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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

Growing up as a shy and anxious kid, I was always envious of my extroverted peers. On top of that, as a minority, I’ve felt inferior to my white peers. Watching others make friends at the snap of their fingers fueled my years-long desire to become more sociable. I’ve dealt with FOMO (fear of missing out) since I was young, and it is certainly not an easy feat to overcome.  

Especially at a city college like Boston University, there are always a million things to do. Coming to Boston, I knew that I wanted BU to be a new chapter in my life. Therefore, I pushed myself to meet new people and do things that I’ve never done before. 

Yet the FOMO follows. 

While I wouldn’t say that peer pressure has necessarily negatively affected my well-being, it has definitely impacted my decision-making process. Whether it is joining a new club or going out on the weekends, I tend to rely on what my friends are doing in a typical “if you go, I go” mentality — I didn’t want to miss out on any activities that could result in a fun memory. 

Earlier this semester, I took the initiative with my friends to go through sorority recruitment. This was something I never thought I’d do, and I know that the high school version of me would be shocked at my decision to do so.

I didn’t end up going through the whole process. 

I realized in the middle of recruitment that I was not cut out for it. The 12-hour days filled with surface-level small talk and strained smiles wore me out. Knowing that I was being judged by girls my age based on how I looked and spoke was incredibly anxiety-inducing. At the end of each day, I would complain to my friends in frustration about what I said “wrong” in each party and ended each day questioning my physical appearance and my speaking skills. 

I acknowledge that this particular sorority recruitment process is not to blame and that others truly enjoy it (both of my friends joined sororities and love them). I just know that it isn’t for me and that I did it for the wrong reasons. I came to the realization that if I feel self-conscious during recruitment, I would definitely be unhappy in an actual sorority. 

Recognizing that you possess a negative thought process is the first step. I know that once I overcome my negative thoughts and become content with myself as a person, my FOMO will be nonexistent. I understand that my own insecurities are something that I need to work on, and I am constantly pushing myself to become better. Placing that desire to be in a sorority into joining other organizations I actually enjoy has helped me overcome my FOMO. 

Unlearning FOMO is complicated, but doing so can improve your mental health tremendously.

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