Picture this: It’s a Friday night and you’ve just had the LONGEST week ever. When I say longest, I mean tons of writing assignments and this morning you accidentally poured orange juice in your coffee thinking it was creamer… But then, you get an email from a professor reminding your class that a huge project is due Monday– and you forgot all about it. As your roommate starts to get ready to go out, you realize that you have to stay in for the night and start working on this project. UGH. Coincidentally, as I write this part of this blog post, I’m listening to Kendrick Lamar’s “Be Humble” blasting down the hall from my living room while my friends are screaming about something. But, here I am. 🙂
So, in comes FOMO. Ahhh FOMO (dun dun dun), the fear of missing out. Most of the time, the fear of missing out refers to not going out with friends on the weekends. As you sit at your desk typing away at 12 a.m., you can’t help but take a look at your Snapchat stories… Then the fear of missing out hits you. Almost every college student has experienced a few solid cases of FOMO. Freshmen are more susceptible to catch FOMO because for the first time, they’re experiencing it at another level. Having some FOMO in high school wasn’t fun; But in college, you’re seeing all of the fun happen right in front of your face. You’re always surrounded by friends and temptations.
I’m not going to lie, freshmen year living in a dorm, it’s kind of a constant fun. You’re away from parents for the first time, all of your friends live within walking distance, and let’s be real, freshmen course loads are incredibly light compared to how the latter years will be. However, the weekends are when the fun is turned up a few notches. For the first time, you’re living on (almost) entirely your terms; you decide when you go out (which could be every night of the week if you really wanted to). Therefore, it becomes even more difficult to deal with the fear of missing out knowing that you’re the only one making that decision– ahh, maturity.
So, how do you deal with FOMO? The answer is actually simple. First, know that everything on social media, especially when it comes to going out, is ALWAYS going to look like it’s more fun than it actually is. And on that note, try to think of social media being kind of a good thing; You get to see most of what’s actually happening. I can’t imagine living “back in the day” and sitting home wondering what I was missing out on, and then only hearing about the next day or so. For me, I’m a curious person and always like to know what’s up and that sort of anticipation would kill me.
Secondly, know that missing out on one or a few things is incomparable to all of the experiences you will have throughout the rest of your college years and even your 20s. There will be so many other opportunities to have fun and celebrate life.
Tip: I used to get FOMO so bad. However, this year I learned how to compromise with myself. A few times, when I knew that I absolutely had to stay in to finish writing something, I would spend as much time as I could hanging around with friends, helping them get ready (outfits, music, talking, etc you get the point). Then, if the pregame or wherever they were planning on going first wasn’t too far, I would drive them and hang around for a half an hour or so, then go back and get all of my work done. This way, you’re spending time with friends and you don’t feel like you’re missing out as much.
As you go through your college years, each semester you begin to realize those two things. In fact, you will probably even get to a point when you decide to stay in to watch movies and the fear of catching FOMO doesn’t even cross your mind 🙂