Fighting FOMO During Dead Week

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Brace yourself, collegiettes, the end is near! The hot Alabama summer has subtly slipped into fall, leaving the ladies of Auburn University ditching their Nike shorts for yoga pants, trading iced coffees for the coveted Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Though it seems like this semester has flown by faster than the speed of light, we are not in the clear just yet. That’s right. I’m talking about final exams. 

Yes, we all know that finals week is a very emotional time for most students. While finals week is indeed one of the most fiery circles of Hell, there is much to be said about dead week. This is the period of time where most collegiettes find themselves rejoicing, with little to no assignments and a plethora of social events planned with friends before the holidays. You find yourself pushing the thought of those daunting final exams to the back of your mind, telling yourself that you will study soon… but not just yet. As the date of your first final grows nearer, anxiety begins to set it. You know you should be studying, tucked away in an isolated cubby on the fourth floor of Ralph Brown Draughon Library, however, there is one temptress that you find impossible to deny: FOMO.

FOMO is an acronym for the phrase “Fear of Missing Out”. You’ve felt it. You’ve succumbed to FOMO’s flirtatious advances many times before. Maybe you were seduced by an Instagram of Sally having wine night with Susie and the gang. Or perhaps you were enticed by Taylor’s tweet about the frat party she was raging at. Does this sound familiar? FOMO is a psychological condition and chances are, it is affecting you.

Now, you may be wondering, what does FOMO have to do with dead week? The truth is, FOMO has everything to do with dead week.  Every year without fail, students spend this week procrastinating rather than putting those precious hours of study time to good use. The advancement of social media in recent years has put procrastination at an all time high, leaving students cramming a semester’s worth of knowledge into their brains the night before their final. Though you may put up a valiant effort, you just can’t seem to fight the FOMO.

While fighting FOMO is indeed a struggle, it can be done. The first, and perhaps most important key to fighting FOMO is unplugging yourself from all social media. Though it may feel as though you are choosing to lose a limb or something of that nature, nothing will help you focus on studying quite like not being able to distract yourself with the lives of other people. Apps like SelfControl block users from a list of sites, thus increasing productivity and greatly reducing the risk of FOMO. If you are unaware of other people having fun, there is no reason for you have a FOMO breakdown.

So maybe you aren’t prepared to make the kind of commitment that SelfControl requires. That's expected - many other millennials have the same dependency issue. If you still want to be able to check social media periodically during your study breaks, remember to keep it all in perspective. If you begin to have intense FOMO flashes after seeing a particularly striking Instagram photo, take a deep breath and calm down. Remind yourself that social media is a breeding ground for pomp and flair, each user trying to post something more impressive than the rest. While yes, that picture may have had had the perfect combination of filters coupled with a strategically planned candid laugh, at the end of the day it is just a photo. It is meant to make other people jealous; it was created for the sole purpose of earning “likes”.

Perhaps the easiest way to fight FOMO is to simply remind yourself why you are studying at Auburn in the first place: to graduate. You had an entire semester to sing karaoke at Skybar or have margaritas at Cancun’s, and chances are, if you pass your classes, you will have a couple more semesters to make more memories. But only if you pass. Don’t let the Fear of Missing Out rob your happiness or steal your future. Fight fire with fire and earn those A’s, ladies.  May the curve be ever in your favor.

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About The Author

Anna is a junior Public Relations student at Auburn University, pursing a career in the music industry upon graduation. Raised in a small, backwards town in Alabama, Anna's feelings of restlessness led her to leave the United States in 2013 to complete a semester studying abroad in Rome, Italy, as well as an internship in Dublin, Ireland. When she isn't globetrotting, you can find Anna scouring YouTube for up-and-coming musicians, Instagramming an excessive number of photos of her dog, Hootie, or writing sassy content for Her Campus Auburn.