade mulled wine, and eat up the fruitcake, because nobody’s going to be eating those leftovers. That stuff only tastes good during the holidays. 

—Jasmine van Schouwen