New Year's Eve in the suburbs: Making the best of your home town

New Year's Eve would be one of the best student parties of the year - if you weren't stuck in suburbia

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The Independent Online

If this isn't the first time you've entered the new year as a returning student, you will be aware of the inevitable expense of the quite frankly crap night that you are likely to have when you go out on that bar crawl that you've done 100 times before in your home town. If this is your first year of university - and therefore the first time you have returned home for these holidays - you're in for a 'treat'.

While you've been living the life of luxury with student prices at your university union and rarely spending more than £10 on a night out, you've completely forgotten that the price of a pint in your parents' local is £4 and you're going to be making regular trips to the cash machine. To beat this, you can either start flitting your eyelashes for free drinks or Google the rules of minesweeping. If you want to get pretty wrecked and save on the expense, you will also need to make sure you spend a large amount of your evening drinking the store-bought alcohol before you go out.

As is inevitable with leaving home and going to university, you're going to lose touch with a lot of your old friends and your closest friends are going to be the people that you currently live with. This can make it very difficult to slot back into the way you were with your college friends. You could either invite some people over for a few drinks before going out, as this will break the ice a little bit or you could invite your university friends over from their home towns to spend the evening with you. New Year's Eve also has a certain sort of magic accompanying it, this is as it holds the power of forgetfulness. All of the people who hated you throughout the seven years of education you endured before university - who are now in full time employment - have forgotten that they were nasty to you and have suddenly become your best friend.

One of the most annoying things about this holiday period is taxis. When they're not charging your usual student price, they can still end up being rather expensive but they end up even more so when the firm charges treble the usual price for a fare because it's New Year's Eve. This means that you can expect to be spending around half of your budget on getting to and from the pub. If the train isn't an option then this is the point where your parents come in handy and they can drop you off before they go back to enjoy the festivities on the television.

A huge proportion of students often spend New Year's Eve back at their university town but however your night turns out, take a large wallet - and make sure you avoid the house doubles.