Dealing with FOMO in College

Fear of missing out, otherwise known as FOMO, is something that’s governed my behavior for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, it was more simple: if I get this toy I’ll miss out on playing with the other toy. But in my teen years, FOMO got a lot more complicated. It became a question of overall experience, complicating my relationships with friends, family, and time spent alone. In high school, I was always worried that whatever choice I made was wrong, and spent a plethora of time feeling regret at not choosing the other, more exciting option. The summer before college, however, I was able to get over a lot of this fear. I started to feel more confident in the decisions I was making, and was overall, less frustrated with my life. Little did I know, college would be a whole different battlefield.



Dealing with FOMO in college is complicated. On the one hand, I know that there are new, interesting experiences to be had around every corner. On the other hand, I struggle with feeling guilty when I decide to lock myself in my room, get under the covers, and watch Netflix for the night (i.e. what I did last night). I knew that my friends were hanging out, probably having fun, yet all I wanted to do at that moment was take off my makeup, put on pajamas, and get lost in my show. Waking up this morning to all of the snapchat stories, texts, and general updates on what happened last night, I felt a twinge of regret. Did I make the right decision? For a moment, I let myself get caught up in that old regret, not trusting myself or my decision to stay in. But here’s the thing, last night I knew that I wanted to chill on my own. I was tired, and the thought of going out with people was simply not appealing. This morning it was, but last night, the only thing I wanted to do was be alone. And that’s okay.


The advice that I have for my future self as well as anyone else dealing with FOMO is to trust yourself. Looking back, it’s really easy to say “I should’ve done the other thing,” but the facts are that you made a decision for a reason, and it was the best thing you could’ve done at the moment. Trust that the next time a decision like that comes around, you’ll choose what’s best for you, whether it be going out with friends to have a wild night, or making yourself a cup of tea and getting into bed.