FOMO in College

Are you a college student with a secure friend group? College friendships can feel a little different than high school. How often do you genuinely feel “left out?” Do you commonly feel the need to be present at every event, manage your grades, work hard, give to your community, work out and have fun? Life expectations will easily grasp a hold of you. The pressure that rises among teenagers, to essentially mark every box, is astronomical. There is no guideline or handbook to being a hardworking teen. 

It is good to be involved, without a doubt, but where do you draw the line? When you don’t make the selfie? When you don’t get the special tag on your Instagram? It is very common to be in constant reach of your phone and to constantly check your notifications just to make sure you did not miss an event especially at such a busy time in our lives

Is there a boundary to be set on how much effort you put into trying to fit in? In a time like this, with so many rules on what is socially acceptable and appropriate during the pandemic, it is hard to normalize simple interaction. Do not break your back to be involved! It will take a direct toll on you. Do not do extra outside of your personal bubble to create an image of you that simply may not be you. Express independence and individuality through your walk, your talk, and the way you carry yourself. Go to a movie by yourself. Go on a walk alone. There is nothing weird about grocery shopping by yourself.

To elaborate, there is no event, grade, Snapchat or Instagram story that rises above your personal mental state. None of those social significance posts have a true effect on the beautiful being you are. The people you surround yourself with represent you! There is no check in box or marker that will make your personal friendships any stronger. Quality time is indeed very valuable and important, however lack of community, will not change you as an individual. You are your own person. 

Are photoshoots fun? Absolutely. Feeling beautiful? Amazing. However the internet and people’s opinions on why you wouldn’t, couldn’t, or just didn’t decide to attend a social gathering is invalid. Depending on where you are at physically and in your journey, college should essentially be a place of growth and awesome experiences. Do not let someone’s opinion of you, or worldly consumption change your opinion of yourself. Make choices based on your beliefs.

woman using a camera Photo by ATC Comm Photo from Pexels

The fear of missing out, FOMO, goes for all ages, races, and sexes. The only cure to this overtaking mind set for some is accepting yourself as you! Having friends is a beautiful blessing, but should not turn into a hobby. It should not be something that is tossed around by who has the highest number. FOMO will probably be a continuous sport for some, but recognizing it at the start and understanding comforting strategies while essentially distracting yourself and taking care of you could be an alternative to feeling left out and unworthy.