Dealing with F.O.M.O During COVID-19

F.O.M.O stands for fear of missing out. Whether you are a first-year or fifth-year student, I bet you are experiencing F.O.M.O induced feelings due to the regulations in place for COVID-19. 

Everyone has idealized expectations for university. From making new friends, parties, living in residence, in-person lectures, developing connections or networking with professors and classmates. We all had expectations that COVID-19 altered. It is hard to be motivated when we feel like this is not something we signed up for. 

Roy T. Bennett once said, “If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.” This could not be more relevant.

If students want to succeed in the new environment we are in; we need to let go of our expectations. Whether or not their university experiences will be better than what they imagined is unknown. But we can not let the new stop us from living our best lives.  

Despite how challenging it may be, students need to let go of their expectations and embrace their new realities, as COVID-19 is not going away soon.

Although this may seem hard to do, there are five steps that students can implement from here on out that will guarantee a meaningful university experience.

  1. 1.  Use Zoom to Your Advantage

    zoom call with friends

    Many lectures are taking place on Zoom. Students should attend all zoom lectures whenever possible. Turning on your camera is recommended so that students are active members of their learning. Using this feature will not only boost your engagement but also help your professors know when you are not getting it. Facial expressions say a lot, and it is a great aid. 

    It might also help you make friends and network as other students are more likely to remember your face and not a black screen. Many students do not know about the “annotate.” features or the “raise your hand” feature. For those that fear interrupting the professor, use them to your advantage. 

  2. 2. Reach out to Classmates

    Chances are, if you are not getting something, neither are your classmates. If a professor's teaching style does not match your learning style, reach out to others to get a sense of their understanding. Pick anyone from your class list or send out a mass email to ask if anyone understands whatever concept you are not getting. Or ask if anyone would like to form a study group via Zoom. You would be surprised by how many classmates will want to help you and learn from you also. A big part of learning comes from others. So help each other out; we are stronger in numbers!

  3. 3. Attend School Events

    person looking at instagram outside

    At Laurier Brantford, we are fortunate enough to have resources, clubs, and associations that are still hosting events. If you miss the interaction from school, go to some of these events. For example, the Wellness center regularly hosts mental health-themed Zoom workshops where you can connect with like-minded individuals to find ways to improve yourself. Some clubs host contests via Instagram, and they have cash prizes, so definitely participate! To find an event that fits your schedule, go to

  4. 4. Pick Up a New Hobby Or Sport

    The fact that many graduates learn upon graduating is that you have a life outside of school, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. Now is a perfect time to squeeze that thing you have always wanted to try doing. Whenever you need a break from the constant screen time, try out something new. Or even something you love but have not done it a while. I love playing the flute, but before this year had not played it in years. I have also picked up knitting this year. It is not too late to make 2020 your year!

  5. 5. Make Yourself a Study Sanctuary

    woman working on her laptop at desk, with notebooks, flowers, and coffee on desk

    For me, it is challenging to stay focused at my house. Surrounded by my roommates, food, TV, or video games makes it super challenging for me to focus. Through trial and error, I have learned some tips about making the best study space. To start, make sure it is a space where you can be alone. This will help you not procrastinate by talking to your roommates. Next, declutter, put those photos from highschool elsewhere because they will only distract you. Get rid of old assignments, notebooks, and everything else you do not need for the things you want to study. Make sure you have good lighting. Spending five or more hours studying with insufficient lighting will exhaust you more than it should; I prefer white light, but whatever works for you. Have things that inspire you in your study space. If you are a vision board person, put it up in your study space. For me, I find having a list of reasons why I need my degree, such as to get a high-paying job.

Above all else, try to remember everything happens for a reason. Think of this experience as preparation for life because, in life, you can not control everything. Do not get caught up in the “what could have been’s,” instead surround yourself with positivity. I promise you, and you will come out of this experience a better you.